Most companies do not allow their staff to work from home.
Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, recently issued a directive stating that Yahoo staff may no longer work from home.
Why? There are two main reasons:
- CEOs want teams in the same room to collaborate more efficiently. This is the major reason stated by Marissa in her directive.
- There is also another reason that usually goes unsaid. Management doesn’t trust that team members are productive when working from home.
Ten or twenty years ago it was difficult to collaborate remotely. But now, collaboration online is free or very inexpensive.
If properly managed, virtual collaboration can also be very effective and productive. You can schedule a Google hangout once per week for the equivalent of face-to-face collaboration and you can eliminate the constant distracting “got a minute” meetings that happen in an office. When your structure remote collaboration properly you can actually increase your team’s productivity.
Are teams productive working from home?
There is no guarantee that anyone will be productive working from an office or from home. Team members can easily chat with friends on Facebook (on their computer or mobile phone), or may have low productivity due to multi-tasking, inefficient processing of emails, or any multitude of distractions.
These distractions are why we designed Time Doctor, to dramatically increase the productivity of any team, but especially remote teams.
Nowadays, there is a multitude of software available to manage remote work productivity and ensure smooth operations despite the distance. Project management tools help everyone stay aligned on things to do. Video conferencing software help ensure effective communication. FTPs facilitate reliable large file transfers.
With a good tech infrastructure and management style in place, remote teams can be just as productive as their face-to-face counterparts.
Are companies crazy not to offer remote work options
A large company like Google or Apple can afford to hire the most talented people in Silicon Valley and can afford to pay the salaries and benefits to attract these people.
Most companies cannot compete with these giants on their home turf. This is especially true if your company is in a competitive location, such as the Bay Area in the US. The best talent is sucked up by the giants and there is not a great deal left for those who cannot afford to hire $100-200k per year engineers. It’s also difficult if you’re located in a small town where there simply is not the availability of talent that you are looking for.
Small companies must hire remotely to survive
If you’re willing to hire remotely then you’re opening up the available talent pool to your entire country and possibly to the whole world. You can choose the locations with the best availability of talent at a budget you can afford.
If you can find the people you need in your local area that’s great, but in many cases you can’t find them or if you can you have to offer salaries that are higher than your company can truly afford.
The first step is to change your mentality to consider remote working arrangements. This change in mentality will allow you to rise above the majority of companies by seeking out the most talented people wherever they are.
The shift to remote work in your company will take some adjustment and learning, but it’s more than worth it. In fact I would argue that it’s a key to survival for many smaller businesses that need to be frugal and hire great people at affordable salaries.
About the Author: