Telecommuting Against The Office Environment

TelecommutingYahoo announced last month that its employees wouldn’t be able to telecommute anymore, in order to create a more collaborative environment at the office. Although millions of Americans prefer to telecommute and actually work for longer hours at home rather than at the office, various companies including Bank of America, Twitter and Google are still not in favor of telecommuting. Studies have shown that giving employees more flexibility will result in significant productivity gains, whereas those who work at the office have a higher chance to be promoted. Zintro experts share their opinion on Yahoo’s recent decision.

Senior business consultant, Praveen Kambhampati argues that more flexibility won’t necessarily lead to increased productivity, in the market conditions that are prevalent these days, as opposed to the last decade. “For the corporate, the flexible timing policy meant, almost doubled productive hours every day. A critical task was handled better from home than the office, which often required presence for project meetings,” he notes. “The same frame of mind in the current work space, full of apps and mobile connectivity needs to stabilize when it comes to the cultural shock.”

Kambhampati believes that parallel multitasking will likely have a stronger but adverse impact on the productivity in many ways including the following:

  1. Diluted focus and loyalty to the prime task on hand due to technology based distractions
  2. Diluted intensity due to quick switch over between tasks and assignments
  3. Distributed time between several externally controlled events reducing the productive time impacting, which dilutes the professional commitment to the employer

“Nothing can beat an enterprising mind and entrepreneurial spirit that drives the employees of Yahoo across the world. However, the vulnerability to distraction by technology events and technology advances, last but most important, the market conditions, which call for a disciplined approach to sustenance and dedication to innovation, would be critical to Yahoo’s strategy to walk into the future,” he explains. “The scrapping of ‘policy to work from home’, it appears is well aligned to this very requirement and a well thought of game plan by Yahoo Top Management to walk their vision. Appears to be a tough HR decision calling for a disciplined approach, until the market challenges promise more clarity.”

According to Charles Whitaker, an expert in change management and product development, this approach will not likely work in Yahoo’s favor. “From my experience, running change in an atmosphere of mutual consideration is crucial for the ongoing health of the organization and imposing a one-sized fits all solution is counter productive. Taking time to explore and let the best solutions emerge through open-hearted involvement makes all the difference,” says Whitaker. “Creating the right energetic framework is vital to ensure the ongoing success of the enterprise. By enforcing an approach, which militates against employees’ self interest guarantees that the energetic framework necessary for the change to be successful is most unlikely to be achieved.”

By Idil Kan

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