With the recent media attention on Yahoo’s announcement that it is banning its staff from “remote” working, we thought it might be useful to look at the case for and against Technical Authors working from home.
The case for allowing remote working
- They can do their jobs more productively without interruption from others. When Technical Authors are writing (which is approximately 50% of their time), it can often help their concentration if they can work in a distraction-free environment.
- There’s less need for office space and related costs (telephones, desktop computers etc).
- Staff may be less stressed. Brad Harrington, executive director of the Boston College Center for Work & Family, claims people who work from home tend to have less stress and are more productive, partly because they don’t invest time and money in commuting, and they can have a better work/life balance.
- You may get more flexibility over staff availability. Without the need to commute, staff may be more willing to work out-of-hours.
- You have a wider pool of people interested in your vacancies if you can offer some flexibility in working hours and location.
The case against allowing remote working
- You’re more likely to build up a company culture if everyone is working in the same space together. This is particularly important for start-up businesses.
- It’s easier to network with others. These contacts could boost your careers in the future.
- It’s easier to monitor the work staff are carrying out.
- It’s can be faster to make decisions (as you can carry out impromptu meetings).
- According to Marissa Meyer, face-to-face meetings boost the quality of decisions and business ideas:
“Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings.”
Being a Technical Author is one of those roles where remote working can work well. However, it’s best to be able to have both options available – to have people who can come into the office within a short space of time, should there be an emergency. There’s a great deal of value in meeting people face-to-face, and to be part of a company culture (especially within startups), but it can help enormously if you can write in a distraction-free environment.
If you do work from home, you need to have a productive working environment, and be able to be self-disciplined.
What’s your opinion?
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See also: Cherryleaf recruiting services