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Old 26th February 2013, 19:19   #16
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

After doing WFH one-day-a-week for a few years now, starting 2013 I decided to quit WFH. Reason was it was way stressful to work from home (compared to working from office). While no one really monitors you in our orgn, you feel responsible to be available immediately when either your peers or your team or your managers contact you. This pressure is not there when you are at office. Your manager might have pinged you over IM or phone, but you could have missed it due to a 30-min tea-break. Yet you return and check with your manager what it was about without any worries. But if there is even a few mins delay in responding to their IM while on WFH, it might give an impression that you are not "at work" during WFH. Too bloody stressful and I decided to end it. Now I am definitely more relaxed.
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Old 26th February 2013, 19:21   #17
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

I am all for working from home and I believe that companies who are not allowing WFH will have have to allow it in the future. With increasing fuel cost, commuting to office will eat into a major chunk of our salaries and so will for the companies who provide transport. Increasing traffic congestion tires the employee even before he walks into office. The companies could save quite a bit in real estate costs by allowing employees to WFH.

I also agree that many end up abusing WFH option , however with the right tracking of hours spent on work like claiming time on work executed, accountability can be brought into the process.
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Old 26th February 2013, 20:01   #18
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
. Too bloody stressful and I decided to end it. Now I am definitely more relaxed.

Exactly my situation. I too end up doing over work whenever I am wfh. Day starts at 8am and ends at 7pm. No tea breaks, most of the time lunch break is also in front of the laptop. Add to it the pressure of responding to mails and IM chats in least amount of time.

However, I still prefer to work from home whenever there is lot of work I need to do that require high level of concentration.

And yes, I do end up working from home on days when I have to collect high value courier or LPG refill.

If my company implements it, I guess I will just have to take a day of every once in a while

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Old 26th February 2013, 20:27   #19
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

With so many naysayers attributing the ineffectiveness of WFH policy to factors as diverse as 'Indian' companies to individual's integrity to infrastructure support (ISPs) to nature of deliverables, I sure am in minority.

Having been a successful remote worker since last 3.5+ years and barring last 6-odd months when my office shifted closer to my home - 12 kms one-way as against 43 kms one-way till 6 months ago - I think I have a little authority to comment on the subject.

There are a few factors according to my limited understanding which make WFH successful for an individual:
1) One needs to understand that WFH is a privilege and not a right. Like any other obligation, an individual needs to deserve before desiring.
2) Employers willing to extend this privilege more often than not figure on 'best places to work' list.
3) Work culture at such organizations is very open and transparent and the organization structure is typically flatter.
4) Organization's leadership genuinely treats every single employee as a family member and not merely pays lip service. And yes, I am talking about organizations which are HUGE.
5) From the perspective of an employee WFH regulary, s/he needs to put in additional efforts to take care of perception of 'working for home' than 'working from home'.

There are a few who are fortunate to be provided with such organizational factors and that they are also able to successfully manage the above mentioned pre-requisites. Those who get an opportunity, and are able to utilize it judiciously, end up saving commute time and cost

BTW, being a remote worker, I need to take care of usual infra challenges - other than UPS, have a generator for power back-up. In order to take care of connectivity issues, other than broadband connection, there is official email on smartphone - both courtesy employer. However, as a contingency, I have a dongle and a 3G connection with official email enabled on tab. You see, leaving nothing to chance

Oh yes, I do utilize a lot of my time-offs :P

Last edited by AlokSriva : 26th February 2013 at 20:35. Reason: typo corrected
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Old 26th February 2013, 21:49   #20
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

Like most things in life, WFH has its positives and negatives. Equally from the employers POV and the employees point of view.

It should be a benefit earnt by performance
It is not for everyone
it is not for all kinds of jobs

It will work
if the employee

is dedicated and can focus.
has a silent litle place in his house where he can shut off all 'disturbances'.
makes sure he keeps deadlines ( well only those that do that should get privilages)
is also capable or in a position to shut off office on his non-working hours.

from the employers POV,

will work only,

If they are focused and can allot resonanable workload/hr and have clear schedules and deadlines
A personal meet at the office atleast once in 3/6 days- atleast for a few hours
the boss can keep away from downloading whatever pressure his boss downloaded on him.

There are companies that have some application or the other that lets one logs into and it keeps track of the hours one 'spends' at the job. It would also directly affect the employees performance.

It can be one of the most productive ways to work if one likes to work without disturbance or the worst otherwise. its not for people who love to work underpressure with the boss breathing down ones neck.

Since T-bhpers would love to drive ( even in traffic) it maynot go well with a lot of them
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Old 26th February 2013, 21:56   #21
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

I wonder why there's so much brouhaha over WFH just because Yahoo has taken an internal decision? For all that we know, it could be their own internal policy decision.

When AT&T took over the company I work for around 4 years ago, they too strictly said 'no wfh'. As a result, many valuable employees in the US, including VP level, left the company, causing a reversal in the decision in a few months. It was clearly a case of a telecom company not understanding the singular needs of an IT company. They finally left it to the discretion of the supervisor.

We have a team member working from her Calcutta home for the past 4 years. She had to move there after getting married. I too have the discretion of WFH as many days as I want. But sheer boredom makes me avail of the facility only once a week, and sometimes twice.

This apart, folks at home refuse to believe I'm working and think I'm just browsing. Unfortunately their concept of work involves talking on the phone or doing some physical work, and not chatting over messenger with colleagues and getting status updates.

The huge positives I see from wfh are:-
  1. Saving commute time, which in my case is 75 minutes a day. This is in addition to the 200 odd bucks petrol charges per day.
  2. Doing small chores , that don't take more than an hour or two, and don't need to waste an entire Casual leave for that.
  3. Working in split shifts at times, when work needs to start in the morning when team members log in, and one needs to attend late evening calls for getting clarifications. Yes, in such cases, I invariably see a movie in IMAX in the recess time.
  4. Of immense help during bandhs, bomb blasts, etc. I live close to the Governor's house, so the main road gets sealed at the drop of a hat.
  5. Catching up with 5th gear episodes.
  6. Avoiding wrapping up early when leaving on vacation. I can instead wrap up after 5 pm and still have time to catch the evening train or flight.
The negatives I can foresee are below:-
  1. Lack of concentration/ accountability, if one lacks sincerity.
  2. Too many distractions (like those 40 winks after lunch).
  3. Slow progress of work that involves team work.
  4. Not sure if I am disturbing someone when he is real busy. Also don't get to see when I can take up an urgent matter with him, though it is not in his area of work.
  5. Power outages. But I have adequate backups---apart from Beam Cable, I have a tata photon prepaid connection. I also have a power charger in my car for charging my laptop, in case of extended power cuts.

Last edited by vnabhi : 26th February 2013 at 21:57.
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Old 26th February 2013, 22:07   #22
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

My friend's wife has been working from home for the past 4 years. She's not very happy with the arrangement now, mainly due to the following reasons:

1. Managing work and managing home at the same time (they have 2 small kids)

2. Some people find it convenient to dump work on her because she's working from home and others think she's having it easy

3. Withholding promotions although her performance ratings have been excellent in the past 4 years - out of sight is out of mind?
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Old 26th February 2013, 22:29   #23
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

I have tried WFH several times on and off. Works some days, but some days are real bad - over work.

The "biggest" challenge i face at home is when wifey thinks WFH means " Work For Home" - trouble !
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:09   #24
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

Our great indian family members feel that WFH is more of a chutti (holiday). With kids crying in the backgroud, door bell ringing, pressure cooker, washing machine running, its get difficult to concentrate.

Also, What no one has pointed out is that you cannot work all day sitting on a couch / bed. Thats what attracts laziness like a fly on jaggery. Oh so you have a computer table and chair at home? I doubt only a fraction of people would invest in good quality chair just for WFH. Things would change if its a home office setup.

Its quite in office, help is just a shout away, no distractions (depends on the diversity) so i will opt for WFO than WFH.
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:18   #25
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

I used to work from home 2 to 3 days a week when I was in Bangalore. Never faced any issues. In fact, I was able to get more work done in lesser amount of time whenever i worked from home.

Biggest positive aspect was that I saved time on commute. That meant i could do my work with more energy and focus.

During breaks, I could do whatever I found most relaxing. For example, play with my daughter!

Another big advantage was that I could continue to work when attending boring pointless meetings!!

But all said and done, it worked only because my manager was able to evaluate my contributions irrespective of where i worked from, and also the fact that I was managing a small close knit team that had been working together for a long time.
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Old 27th February 2013, 08:48   #26
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

Work from home was allowed in my previous organisation.

I used to work from home, whenever I didn't feel like driving to work or had some work going at my home say plumber work or carpenter etc.

I used to work from home 1 or 2 days in a month. My manager was OK with this.

WFH for prolonged periods in INDIA is perceived as NON PERFORMING ASSET.

In the US, where my organisation didn't have a office, folks work from home 365 days a year.

In the end it all depends on your manager and how he/she perceives WFH.

Coming to the ban by Yahoo on WFH, I consider it a rather un-necessary stringent action. Live and Let Live should be the policy if it doesn't affect the business seriously.

Last edited by F150 : 27th February 2013 at 08:51.
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:41   #27
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

I get a very flexible WFH from my organization.

I can choose whenever and wherever... However, from my own experience, if I know I am going to have calls etc. all day long, I'd rather choose to go to office, given the level of infrastructure available, than struggle from home. However, when I have a more isolated schedule, WFH works well. There is also the aspect of meeting people face to face in your organization. It helps you network more easily. Then there is the angle of WFH not lending itself well to all roles. It works very well for Individual Contributor roles, Sales professionals, some management-types etc.
I have WFH-ed from Goa, Kolkata, Shimla, Corbett, Isle of Skye, Galway, so why not!

The other aspect to look at is the Cost-Benefit from an organizational perspective, from a well-judged and implemented WFH policy. The infrastructure & logistics related costs come down substantially, and in our organization, we are beginning to combine WFH with a Flexi-Desk policy to actually house more people in the building, that what it is designed to seat! In this age of geographically distributed teams, the physical location of an individual in a certain building really offers no added advantage, provided that the individual can be reached at the drop of a hat.

Personally speaking, I wouldn't be overly concerned even if companies were to withdraw this facility at a policy level.
However, coming to this recent decision of Yahoo - If not anything else, it points to a lack of real ideas from the management of that organization.
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Old 28th February 2013, 06:03   #28
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

Check out this thread from Quora - http://www.quora.com/Yahoo/What-has-...rid=or&share=1

Tough times need tough measures.
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Old 28th February 2013, 08:32   #29
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

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.)
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. Boy, the sad tale of many PMs today.

Please don't get me wrong. I am not discounting the effort and pains a lady goes through to manage a baby and I know its no joke. I just don't like the way many people misuse the system. So for me, its good news that WFH is on its way out.

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".

Last edited by hrman : 28th February 2013 at 08:34.
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Old 28th February 2013, 12:28   #30
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Default Re: "Work-From-Home" days coming to an end?

^^I totally agree with this above viewpoint.

I am not being judgemental and generic, but I think a lot of us INDIANS have misused the privileges that were extended to us by the MNCs trying to imbibe a practice they are all used to in the West. We enjoyed it at first, did our best, and then the laziness factor crept in by mastering the art of taking the system for a ride.

I speak from experience, because there have been days when I have been a lot more productive (work-wise) during WFH days simply because I do not have to drag myself to useless meetings and office gossips, and rather focus on getting the THING DONE.

We were just about 250 employees back then - long serving, committed and fun@work. After a ramp-up increasing the count to 1500 came a lot of punters who had mastered the art of WFH from MNCs and took the system for a rollercoaster ride until one fine day the HR just changes the poilcy itself! Fair Decision. We "asked" for it.

Not just WFH but talk about the manipulation by employees that goes into other benefits too - like employee re-imbursements and flexible benefit plans and HRA claims. The list is endless. Everyone's trying make hay while the SUN shines, and one fine day we just wake up to find the sun...GONE!

And then we protest and crib saying it's not fair? Yeah right.

Who loses? -- The ones who really "may" have a need to WFH!!!

The WFH benefit suits conditions in the West when a heavy snow blizzard may make the travel to the office hazardous. But, I doubt even those days are going to last for long because I can just think of 10 people (Indian) I know who exploit this benefit to save on the fuel expense. BIZZAAARRRE.

Last edited by mempheS.D : 28th February 2013 at 12:30.
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