In the now famous Yahoo memo announcing that by June, all Yahoo employees must work in the office, the company’s HR head Jackie Reses proclaims several things: They have many “fun” new initiatives, people feel “energy and buzz” when they work in the office, and some of the “best” work is done when you run into someone in the hallway. Therefore, no more telecommuting. Period.
Most companies don’t have this strict of a policy, and some, like Virgin, encourage people to work wherever they work best, whether that be from home or from the office.
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4 thoughts on “Does telecommuting hurt your career?”
You mentioned “While some of those hallway chats are useful, many others are useless and mostly about non-work stuff.”
You didn’t mention the general overall noise level.
Most hallway chats are useless and about non-work stuff.
Then there are the breakroom conversations (in open breakrooms), the clompy shoes running up and down the nearby open stairwells, the gaggle of people getting off the elevator, the cell phones ringing, the cell phones answered, the conference calls on speaker phone…
And if noise doesn’t affect you, how about the generally poor lighting, the people next to windows who pull the blinds, the people who turn off the over head lights (vs the people who turn them on), the temperature (which is never right for everyone)…
And that’s in an environment with cubicles. Heaven save us all from the “no walls” so-called collaboration friendly workplaces.
An Introvert who worked for Yahoo! pre-Marissa
I’m fortunate to work for a very flexible company that allows be to work at home when needed. I find that I do best in the office because there is the collaboration, and especially being a newer associate it help to discuss and brainstorm with some of the more tenured associates. However, the 2 – 3 days I spend at home a month, I am very productive and find I can finish assignments very quickly.
It’s going to be different for the type of work and the associate like you mentioned, but I think for me personally, a mix is best with most of the time spent in the office.
I think there is some industries and career paths that function well with WFH. My first introduction was about 10 years ago from our Corporate travel agent, that couldn’t be a better fit. When I mentioned that it’s great she can be home with the kids she quickly clarified that the kids are are cared for separately.
If I tried it? I’d sleep late, lose what little social graces had, and find little reason to shower. It’s best I go in.
I do not believe telecommuting will hurt your career as long as you ensure there is a structure set in place. Make sure you have clarity regarding your deadlines and deliverables, establish an ongoing communication venue with your leadership team to further ensure clarity, and make sure you have a plan on how to maintain your interaction with team members. This clarity and constant communication will be critically important to successfully working virtually.
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