I was at lunch today with a friend when I noticed on the TV that yet another company, this time Best Buy,was canceling its work flexibility rules. last week it was Yahoo. In other words the people who were working at home are being asked to come back to the office to do their jobs. I remember just a couple years ago that flexible work options like working at home were the latest in employee accommodations. The employee gets flexibility with his or her work, gets to spend time at home, and the employer saves on things like heating the office. The idea was to make a more flexible, more global, more relaxed workforce. In fact, in most cases the opposite occurred.
We have lots of people sitting at home staring at the wall during teleconferences walking and caring less and less each day about their mutual tasks. i see it every day… It's not that people don't care, it is that the lack of socialization and the lack of face-to-face interaction Subtly undermine your emotional attachment to your work. Don't get me wrong, I and many of my colleagues love what we do. It's just a lack of flesh and blood interaction takes its toll. There's a great study cited n Jonah Lehrer's book Imagination that correlates the likely importance of a technical paper to the distance between the primary authors. The study shows that collaborators that are in close physical proximity are far far more likely to write an important paper than people collaborating at a distance.
Even before this new back to work craze I found myself missing real interaction. I've been working at home for almost a year now. I go into work perhaps once every two weeks… But I had independently decided to start driving in more and more often. I've been doing that the last couple of weeks and while I do waste time on the drive in and back, If you hallway and her actions that I have now more than make up for lack of access to the fridge. Not only that but I'm less likely to wear the same clothes I ran in for three days running as i sometimes find myself doing here at home.
I wonder if that's too much information… I'm sure my readers will let me know
Night all, night sam