About a week or so ago, I was so outraged by Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer’s decision to ban telecommuting for the company’s employees, beginning June 1. Basically, Meyer decided that any employees who had an arrangement to work at home, or those who sporadically used their home offices, would be forced to commute into the company’s headquarters each day, or find employment elsewhere.
As a WAHM (Work-At-Home-Mom) I of course was disgusted by this decision both from a professional and personal standpoint. How could a company, that is already trying to fight its way around competition from giants like Google and Microsoft, put such a restriction on employees, who are likely already suffering bad morale? I am sorry, but this is not the way to obtain employee buy-in or increase productivity. It also is bad from a branding standpoint…isn’t a tech company supposed to embrace changing times and the technologies that support them?
I came across one company that is definitely embracing telecommuting and the tools that support it—Citrix. In fact, the company is encouraging businesses to take action and try some of the new ways that employees are getting work done, collaborating across boundaries and being even more productive.
Per a press release issued by Citrix today, the company discusses how in an increasingly fluid economy, where mobile technologies are increasingly blending work and personal lives, organizations are facing a number of important trends impacting how we think about and manage work. PriceWaterhouseCoopers reports that by 2020, companies will increase the number of host locations by 50%, so teams are, and will continue to be, ever more dispersed across different places rather than being physically co-located. It’s also not uncommon for employees, customers and vendors to never meet in person, and there’s a greater expectation for people to remain connected and in touch while on the go.
Furthermore, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, the Fortune 100 workforce will increase in terms of the number of contingent workers utilized, from 20% in 2012 to 50% by 2020. The implication is that an increasing percentage of teams will consist of people who are not employed directly by your company and will be outside the company firewall. How do you ensure that you are providing these people with tools that enable them all to work effectively and seamlessly together, irrespective of which company is employing them or where they happen to be located?
“It’s no longer about where people are working; it’s about how effectively they’re working, both as individuals and as teams,” Brett Caine, senior vice president and general manager of Citrix’s Online Services division, said in a media statement. “The new workplace is all about collaborative workstyles, and moving the business faster. Putting easy to use tools in place that help foster relationships when people cannot meet in person, optimize the sharing of ideas and information, and ensure better productivity will be essential for success as the nature of work continues to evolve.”
Workshifting, or moving work to the most optimal place and time, represents a contemporary, people-centric, approach to work. Individuals are, and will increasingly need to be, empowered, trusted, and held accountable for prioritizing what they do and when. Companies that enable this work flexibility through more mobile workstyles are meeting modern workplace challenges head-on with tools that enable employees to deliver great results from anywhere. According to the Telework Research Report, workshifting can increase productivity, with associated cost reductions, as employees can collaborate more effectively and move business forward faster.
“Workshifting—“ that is a term I might be adding to my slew of favorite words (another blog on words I loathe will come at a later date). It just might be a word that will catch on in our industry. But one thing is for sure, it likely won’t be part of the shift that’s currently ongoing at Yahoo.