Working at home makes sense on snow days

There has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth over the decision by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer that she wants Yahoo employers to work from the office instead of telecommuting from home. She wants communication and collaboration to be at the maximum, and feels that comes with being in the same building with co-workers.

It’s her company, and her decision. Best Buy is also telling its employees to come to work as it struggles to adapt to the changing retail vs. e-tail atmosphere.

We can see the advantages, at times, to having employees working on site, rather than at home. But there are times when telecommuting makes sense, too.

Minnesotans who commute long distances and spend a lot of time in their cars know what it’s like trying to get to work in a snowstorm. When snow and ice turn 20-minute commutes into an hour or more, and a dangerous hour at that, telecommuting becomes a godsend. What company wouldn’t be better served by workers who can walk to work in their bedroom slippers and fire up the computer at home rather than shoveling their way out of their driveway and hoping they can make it work without getting stuck. We’d think a lot more work could get done that way.

Telecommuting is changing the way we work, and will become more prevalent in the future, we believe. These highly publicized setbacks at Yahoo and Best Buy won’t stop that future from coming.

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