Does telecommuting kill creativity and teamwork?

I used to be indecisive but now I’m not so sure. For me, indecisiveness begins when I can see both sides of an issue.

Take the working from home bru-ha-ha that’s erupted since iconic tech company, Yahoo, announced ‘no more working from home’. The stated reason was that working from home is counterproductive, limits collaboration and communication and lowers quality and speed. People need the impromptu ‘water cooler meetings’ to bounce ideas off each other and spark new ideas.

This flies in the face of research showing that productivity increases for teleworkers, telecommuting is good for the environment because it saves so much petrol and carbon emissions and so on. (See pages 16 -18 of the text for more information on the benefits of woking from home.)

So which is it? Telecommuting is good? Or telecommuting is bad?

Here’s what I think. Both statements are true — in their way. Individual contributors whose roles allow it can productively work from home. Those whose work depends on working closely with others, for example creative teams, are probably better working together, at least some of the time.

Questions for discussion

What do you think? Does working from home increase productivity, or inhibit collaboration? 

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