The debate about remote working has raged for the past week following Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s opposition to her staff working from home. Now Michael Bloomberg has said he’s always thought working from home is ‘one of the dumber ideas I’ve ever heard’.
I have enormous respect for Michael Bloomberg and have rarely disagreed with anything he has done or said. However, on this occasion I disagree completely. Many employees who work from home are extremely diligent, get their job done, and get to spend more time with their families. They waste less time commuting and get a better work/life balance. To force everybody to work in offices is old school thinking.
He has always worked out of an office and it has worked extremely well for him. I have always worked from home so I CAN spend more time with my family. Both approaches have been effective for us and the organisations we lead.
While we can disagree on this issue, I have nothing but admiration for both Marissa Mayer and Michael Bloomberg, they are both extremely talented people who are very good at what they do and have proved successful.
The key for me is that in today’s world I do not think it is effective or productive to force your employees one way or another. Choice empowers people and makes for a more content workforce.
In 30 years time, as technology moves forward even further, people are going to look back and wonder why offices ever existed. Do you agree that offices will one day be a thing of the past? If your company allows flexible work options, tell us how it’s been successful or could be improved.
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group
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