Remote workers present difficulties for large corporations

by Elizabeth Dukes on May 7, 2013

Room reservation software helps with remote workersFacilities management in a large corporate office is a difficult undertaking, and it often requires a great deal of technical resources, such as space management and asset tracking software, to keep things running smoothly. However, thanks to the wealth of technological solutions that help workers stay connected – mobile device use, cloud computing and video conferencing to name a few – it is now easier than ever for employees to work remotely.

One major player in the telecommuting debate has been Yahoo, which recently announced that it was no longer allowing employees to work from home. The decree set off a massive firestorm of controversy in Silicon Valley, as workers bemoaned the new rules as encroaching on their freedom and their productivity – not to mention their wallets.

Working from home is a great way for employees to save on their personal finances. According to a report from the Telework Research Network, workers can save about $362 per year on gas by working at home half the time rather than driving to the office. Aside from that, workers also often feel more productive when they’re not surrounded by office distractions.

Yahoo, however, sees things differently. Jackie Reses, head of HR for the corporation, spoke out against the practice, telling All Things Digital that the company functions better when workers are in the office together.

“Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home,” Reses said. “We need to be one Yahoo, and that starts with physically being together.”

There are exceptions

Even for companies like Yahoo who frown upon remote work, there must be exceptions – for example, workers often request extensive time off for maternity or paternity leave, citing a need to be with their newborn children and families rather than in the office. Some new parents still want to stay connected with their offices even during their time off, and that requires remote access.

In this case, Yahoo has been more accommodating, according to the Los Angeles Times. Chief executive officer Marissa Mayer recently announced her intention to double maternity leave and extend paternity leave to eight weeks, making it easier for parents to transition back into the workplace.

“We’ve been very focused on making Yahoo the absolute best place to work,” the company said in a statement.

Many companies prefer that their workers be physically present in the office as often as possible, but sometimes exceptions must be made. In these cases, companies must do what they can to manage space and track assets properly to ensure that offices are managed efficiently.


Elizabeth Dukes

Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

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