Since Marissa Mayer made the decision to ask remote workers to start working in an office by June 2013, a huge debate has begun. Both supporters and critics of the decision have expressed their opinions loudly, and the CEO of Yahoo! has received quite a large amount of publicity from the new work policy.
Supporters of Mayer’s decision state that she made the right choice because remote workers were not being held accountable for their responsibilities, and they had a tendency to hide from management. They also claim that by bringing these employees into the office, productivity will increase, as well as innovation and creativity.
While Yahoo!’s remote workers may have experienced some of these problems, abolishing remote working is not the answer. Instead, managers should treat their remote workers as they do their in-office staff: by holding them accountable for their work and responsibilities. Those who are unable to show the same results as in-office staff should either be fired, or asked to move to the office.
The benefits of remote workers far outweigh the disadvantages associated with them. These include:
- Happier employees: Employees who feel that they are trusted by their company experience higher job satisfaction than those who don’t. By allowing employees to work from home, managers are showing that they feel confident that the employee won’t take advantage of the freedom.
- Increased talent pool: Some employees are unable to commute to work every day, and those companies who are unwilling to employ remote workers experience the disadvantage of a smaller potential-employee pool. Furthermore, many individuals who have the option of working at home for one company, versus commuting to an office every day for another, would quickly choose the work-from-home option.
- Decreased expenses: When employees work from home, office utilities and office rent can be drastically reduced.
By setting clear performance goals and holding each employee accountable for their responsibilities, managers can find huge benefits in employing remote workers, rather than solely utilizing an in-house staff.