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Productivity and Accountability


Productivity and Accountability

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Productivity and Accountability

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I think there's another possible reason to not want to work from home. Speaking personally, I like to keep home and work in their own separate compartments--I'll work from home if I absolutely have to, but I really don't like doing it. If I had a large enough house to set up a room specifically for home working then it might be different, but since I don't, I keep them apart.
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Remote working doesn't work for me at the moment.

I don't have an office at home where I can lock my self away, with my wife working part time and kids coming home from school before my end of day it can be difficult for me to work - that might just be me though.
Most people walk up to my desk when they need something, rather than phone me - they don't try my mobile phone if I'm not at my desk - so it has happened that problems have gone on for longer than needed. Even if I put a note on Lync, in Outlook etc saying I'm working from home with my mobile number - I get missed calls on my desk phone. So maybe the users need educating on how to contact me - my fault in some respects.

On the plus side though the end users don't notice a bit where you are working - they are just as happy when you've finished the work no matter where you are.

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The best thing I found about working from home was the lack of a need to look busy. As someone who prefers to start really early I am continually told I need to work as hard as a peer who usually does no more work than me but rolls in late(r) but is there in the office late. It is a perception that I have had to fight hard over the years.

The real question is productivity. This can be measured but can only be attained by a mature team (ability - not age).

It makes perfect sense to regularly have face-to-face meetings (regularly being defined by what is required as opposed to some artificial timespan).

Also, if there is a requirement to support someone which requires physical co-location then this is a requirement for as long as it is required not as long as it is convenient nor as long as it is wanted to be enforced. An example is for new team members joining. The length of time for one or more existing members of the team will vary with the experience of the new team member, their character, what they have been tasked to do and the various attributes of the peers that they need to work with.

Basically, I think that the Yahoo management and some of their existing employees are acting immaturely.

Boo hoo :-P

Gaz

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So, is Yahoo going to drop offshore resources? Or do they have a facility in Bangalore where they can gather their employees?
GA Programmer
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I find it interesting that this seems to be a very personal issue for some, especially those who already telecommute. I have done both and find the physical separation of work and home to be theraputic, but then again, that is personal to me.
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Yahoo's decision to end telecommuting is another fail on their part not on their employee's.

I worked for a global technology company where teams made up from people on several continents collaborated remotely to implement solutions all over the world. It was very rare for us to travel and get any face time. I think it happened once every 3 years or so. Some of these implementations were very high visibility in the $40+ million range.

The company has accountability policies that helped these teams work successfully. The teams did weekly status updates to track progress, mitigate issues, and define action items for the next week. Management would meet with team leaders monthly to track progress, make decisions, and set or change priorities.

This system worked equally well for teams that were together in one location working on local projects as it did for the global teams.

I think the last thought in your article says it all: "... ultimately employee success comes down to each person being held accountable for their work."

If a company (Yahoo) fails to do this for telecommuters then they probably won't do it very well for people in the office either. Conversely, if they already did this well for teams in the office then there probably wouldn't be a telecommuting issue in the first place.
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Accountability is a huge factor in being granted the privilege. And except for outsourcing, it IS a privilege.

Having the ability also makes it possible for some of to continue working when others cannot even get to the office. In the IT world that can be a critical factor.

There is definitely a need for separation, however. If your work environment is not the best but, at least for the time being, it is what you have to do then there is nothing worse than living with that environment 24 hours per day. I did that while working in an office and it nearly cost me something very dear. Granted, it was a toxic environment in the first place and I am glad it is behind me but I head to learn to leave work at the office door. Once I did that, plus the drive home for decompression time, it was easier to compartmentalize those things and leave them at work...for tomorrow they will still be there. If you can effectively do that in the hallway between your home office and the kitchen, more power to you. If not, working from home may not be the best option for you.

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My wife is an RN who works 7pm - 7am three days a week so she is home usually during the day and the kids get home at 2:30 from school. Just try to get work done with people around making noise, etc that has nothing to do with work. Being able to work remotely when I have to is great but I'd never want to do that every day. For me getting out of the house mon-fri at a minimum is a good thing.

Cheers
nelsonj-902869
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Dave62 (3/7/2013)
Yahoo's decision to end telecommuting is another fail on their part not on their employee's.

I worked for a global technology company where teams made up from people on several continents collaborated remotely to implement solutions all over the world. It was very rare for us to travel and get any face time. I think it happened once every 3 years or so. Some of these implementations were very high visibility in the $40+ million range.

The company has accountability policies that helped these teams work successfully. The teams did weekly status updates to track progress, mitigate issues, and define action items for the next week. Management would meet with team leaders monthly to track progress, make decisions, and set or change priorities.

This system worked equally well for teams that were together in one location working on local projects as it did for the global teams.

I think the last thought in your article says it all: "... ultimately employee success comes down to each person being held accountable for their work."

If a company (Yahoo) fails to do this for telecommuters then they probably won't do it very well for people in the office either. Conversely, if they already did this well for teams in the office then there probably wouldn't be a telecommuting issue in the first place.


Part of what Dave62 speaks to is correct, but part is not. It is wonderful that HIS company can do the projects that he tells us of and reading about such team work and individual cooperation in projects is something we all should try to achieve.

However, everyone needs to realize that Yahoo is not having the same type of results with their project work. Something is NOT working at Yahoo and the "new" management has decided to start over by having everyone work at the office where better results are the hopeful outcome. I'm sure that once the dust settles at Yahoo that telecommuting will be offered, but you can bet there will be different rules applied to how and when. Better to be able to work at the office then to have the company fail and everyone lose their jobs. Time will tell if the new CEO has made a blunder or the best decision at Yahoo in 5 years.
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