In early 2013 Yahoo!’s CEO, Marissa Mayer issued a memo that read, “Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home, we need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”
“To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo, and that starts with physically being together.”
With the development and wide use of Internet, laptops and smartphones it is now so easy to work from wherever you want including home. There is no hiding from the fact all the latest technology means a worker can easily perform their job from home. Where there’s a computer and internet access there’s the chance to connect with the world, your colleagues and clients.
It’s becoming much more common for people to work from home. Approximately 5.4 million British households now contain one occupant who is working from home. Major companies are looking towards this in their recruitment, and an example is British Telecom are employing 11,000 home-workers, many of them at senior levels.
When we initially got started building our online business I was working from home. It saved a lot of time since I didn’t need to commute every day. The daily trips to and from work are often infuriating and lengthy. The elimination of several hours a day of travelling would do wonders for stress levels and i saved a lot on petrol too.
At first the life of a home-worker seemed blissful. But within a short while it began to send me slightly bonkers.
I’m a people’s person and the lack of interaction was something I found really hard. This was compounded by the fact that nobody makes phone calls anymore, you either send an email or text messages. So I could go weeks without hearing a human voice during my working hours.
I was missing the benefits of teamwork, cross networking, the positive motivation that comes from talking with people working on the same projects as you, and brainstorming.
I admit that I do find being located in an office provides me with an incredibly creative and dynamic places to work. Colleagues can bounce ideas around and inspire each other, hold impromptu meetings, and enjoy the trust promoted by face-to-face contact. Physically working alongside colleagues can create a lively business, and there is the potential for beneficial social aspects to boot. A day doesn’t go past where we don’t have a really good laugh about something together. Working from home I missed out on all these things.
The second problem is that it became very difficult to keep my work and personal life separate. It became impossible to switch off.
First of all, it is important to consider the working atmosphere. It is difficult to focus on work if you are working at home since there may be a lot of distractions. I had to work in the living room and it was inevitable to be interrupted when My partner Rachel was off work, or her son Liam was off school.
There are also too many other types of distractions. Too often the kitchen would seem to call out to me for a cup of coffee or a snack to eat. Then off course there’s My Television with Sky Sports or the PlayStation Three. That’s not to mention my comfortable sofa calling me over when I hit a little tired patch.
So when the opportunity to work in partnership with Kevin at Spennymoor Sports came along, and work in the offices above the shop, I couldn’t wait to say yes in order to get back into an office environment.
I have gone for the most logical solution. I mix and match whether I work from home or from our offices. I have the freedom to choose how, when and where I’ll work.
So some of the time I’m at home, at other times in the office where I can have meetings, or work collectively with my business partner. .
However statistics do seem to show that working from home is beneficial. A significant 13% increase in performance from home-working, of which 9% was from working more minutes of their shift period (fewer breaks and sick days) and 4% from higher performance per minute. Home workers also reported substantially higher work satisfaction and psychological attitude scores, and their job attrition rates fell by over 50%.
How do you find working at home or at the office? If you’ve done both, what do you prefer and why?