Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

March 4, 2013

Working from home

-- — In a decision announced last week, the CEO of Yahoo is putting an end to telecommuting in June. Employees who have worked for years from home are now going to be required to start working in the office instead.

The CEO stated that people needed to be face to face in the same room in order to work more efficiently.

The issue has brought attention to this segment of the American workforce, as just a few years ago, telecommuting was being promoted as the savior of the business world. It would save workers commuting time and gas, keep more cars off the roadways which would reduce congestion in large metro areas, and give workers more flexibility to choose their work time given the 24/7 accessibility to the Internet.

Telecommuting seems to be more prevalent in the software, social media, and graphic design fields, where creativity is essential. Workers given the opportunity to work hours of their choosing and from the place of their choosing seemed to fit in with the concept of encouraging outside the box thinking.

Telecommuting seemed to be the answer to concerns over work/ life balance, environmental damage and pollution from cars, and providing opportunities for individuals who might not function well in a typical office setting, which has changed little in decades.

Although there may be cases of abuse in some areas, it seems that the benefits would outweigh those concerns. Telecommuters can be linked easily for meetings through Skype, can work at all hours of the day and night, don’t have the travel times to and from work, can be home with their families and arrange doctor appointments for illnesses without necessarily having to miss work, and can save money on the expenses related to working in an office setting.

While other companies haven’t yet followed Yahoo’s example, it would be a shame to see this become a trend.

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