the company where i am mow...and their flex scheduling/telecommuting policies have been a blessing for sure.
maybe a different decade from now...it will affect men and women the same and just simply be bad for double income families in general only. and in that scenario...it would still be bad for these families so i would still feel same way about.the decision
Last edited by KimPossible; 02-28-2013 at 05:20 PM.
Cecilia Marie 1/10/10
Photo By Anne Schmidt Photography
I don't understand how going into an office is worse for women than men.
People aren't entitled to work from home, but I'm of the belief that it is better for society when work places do what they can to encourage a family/work balance and with dual income families being so prevalent, telecommuting is the type of benefits we need where we can get them.
If yahoo has no chance of surviving if there are telecommuters, then i would concede that they need to change that. But I don't believe the options were "No telecommuting or go bankrupt" I agree with Spacers, they could have modified their telecommuting policies instead of getting rid of them completely.
Last edited by KimPossible; 03-01-2013 at 12:26 PM.
If working from home was so important to someone that it would literally impact their quality of life, I assume that they would look for another work from home job........not leave the work force or take a less professional job. That is an illogical leap in my opinion. I assume that everyone who works from home and has children still has them in daycare ~ so if the kids are in daycare anyway does it matter if a parents butt is parked in their office at home or in their office in an office filled with coworkers? I don't think that it does.
Environmentally, socially, the type of family situations that are common today, working remote should be promoted.
Yes i said in my first post that its not about watching kids while you work. My kids are in school/daycare, but as i said before, often working at home works well and comes with a flex schedule. Today i left at 2:30 so that i could take Nathalie to dance after school, i do that every week. I work earlier in the day...before our HQ office would even be open, and I work in the evenings...at home.That is an illogical leap in my opinion. I assume that everyone who works from home and has children still has them in daycare ~ so if the kids are in daycare anyway does it matter if a parents butt is parked in their office at home or in their office in an office filled with coworkers? I don't think that it does.
Technically I'm scheduled for 36 hours, but they really get a deal out of it because most weeks I work more than 40, often a lot more than 40. I stick to 36 official because its a good safety net on those weeks that family life is so crazy that I can't work more. But the ability to work my schedule the way i need to makes it so much easier to work more, with less stress on my family.
Being able to work from home and not be confined to office hours, or the thought of sitting in an office alone at 10pm at night is good quality stuff. I get to put in the time I need to maintain my professional career as well as spend better time with my family, instead of just the two hours before they go to bed and while they sleep. And my office gets more out of me than they would if i had to go into the building every time I wanted to work.
Like I said...pros and cons to being in an office and being remote. But from a society standpoint, i think our corporate world benefits from being understanding of a double income's desire to balance family and work life...and society I think as a whole benefits from parents being able to spend more time with their kids.
And on a side note I think its very reasonable to require a certain amount of time a month or year in an office. With the technology there is today and the compromises that could be made on office face time there is just no reason to cut this option out for everyone.
I understand that it gives you more flexibility to run errands or do things with your kids. I also understand how an employer may not see that flexibillity you prize an actual asset to them. I know many people who simply couldn't succeed at working from home, they would lose focus, be distracted, go to the gym, etc etc (this is by their own admission, not my judgement). For many families it can present difficulty ~ If my husband didn't travel as much as he does I would hate his working from home all day every day, even though he has his own full office in our home (with a door he can lock) I don't have friends over on the days he is working from home ~ too noisy. Sometimes it feels like he is constantly working ~ where as sometimes people who are "at" work then LEAVE work leave some of it behind.
I simply don't see working from home as a win in all situations, especially for an employer. Because of that, I understand why an employer may want to shake things up/ demand change if their current set up with telecommuters is not working for their business model and profitability.
You can fire a non productive remote employee the same way you fire a non productive in office employee. You can have beneficial and detrimental employees in both settings. Some in-office employees are distracted by the socialization factor (which is definitely not always collaborative) or will simply spend the day on facebook whether they are at home or in the office. Bad employees should be dealt with no matter what type they are.I know many people who simply couldn't succeed at working from home, they would lose focus, be distracted, go to the gym, etc etc (this is by their own admission, not my judgement).
My argument is not that working from home is for everyone and that everyone should do it.For many families it can present difficulty ~ If my husband didn't travel as much as he does I would hate his working from home all day every day, even though he has his own full office in our home (with a door he can lock) I don't have friends over on the days he is working from home ~ too noisy. Sometimes it feels like he is constantly working ~ where as sometimes people who are "at" work then LEAVE work leave some of it behind.
I don't either...i would never say "everyone must work from home" any sooner than i would say "no one can work from home"I simply don't see working from home as a win in all situations
What is your actual argument as to why its bad? Because some of them are not productive? I think thats a poor argument because not everyone in the office is productive. Because they can't collaborate? Don't let them be isolated, we communicate constantly at work. Make them come into the office on a regular basis...just not every day.especially for an employer.
I see a lot of positives for the employer. Lower cost on office space and resources, happier employees (assuming its only those who want to work remote that are working remote), more productive employees. Just like i said in my first post. For ever con there is a pro and the opposite could be said of having them in the office.
If they could honestly tie it directly to the fact that they are telecommuting, i could see it as a place to shake things up. Or even if they cant' directly but suspect a change might be helpful. But based on what i see as benefits for both the employers and the employees and society...i don't think a complete ban is the right answer, accountability and modification is.Because of that, I understand why an employer may want to shake things up/ demand change if their current set up with telecommuters is not working for their business model and profitability.
I'm not arguing that its bad. Heck, my husband does it and our family loves it (though we are realistic about the downsides, too). I'm simply arguing that I'm not willing to reduce Marissa Miller to a vagina who is responsible for making decisions which impact families more than they impact her corporation. At the end of the day I believe that a more profitable and sustainable company is the ultimate in rewards for a family, over simply working from home from a struggling and poorly performing company. If this worked and, say, their stock tripled, I have a feeling few families would be complaining. In publicly traded companies like this I'm sure they offer stock options in hiring, as bonuses and probably have some sort of ESP plan. Their profitability increasing dramatically would make those families a lot of money. And I don't agree with you that working from home is as much a boon to ALL families as it may be to you.
I disagree with you that the environmental benefits are as clear cut as you think
.I don't know if you could take the train or bus, but my husband could not to a daily office locally. When he has to go to DC, two to three times/month, he does take the train.I'd love to stay home in my pajamas rather than fight through traffic so I can sit in a cubicle all day. I need help convincing my boss that working from home is a good idea. How much greener is telecommuting than dragging my sorry bones to work?The Lantern has been enjoying the pleasures of telecommuting for years, and its advantages are many -- that is, unless you like vehicle exhaust, tiny workspaces, dress codes and wasting your time. Working from home is a win-win situation for workers and employers. The technology company Cisco recently surveyed 1,992 employees who telecommuted an average of two days per week. The workers reported increased productivity and quality of work. The company noted that telecommuting increases retention rates.
Unfortunately, the environmental benefits aren't quite as clear. How much carbon dioxide you save, if any, depends on how far you live from work and how you get there, among other things.
Let's consider Mr. Wheeler, the average American car commuter. According to the American Community Survey, 86 percent of the nation's workers drive to work, with three-quarters of those going solo. The average commuting distance is 32 miles roundtrip, according a 2005 poll by ABC News, Time magazine, and The Post. If Mr. Wheeler's car is in compliance with the EPA's upcoming 2012 carbon dioxide emissions guidelines, his drive will produce 20.9 pounds of CO2 per day. Mr. Wheeler works 235 days per year, since he takes three weeks of vacation and stays home on all 10 federal holidays, so the annual output of his commute is 4,890 pounds of CO2. That's more than an electric furnace generates heating the average American home for a year. (A car's emissions aren't limited to CO2, of course: Mr. Wheeler will also be responsible for nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and other gaseous and particulate nasties.)
Sounds like a huge win for telecommuting, right? The bleary-eyed walk from bedroom to home office requires no fossil fuels at all.
Not so fast.
As much as you may hate your workplace, with its detestable politics, stale break-room coffee and interminable small-talk obligations, it's a more energy-efficient work environment than the average American home. For one thing, that cramped cubicle farm means that less air has to be heated or cooled to keep the worker bees buzzing. Stay home, and you have to climate-control at least your own home office, if not the entire house. Office workers also share certain equipment, such as printers and fax machines. At home, you're probably running your own peripherals.
These inefficiencies can significantly reduce the carbon savings of working in your pajamas, according to a 2005 study by Erasmia Kitou and Arpad Horvath of the University of California at Berkeley. On cold days, an office produces 1.3 pounds of CO2 keeping each worker warm, compared with 11.9 pounds for the average telecommuter. That means Mr. Wheeler's furnace will give back 10.6 of the 20.9 pounds of carbon he saves by leaving his car in the garage.
(On hot days, the office emits slightly more than 1.3 pounds to cool each worker. Many people have single-room air conditioners to cool only their office, are reluctant to turn their AC on, or don't have an air conditioner. Moreover, in the Lantern's experience, most office buildings could keep raw salmon steaks fresh during the summer.)
Running your own equipment also makes a big difference. At the office, your computer and shared peripherals produce 0.9 pounds of CO2 per day, according to the Berkeley study, compared with 4.9 pounds for the same gadgets at home. So Mr. Wheeler loses another 19 percent of his CO2 savings to his printer and fax machine.
There's more. People who work at home do a whole bunch of energy-intensive things they probably wouldn't do if stuck at the office. They take trips to the grocery store, run the dishwasher or even sneak in a little TV-watching. The carbon emissions associated with these extracurriculars can be hard to quantify, but Kitou and Harvath found that rebound effects generate around 6.6 pounds of carbon dioxide per day, another 30 percent of Mr. Wheeler's total.
Altogether, on the average day in which heating is required, Mr. Wheeler produces almost exactly the same amount of carbon dioxide whether he goes to work or stays home.
That doesn't make telecommuting a loser, of course. Depending on where Mr. Wheeler lives, there may be very few days in which he actually needs to turn on the heat. On warm days, staying home saves an average of 13.5 pounds of carbon dioxide. And there are lots of little changes he could make to tip the telecommuting lifestyle in the Earth's favor, even in the dead of winter. For example, he could improve his home's insulation (or just wear a sweater in the winter), ditch his personal fax and printer, and stop the midday errands.
The scenario is a little different for the 5 percent of Americans who commute to work by train or bus. If they commuted the same distance as Mr. Wheeler, their rides would each generate about 7.1 pounds of CO2 per day, or 1,658 pounds annually. In that case, the inefficiencies of working at home clearly outweigh the transportation savings on cold days. On warm days, it's better to work at home, and on those that don't require climate control, it doesn't really matter whether you go into the office.
If you really want to help the Earth and you're not just looking for an excuse to watch "Judge Judy" when you should be working, all of this points to one simple answer: Abandon your car first, then worry about whether you'd rather take the bus or stay home.
And I also disagree that the social benefits are as clear cut as you paint them to be. When my husband and I were engaged I almost moved to his house in DC. My company offered me the ability to work remotely. Frankly I was terrified, I would have HATED the isolation of working from home, I would not know anyone (work is a great place to make friends and have a social outlet). Ultimately he was also offered the ability to work remotely and he ended up moving to my house up here and working from home, which he has now been doing for the past 7 years. He does admit to missing the fun of office life at times, lunches out, etc etc. He gets that comraderie through his frequent travel, but I know that we both see and recognize how working alone can be lonely, isolating, and NOT always the social boon you state it to be. My friend worked remotely for Morningstar ~ she was the only one on her team working remotely. She hated it and felt constantly out of the loop. She ended up moving back to Chicago so that she could be in her office. Great for some, yes. All? No.
I'd never argue that no one should work remotely, or that everyone should. Again, I don't WANT to move to DC or SF where the cost of living is even higher than in my area. So I treasure the fact that we can do it. BUT, if his company determined that it was not working for them, I recognize that we would have a decision to make. Frankly, my husband LOVES his job and we would move and he would go into an office and that would be okay with all of us. I think that many Yahoo employees will feel the same way. Those that don't can go somewhere else. That is the beauty of choice.
I haven't had time to delve into this one very much (busy with work, hah!) but I just wanted to say that a) I agree with pretty much everything Kim has said and b) As someone who does go in to the office most days, but also has the option to set a more flexible schedule and work from home as needed, I have actually passed up higher paying positions with other companies because I knew I would not have that same flexibility. It's that important to my well being and the well being of my family, that I can put an actual dollar amount on it and am willing to work for less money in order to keep it. I think that could be argued as a benefit for the companies - assuming more people feel the way I do (and I know others at least where I work do) one of the benefits to the company is providing an important benefit to their employees that their employees may well decide balances out a smaller paycheck.
I also think that another benefit to the company is that, because of the flexibility, I am pretty much always on call as needed. We had a major issue last week, and my boss and I were on emails and calls from home until 11 at night each night, and beginning again at about 6 am each morning, then going on to still come in to the office each day for our full work days.
Even when things aren't blowing up, my usual routine is to get on email at about 6 am for about an hour each morning before I start getting ready for work, and then checking in throughout the evenings after I get home. I don't begrudge any of that, because the offset is that if I need to leave in the middle of the day to go to a drs appointment, or even leave at 3 to get a massage (I'm doing that today!) no one is going to question me about it. I don't do things like leaving the office for a massage NEARLY as often as I work on what are supposed to be my "off hours" so I wouldn't even necessarily say that it's a fair trade on hours. But just knowing that I can do it when I need/want to makes all of the difference in the world to me. Again, to me, having an employee who works way more than her "scheduled" time just because she is really content knowing that she can have flexibility when it's needed is a huge benefit to the company.
-Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)
Got an opinion? We've got a board! Come join us for some lively debate on the Face Off! Debate Arena board.
I don't know that I would count all those extra hours of work on non work time as a good thing for workers, as a generality, however. The US is the most overworked, least vacationed nation of all industrialized countries. I think that all of that "be available always around the clock etc" stuff leads to burnout, dissatisfaction, and families suffer more than they benefit, especially as it doesn't seem to be tied to higher wages or better compensation in most cases.
american workers work more hours - Google Search