Working From Home – What You and the Company are Missing

working from homeSo having your managers and people working from home has been a fad. Early adopters, Apple and IBM, are giving up on telecommuting, so what should we think about its future?

An article on what do you miss if you work at home caught my eye.  I admit I have never thought it was a good idea for a company to have everyone work from home nor even to have private offices. Teamwork and collaboration are hard to achieve under the best of circumstances.  We all work in one room in my company and always will. However, lets think about working from home. 

It saves a lot of commuting time and makes things very good for flexible work hours while caring for children if your company can bear that. It saves the company money on office space. 

Let me say what I think the gaps are in China and likely worldwide. 

Chinese love family. Unfortunately families are often fractured and highly critical places in China, so people like to think of their work as a second home. Anything you can do to increase the family feel will help your retention, especially with younger people. Home office ruins that effect. 

Unless you are digging as deep as we do, You do not know your staff well enough to have them working at home or even remotely. 72% lied to get the job, so how well will they do on their own?

Teamwork is so valuable to a company. Cross functional interaction improves your top and bottom line. It is hard to achieve generally and thrown out the window if people work from home. 

I see the interaction and sharing of information around me at work and would never retreat from the open bay we work in. We even do not use dividers. Do people share personal things that are not work related? Yes, I encourage it. When you have the heart of your workers, and they love working with each other, they do not abuse this and work gets done better and with more ownership. They work odd hours from home as necessary do to the healthy family type relations that exist.  These kinds of binding relationships do not occur if all you do is have shared wechat or a skype group.

I totally support Apple and IBM bringing people back. Some companies perhaps do not need close team work? I cannot imagine. Can you trust everyone? Have you ever imagined what is on the other side of the shiny side of the apple — in China?

See also Ideal China Recruitment: Perfect Hires and Perfect Companies?

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