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Old 1st March 2013, 23:56   #31
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

^^am sure there are enough slackers in the west as well.

This post could be much better appreciated if instead of using "we", you had used 'I' or 'most people'; 'we' immediately taints us readers as slackers even though that is probably not your intention.
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Old 2nd March 2013, 06:17   #32
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Originally Posted by hrman View Post
f a lot of female IT workers who are in the family way.
Doctor advises bed rest for 8 months. Employee opts for work from home. Is not accessible for most part of the day.(genuine reasons like doctor visit, resting, managing the house etc.)
After delivery, take three months of paid maternity leave. Add one month to exhaust your PL balance, add two months of leave without pay ("I will surely come to work after two months" is the common dialogue) and then submit your resignation.
So what do we have? An employee who has not been 100% productive for 14 months, your project schedule and delivery goes off track, you cannot appoint an additional headcount in this period. from a business perspective, I still believe in the old school of thought of "Meeting people and coming down to work makes you more productive".
I totally agree.
WFH like politics in some sense is a refuge for 'scoundrels' or in this case, 'base level slackers'.
I don't believe in it at all.
Its a load of effluvium...

Whatever personal work one has, one needs to have the decency to do in ones own time, unless of course one has taken permission or mentioned the fact to ones colleagues or reporting manager. Indian scenario is rife with misuse of privileges and the abuse of trust.

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Old 2nd March 2013, 07:29   #33
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

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Originally Posted by hrman View Post
...
There goes the popular refuge of a lot of female IT workers who are in the family way.

...So what do we have? An employee who has not been 100% productive for 14 months, your project schedule and delivery goes off track, you cannot appoint an additional headcount in this period. Boy, the sad tale of many PMs today.
...
PS: I am from HR, so my views may be paradoxical. But from a business perspective, I still believe in the old school of thought of "Meeting people and coming down to work makes you more productive".
hrman, this is a system-issue and not WFH issue. I know there would be some complications with HR-policies, but what stops the organizations to have a policy that protects them from such exploitation of the WFH and sick-leave-policy? If a person opts for leaves, isn't there a implied intent that he/she wants to continue with the organization? If there is a resignation after a long period of leave, the compensation paid (for the long-leave period) should be recovered at least partially at the time of settlement. Might be borderline illegal, but what options do we have when dealing with the borderline (& sometimes outright) unethical?

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
I totally agree.
WFH like politics in some sense is a refuge for 'scoundrels' or in this case, 'base level slackers'.
I don't believe in it at all.
Its a load of effluvium...

Whatever personal work one has, one needs to have the decency to do in ones own time, unless of course one has taken permission or mentioned the fact to ones colleagues or reporting manager. Indian scenario is rife with misuse of privileges and the abuse of trust.
Shankar, you no longer surprise me with your extreme views.
Beg to differ. People using the WFH to evade work is not a problem with WFH, but with the organization and its managers who can not define specifically what results are expected, in what time-frame and how would the results be measured.

If the manager does not hold the employee accountable for delivering adequate quantity of work with proper quality, then how is it the WFH policy's fault?

Disclaimer: I do not use WFH option more than once or twice in a couple of months. If there is a personal commitment for an hour or so in the middle of the day, I prefer opting for leave and removing all doubts about whether I am working or not on that day.

Last edited by SDP : 2nd March 2013 at 07:38.
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Old 2nd March 2013, 07:33   #34
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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
hrman, this is a system-issue and not WFH issue. I know there would be some complications with HR-policies, but what stops the organizations to have a policy that protects them from such exploitation of the WFH and sick-leave-policy? If a person opts for leaves, isn't there a implied intent that he/she wants to continue with the organization? If there is a resignation after a long period of leave, the compensation paid should be recovered at least partially at the time of settlement. Might be borderline illegal, but what options do we have when dealing with the borderline (& sometimes outright) unethical?

Shankar, you no longer surprise me with your extreme views.
Beg to differ. People using the WFH to evade work is not a problem with WFH, but with the organization and its managers who can not define specifically what results are expected, in what time-frame and how would the results be measured.

If the manager does not hold the employee accountable for delivering adequate quantity of work with proper quality, then how is it the WFH policy's fault?
Yes SDP I am a person of strong and extreme views, within reason though. I see no reason to be either hypocritical or mealy mouthed or apologetic about this.
But yes it is true that not all WFH cases are false. But many certainly are!

Abuse of trust is a common thing with us in this country. We love 'putting one over' the other chap. Cant help that, its deeply ingrained in the basic nature...
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Old 2nd March 2013, 07:55   #35
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

^^ That's precisely what I am saying. Its a culture and systemic issue and not problem with the WFH policy. We should sort the root-causes rather than banning WFH.

Most of us have global teams. I have had people working for my group from China. The only "local" manager there is the HR guy. If the China guy chooses to come to work and surf internet whole day, the HR-guy would still count him as working. How is this situation different that we allowing a person from our team to work from home? Its about having measurable goals and holding people accountable. If that exists, location of work does not matter (barring the lost opportunity of collaboration).

Last edited by SDP : 2nd March 2013 at 07:57.
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Old 2nd March 2013, 12:30   #36
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
I totally agree.
WFH like politics in some sense is a refuge for 'scoundrels' or in this case, 'base level slackers'.
Whatever personal work one has, one needs to have the decency to do in ones own time, unless of course one has taken permission or mentioned the fact to ones colleagues or reporting manager. Indian scenario is rife with misuse of privileges and the abuse of trust.
I agree totally. It is to do with the mentality of people and the intent to misuse a benefit. And it is these many people who spoil it for the rest of the crowd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDP View Post
hrman, this is a system-issue and not WFH issue. I know there would be some complications with HR-policies, but what stops the organizations to have a policy that protects them from such exploitation of the WFH and sick-leave-policy?
I agree here as well. It is a system issue. But I dont think we should be shielding the people who form part of this very system and make it what it is.

My example of the ladies is based on years of observation and numerous examples. Of course this is just one of the very popular WFH misuse cases. But I feel so sorry for my organisation when people exploit these benefits.

Just the other day, I was taking a flight to Hyderabad and hear a lady coolly chatting with someone on the phone telling how she took innumerable work from home days, PL, ML, claimed maternity insurance and eventually did not report back to work and resigned. There was so much joy and a sense of victory in her voice that I pitied the poor organisation which had to suffer this lady. Its sad that some of these bad eggs spoil it for all.

Protection from misuse can be done by control or withdrawal. Yahoo has taken the second option.
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Old 2nd March 2013, 22:01   #37
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

I feel itís wrong to assume that Ďwork-from-homeí days are coming to an end due to one organizationís policy change. Just because Yahoo has done this, itís not necessary that others will follow.

Our organization have given us the option to be an official WFH employee, which means that the organization will pay you for setting up the home-office, and also the bills for your home telephone/broadband connection will be taken care under the scheme. By opting into this scheme, the employee has to give up his/her space in the office, and has to do hot-desk when s/he has to visit the office occasionally. The key reason for providing with this option is the real-estate cost in prime office locations across the world. If around 100 employees opt for such a scheme, the organization can easily cut the rental on one full office floor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hrman View Post
I'm sure I am going to be flamed for making this statement, but I fully agree with the Yahoo CEO's directive. Its about time, people take their job seriously and come to work like everyone else. Here's a typical scenario, why I think WFH is not a good thing.
There goes the popular refuge of a lot of female IT workers who are in the family way.
Doctor advises bed rest for 8 months. Employee opts for work from home. Is not accessible for most part of the day.(genuine reasons like doctor visit, resting, managing the house etc.)
Ö
Ö
I personally agree on your thoughts on work-from-home. I never liked it, more because I prefer to keep the joy and turbulence of work to be confined in the office space, and keep the time at home strictly for family. There maybe exceptions when I have to get into a conversation with some folks from the other side of the globe, but those remain as exceptions, and not a norm.

That said, I strongly disagree with your statement on female employees. I have quite a few female colleagues who are on regular WFH scheme, and I find them equally (or more) efficient some of the other colleagues who spend extended hours in office. I must add that I donít know about the situation in India, and you may have a case with the situation in your organization, but surely not something which can be generalized.

Itís actually a bit of discriminating statement, especially from a HR man

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Is the ban applicable only to Indian employees?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
Ahhhh !! Finally the axe is coming to India !
Is there any reference that this change is India-specific? I thought this is applicable for Yahoo employees globally.
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Old 2nd March 2013, 22:23   #38
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

More than employees, I think a typical Indian manager is not well equipped to handle a resource working remotely either. Specially the ones who have "risen from the ranks" of a software programmer to manager. There may be some who do actually have the ability to be a good manager but most of them out there are very hands on kinds of managers who get very uncomfortable at the concept of having a resource who is working from home and not completely under their dominion. And the HR department is also ineffective to do anything about such situations.

If WFH is not working for a team, then its the manager who is equally to blame too.
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Old 3rd March 2013, 06:14   #39
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
I feel itís wrong to assume that Ďwork-from-homeí days are coming to an end due to one organizationís policy change.
That said, I strongly disagree with your statement on female employees. I have quite a few female colleagues who are on regular WFH scheme, and I find them equally (or more) efficient some of the other colleagues who spend extended hours in office. I must add that I donít know about the situation in India, and you may have a case with the situation in your organization, but surely not something which can be generalized.
Itís actually a bit of discriminating statement, especially from a HR man
Haha. I know its discriminating, hence making it on a forum where no one knows me personally.

But on a serious note, I agree with your view points on India and the out of India scenario. My sister was based in HK for 3 years and she was upbeat about the professional nature of the co-workers there. Similar experiences of Singapore and Shanghai. So I can see your viewpoint that in Singapore, this policy is being followed in principle and spirit.
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Old 3rd March 2013, 07:32   #40
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My organisation allows wfh once a week but the manager needs to approve it. However, it was misused heavily. Some people became invisible, especially those who worked in a location where the particular group had very little presence. The business group decided that key folks must be located in specific locations.

In some cases, the wfh was so badly misused that the some groups have officially banned wfh. We cannot take away wfh since a lot of people handle conference calls at night. We do give a lot of flexibility though in terms of time. At the end of the day, the manager is the decider and is accountable for the persons performance.

Personally, I have every chance to misuse since my boss and most of my group are in the US, I prefer to go into office to be seen and to network. WFH only happens if I have meetings in town or an emergency.
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Old 15th May 2017, 10:13   #41
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My 5th year 'work from home' now. A few tips to keep productivity high -

- Wake up at the usual 'office' time.
- Stick to your morning routine (shave, bath, breakfast etc) timings.
- Do not work in pajamas. Wear comfortable casuals.
- Invest in a nice comfortable office chair for your home. Do not buy online, go to a shop and check it out yourself.
- If you have a habit of drinking coffee/tea at 11:00 AM or 4 PM, do the same at home too. Else, you will get a headache.
- Opt for a reliable internet service provider. Another backup ISP should also be there. Your phone 4G connection can also be used for internet access.
- Avoid taking naps in the afternoon - unless you take a nap at office desk too when nobody is looking
- Walk around a bit at home every hour or so.
- (Optional)If you have a toddler at home, close the door to your room. Don't let the little critter into your home office.
- If it turns out to be a full time work from home affair, 'manage' the usage of your cars. You might need to shift from 'service every 10,000 kms' routine to 'service every 12 months'. On weekends, make sure you go on a drive.
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Old 15th May 2017, 11:03   #42
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Default Re: Chai, Coffee & Chat

From the past 15 Years, All my organizations allowed me worked from home, more so due to the role and not due to company policies.

Last 7 months since November, I may have worked from home at least 80% of the days.

And I so agree with what Smartcat says and all his points to keep the productivity high.

Waking up a the right time and starting your work - This is so important else you will never get the feeling of starting to work let alone work. As I type this, Its been more than 2.5 hours since I have been working from home, my usual time to be in office is 0730am and I have completed most of my work by now .

Settling down in Pajamas or casual wear and then working - So true again as I feel this is too comfortable and anything too comfortable means the laziness takes precedence over interest levels to work. I prefer a shower followed by dressing up right (say a pair of Jeans and a T Shirt) and then start working.

The right location to work from home while at home - Obviously, this cannot be from your bed. I prefer either my working desk or the dining table. This is more so because working from anywhere else will affect the body posture and you might end up getting typical RSI related pains ( I was a patient of this in 2006-07 and today I know it can never happen to me due to my posture and few exercises) I undertake whenever I get the slightest hint.

I feel bad when kids are at home and I am working from home and they seek attention and I cannot give it to them. So best is to drive to work or like Smartcat says - Close the doors and continue working.

More often than not, while at home, you might miss those small breaks as you get involved with work. They are necessary. So please take them and more importantly, keep water bottle accessible to you - Drink enough water and keep the body hydrated - Helps to beat the summer woes and as well gives reason to get up and answer that call and stretch your legs for those 3 minutes.

Another thing that I often follow - When I know how my day is going to be like with work, if I am overloaded, I prefer driving to work than staying home. At home, you wont be able to give even a minute's time for your kid and in such cases, it is better to work from office then feel sorry that you were not able to attend your kid.

Lastly, when you don't actually work "from" home but you work "for" home no matter how much you want to deny. Objective is that you kill 2 birds with a shot
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Old 15th May 2017, 14:12   #43
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

Nice tips, smartcat. Because my rols has often involved managing remote teams and no restrictions like work from client-defined ODC or requiring specific system access, I have done a fair bit of it over the years.

In my case, I find that productivity is actually HIGHER when WFH happens. For one, there are no distractions like coffee breaks, gossiping colleagues, incessant calls on the extension etc. But more importantly, there is a bit of guilt factor involved that makes you overcompensate!

Kids are definitely a big factor, however. Unless you have somebody to manage them full-time, I would not recommend trying to work while having to keep an eye on a restless toddler!
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Old 15th May 2017, 14:17   #44
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

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Originally Posted by Shiv_1984 View Post
The yahoo decision is applicable only for their Asia Pacific operations, the reason being Less productivity and detoriating Quality of deliverables.
Source : An ex-colleague
I've worked from home for 3 different MNCs, with colleagues in multiple countries, since 2002, just saying.

No, the quality of your work just isn't affected as much as it is by arriving tired in an office after a 2 hour commute and then distracted by your colleagues chattering loudly amongst themselves, keyboard clicking noises, calls taken from their desks etc.

Your choice whether a well optimized work environment at your home (where you're available at odd hours without any issues) is less or more damaging to productivity than an open plan cube farm.

As for yahoo, they imploded in India because of hiring and promoting incompetent middle managers (drawn from the local software companies, not too aware of yahoo's culture - or what was yahoo's culture back in its glory days) so that its best talent quit in a steady stream. They imploded stateside because of a variety of reasons. Becoming "process driven" now isn't going to turn them into a brand new innovator.
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Old 15th May 2017, 15:29   #45
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

The sheer time wasted in getting ready for work and in commuting to work in traffic makes me wonder the very need for a concept called "office". Professionals are paid to deliver and I personally feel that the company/organization doesn't trust the professional well enough if it doesn't provide WFH option. Yes, there are situations where WFH isn't possible, such as secured work environment, client meetings, etc. and its better to be present in person during these circumstances. Following are the benefits that i see:
- Reduced time spent for commuting and hence reduced stress
- More personal time, post work hours, and hence better employee morale
- Employee will be less inclined to take the day off even if sick.

Having said that, there are bad apples everywhere but they will be found out eventually. The best way for companies to manage misuse is during appraisal, instead of banning the policy.

I personally have set up an office like environment at home as both my wife and I work from home. This ensures we have access to high-speed internet, power backup, and less distractions. A good place to start would be to invest in a good quality chair and a desk.

Last edited by ReluctantRebel : 15th May 2017 at 15:30. Reason: Grammatical errors have been edited
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