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The Yahoo! decision to bring employees to the office is not news. You’ve probably heard it dissected to death. I wrote about it, from a PR and marketing perspective, and people have debated it to death, from women’s liberation and backwards thinking to why companies disappear and what this might mean for company growth (or not).
But Joe and I, with some prodding from Martin, discuss it a bit differently: From business owner perspectives.
Both of us have had good success with employees working from home. I run a completely virtual company and Joe has two offices (Ottawa and Toronto) with a team who work both in the office and at home.
We’re in agreement if you’re aiming for productivity, working from home tends to work better than being in an office where you can be constantly interrupted. But, if you’re looking to innovate, create new product design, or brainstorm, it’s really hard to produce remotely.
Joe says it’s easy to come up with a good idea, but they need to be stewed over and discussed. When the idea becomes a strategy is when people are waiting for the coffee to brew and they begin to discuss the idea. You can’t replace that with a virtual office.
I agree. In fact, I talk about how we struggle with those very things so we have to make a concerted effort to use technology to our advantage when we need to work on bigger, more thoughtful things for clients (or ourselves).
But through the discussion, we come up with a new way of doing things and using technology to obtain innovation without being in the office.
Listen to the episode to see what it is!
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I LOVE the idea of keeping the video window open during the work office hours! I’m stealing that idea.
I think there’s definitely something to be said about working remotely and the potential it has to allow us to do some great things. Although I understand what Yahoo! was attempting to do with recreating their culture (and I agree it would be best to do that in person) I don’t think we stifle innovation by working remotely. Sometimes surroundings are everything when one it trying to be productive, and no one’s going to work the same in every environment. Collaborative or not, someone might just think more fluidly in his or her favorite coffee shop than he or she will in an office, and forcing them to work in an environment that might slightly hinder them mentally won’t do anyone any favors.