Don’t kiss the office good-bye yet

 

Workplace flexibility? Good.

Workplaces with rows of empty spaces? Not so good.

At a time when American business needs to become more innovative and productive, the issue of working remotely versus working in the office is grabbing more attention.

It had to happen. As the ability to work over the Internet made it easier to justify staying home, more and more businesses and employees jumped on the bandwagon. But like any trend, it can be taken too far.

This week, the Internet pioneer Yahoo! abolished its work-at-home policy and ordered everyone back to the office. Old-school boss? Hardly. Chief executive Marissa Mayer came from Google, a company in the vanguard of the hip workplace culture.

But after arriving at Yahoo! she noticed too many empty spaces in the parking lot, too little human interaction in the office, too little (or no) camaraderie among co-workers.

Modern business requires higher productivity, and some studies show working from home increases this critical factor. But it also requires innovation, and that requires interaction, according to some workplace experts.

When too many opt to stay home instead of schlepping into the office, something vital is lost. You can’t create or sustain a unique company culture by e-mail.

Does this mean the utopian ideal of having everyone work from a place of their own choosing is dead? Not completely.

Some workers may need to work at home from time to time. Workers with medical or physical infirmities should get understanding and dispensation, as well.

Flexibility is better for some companies than for others, depending on the type of business. But don’t kiss the traditional office good-bye yet. Besides, what you save on wardrobe by working from home you lose by not getting all that juicy gossip around the water cooler.

Read more Editorials stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) goes up to shoot against Philadelphia 76ers' Evan Turner (12) and Spencer Hawes (00) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Jan. 17, 2014, in Philadelphia.

    Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

    The Heat unites us

    OUR OPINION: Team will take us all along in its quest for a third NBA championship

  •  
Everglades National Park retiring superintendent Dan Kimball watching over the park last month.

    Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

    Two wins for the Everglades

    OUR OPINION: Protecting region’s clean water supply remains a challenge

  • Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

    Let the state choose textbooks

    OUR OPINION: Allowing districts to select them is a plan for inconsistency, ideological battles

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category