The internet is awash with differing opinions about remote working, showing many businesses are divided in their views on the subject. This heated discussion was sparked by a leaked memo by Yahoo informing employees that remote working would be banned from June of this year.

The internal memo said: “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.”

Despite the advancements in remote working in recent years, Yahoo are not alone in their dislike. Google are also against teleworking, saying that they like the number of employees working away from the office to be “as few as possible”.

Chief financial officer of Google Patrick Pichette explained the anti-remote working mind-set, saying: “There is something magical about sharing meals. There is something magical about spending the time together, about noodling on ideas, about asking at the computer ‘What do you think of this?’”

The remote working fan club

Not all big bosses are dismissing teleworking, with Richard Branson leading the way for those who think remote working should become a part of daily work life. The entrepreneur called the Yahoo memo a “backwards step in an age when remote working is easier and more effective than ever.”

International Video conference giants Powwownow also commented upon the memo, saying:
“To hear a company such as Yahoo is now not allowing its staff to remote work comes across as a backwards (and frankly regressive) move.

“It seems inconceivable that in this day and age you’d turn your back on new technologies and work practices that have been adopted by your peers.”

The truth about working from home

There is a cultural attitude towards remote working which has been reflected by these comments by Yahoo and Google. Many feel that working from home results in a lazy attitude and a drop in work quality.

Many fear they may be overlooked for promotion and bonuses if they do not show their face around the office, and will work much longer and much harder than is necessary to ‘make up’  for being outside of the office.

However, with 59% of employers now offering remote working, it is likely many will eventually work from home for at least a proportion of their working week.

There are many benefits to telecommuting which make it an effective form of working, and with the advancements in technologies developing rapidly, it has almost made the word ‘remote’ obsolete.

These benefits can include:

  • Improved performance
  • Savings on expenses
  • Improved quality
  • Better life/work balance
  • More environmentally friendly
  • Improved productivity