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Branson: Yahoo’s Mayer is wrong

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HC Online | 06 Mar 2013, 12:00 AM Agree 0
In his latest website update Richard Branson argues that pretty soon offices will be a thing of the past.
  • D Green | 06 Mar 2013, 03:40 PM Agree 0
    I fully agree with Richard Branson - expecting people to commute to an office every single day when their role doesn't require it is outdated thinking. I understand that collaboration is important, but this can be achieved by either working in the office at certain times, or via online collaboration. There may be some people who will slack off when working at home, but I think that's the exception rather than the rule - most people (well, me anyway!) enjoy the comfort of their own home and environment and are more productive than in the office. If employers set project or task targets and employees meet them, I don't see how it matters where they are working.
  • N Read | 06 Mar 2013, 03:47 PM Agree 0
    We are a not for profit organisation and are now looking at extending the teleworking options to our people particularily as we work in regional and remote areas that have significant travel elements. I have been following this discussion over the last week with interest and am keen to hear of organisations who think they have 'got it right' in this area. I would imagine, as with most things it isn't 'what' you do it's 'how' that makes all the difference. Has anyone had any great experiences they would be willing to share?
  • Sharon Ferrier | 06 Mar 2013, 03:53 PM Agree 0
    Love to see his pilots and flight crew work from home!

    I do work from home - but I also recognise the benefits of face to face collaboration. Not just for rapport development, but also for problem solving.
  • HR Observer | 06 Mar 2013, 03:57 PM Agree 0
    I only partly agree with Richard Branson. From SOME workers, home is the better environment, but there are pros and cons to each option, and I certainly disagree with Branson's vieew that offices will be a thing of the past in 30 years.
    One downside to working from home is that it tends to be isolating. Picking up the phone is fine, but often face to face and/or impromptu contact is the best option.
    Also, to be fully productive, working from home requires up-to-the-minute technology, including internet connections. Who's going to pay for that - the employee? Not to mention that, in Australia, even average quality internet connection (let alone high speed) isn't even available in many areas .... including the suburbs!
  • D de Cerff | 06 Mar 2013, 04:05 PM Agree 0
    I run a HR consulting business. The business was founded on the core value of offering highly experienced practitioners the ability to work remotely. It has been an incredible success! My team are far more productive working from home. They love the flexibility. They love the fact they can juggle home and work life obligations far more effectively and they dont waste an hour or more sitting on a train commuting to an office in the city. It is great for the business as a whole. We watch our carbon footprint, we use technology effectively and our clients reap the rewards - faster project turn-around times, reduced consulting expenditure, access to experienced professionals who may otherwise not be in the workforce. And for those of our staff who are career women and have just started a family - well it is absolutely perfect! I wouldnt run a business any other way.
  • D de Cerff | 06 Mar 2013, 04:06 PM Agree 0
    I run a HR consulting business. The business was founded on the core value of offering highly experienced practitioners the ability to work remotely. It has been an incredible success! My team are far more productive working from home. They love the flexibility. They love the fact they can juggle home and work life obligations far more effectively and they dont waste an hour or more sitting on a train commuting to an office in the city. It is great for the business as a whole. We watch our carbon footprint, we use technology effectively and our clients reap the rewards - faster project turn-around times, reduced consulting expenditure, access to experienced professionals who may otherwise not be in the workforce. And for those of our staff who are career women and have just started a family - well it is absolutely perfect! I wouldnt run a business any other way.
  • Tony P | 06 Mar 2013, 04:07 PM Agree 0
    I work from home on an ad-hoc basis which assists with me looking after my 18 month old daughter as my wife has less flexible hours. I find having the opportunity to do so extremely valuable to me as an employee and am keen to provide the same opportunity, where operationally possible, to my own staff. It is worth more to me than extra money and I find I can be extremely efficient as there are less interruptions. I also strive to maintain a good face to face in the office as well as I believe this is extremely important for both staff and stakeholders. Banning suh opportunities seems to be a hark back to the office of the 80s and 90s and not terrribly forward thinking.
  • J Green | 06 Mar 2013, 04:42 PM Agree 0
    I think the important point here is that “Choice empowers people and makes for a more content workforce.”
    While M Mayer obviously has strong support for this approach, which may at this time be exactly what Yahoo needs, ideally I would prefer a structured merit-based approach. The old "one-size-fits-all" method has a diminishing place in today’s world of work .
  • J Green | 06 Mar 2013, 04:46 PM Agree 0
    I think the important point here is that “Choice empowers people and makes for a more content workforce.”
    While M Mayer obviously has strong support for this approach, which may at this time be exactly what Yahoo needs, ideally I would prefer a structured merit-based approach. The old "one-size-fits-all" method has a diminishing place in today’s world of work .
  • C Cook | 06 Mar 2013, 06:58 PM Agree 0
    Always an interesting debate. Staff are always keen on expressing the value or perceived value of working from home, however there are SO many variables it is wrong to say that an organisation is behind in thinking because they don't allow remote working. The old 'train, traffic' argument doesn't wash for people living outside of cities. Some positions or companies just don't suit remote working. Workplaces/offices will still exist in hundreds of years.
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