Pros and cons of working from home

You’ve probably been reading about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and her decision to require employees to work onsite rather than working from home. She wants to emphasize collaboration and thinks the best way to accomplish that is to bring everybody into the office. Her decision is making headlines because for years telework has been touted as a sought-after benefit that helps employees achieve a desirable work-life balance, helps employers save money on office space, and even helps hold down traffic and air pollution. I’m planning an article for HR Hero Line on the subject and am interested in what you think? Is the work-from-home fad fading, or does it have so many fans that it’s likely to remain popular with employers and employees alike for years to come?

Thanks for passing along your thoughts.

Tammy Binford


  • 7 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • In my industry (banking) I don't know that the work-at-home idea has ever been all that popular. So many of our jobs (even outside of the customer service positions) seem to work much better with an actual physical presence in the office during at least some "core" hours every day.

    I tend not to favor the idea of working from home, in part for the same reason the CEO of Yahoo is changing it in their workplace: I like to emphasize collaboration and teamwork and I think that sometimes with people working from home you can lose track of the idea that you all work for the same company, toward common goals. My other reason is that not everyone is cut out to work from home and I believe it takes a very disciplined approach to be able to put in the same quality and quantity of work that they might be able to produce in the office.

    We do have one work-at-home employee, but her position is a singular one that does not require her to physically be on-site very often. And she is a very disciplined, driven individual who probably puts in more hours at home than she would working in the office from 8 - 5!
  • We allow some work from home, but not on a daily basis. We appreciate the ability when we have bad weather, and when someone is unable to come in for some reason but still able to function. Most days, however, we want our employees in the office so we can easily discuss issues and resolve them as they come up.
  • I think it's all about striking a balance. We have employees who work from home all week, and some who only work from home a portion of the week, depending on the needs of their jobs. Certain positions do not require collaboration with others, and for those, I'm fine with a full work from home arrangement. For other positions, they do need the interaction with others, and for those positions, the partial work from home arrangement works really well.

    Personally, I like the combined approach of having a few days a week designated as work from home. I feel it is a good balance of accountability and flexibility.
  • I think it would be nice to work from home just one day a month. Not everyone is cut out for it. I don't think people should work from home all week but one day a week or one day per month would be ok
  • edited August 2015 PMVote Up0Vote Down
    I think it would be nice to work from home just one day a month. Not everyone is cut out for it. I don't think people should work from home all week but one day a week or one day per month would be ok

    Your first post! Welcome to the Forum. :welcome:

  • This is such a hot topic for so many employers that I wanted to chime in. It is absolutely true that not everyone is cut out to work at home, and not every job is a good fit for telework, either, even when it's technologically possible.

    On the other hand, many people actually work better from home, and a liberal telework policy makes it possible to utilize great talent from outside your immediate area--sometimes even across the globe! There are plenty of ways to keep teams integrated and engaged, even when they are physically far-flung.

    Increasingly, the best workers - particularly Millennials - are demanding flexibility in their work environment, and telework arrangements can be a good way to provide this. If telework is not possible or desirable at your organization, flex hours are another possibility to consider.   

  • I think employers are best served by having a variety of work options available so they can attract and retain the best people. Telecommuting can work great so long as the expectations are clear.  The telecommuter has to understand what is expected with regard to availability during work hours and regular communication. I work on a team with 10 people.  Three telecommute full-time, 4 telecommute part-time, and 3 of us our in the office full-time.