Working from Home has Hit the Headlines

It’s a modern style of working, so it’s no surprise that Working from Home has Hit the Headlines!

Working Last week the staff at Yahoo! had somewhat of a rude awakening when they arrived at work. A seemingly innocent email from the HR department caused automatic outrage amongst the employees. The fury was not contained to the personnel of the online giant, the western press also picked up on this memo and a trans-Atlantic debate exploded in the papers, on the TV and amongst online journalists. So what had caused this? Well I am not one to needlessly hold you in suspense, so here is the short and sweet answer ;The innocent email , which was ordered from Yahoo!s Chief Executive Marissa Mayer, instructed all staff that working from home was now banned. Cue foreboding music.

I appreciate that this reaction to a new HR policy may seem melodramatic, and arguably the press have over sensationalised the issue, but working from home is one of the most important movements in the modern world of work. In the UK alone, employers are increasingly offering teleworking positions, i.e. where their staff works from their own homes. In 2006 only 13% of employers offered this style of working, but in 2011 this figure rose to 59%.

So what are the benefits? If you are employer money will always be on your mind! In times of austerity, cutting costs is paramount to the continuation of your business. One of the major ways in which you can save a few pounds is by driving down the expense of your overheads, i.e. office space. If your staff work from home, bingo! The cost of office space is instantly reduced, if not completely eradicated. I cannot deny that this is an attractive prospect to any employer.

And what about the employee? What is in it for them? Well, if you try to imagine what working from home would entail, idyllic images of domesticity may be conjured up. You would have time to do your ironing whilst on a conference call to Tokyo, email the director whilst loading the dishwasher or even practice your presentation whilst walking your beloved pooch. But let us stop dreaming for a minute, it is doubtful that any of that would actually happen. The reality is that you would have to fight the urge to stay in bed every morning (I struggle with this on a daily basis, but I have no choice- I have to get myself to the office!) Housework and your salaried work do not go hand in hand. You can only focus on one thing at a time, so do not risk combining the two and ending up with your laptop crunching around on a spin cycle in the washing machine!

On a more serious note, home working can also leave you feeling completely isolated and lonely. Business is about collaboration, development and interaction. All of this is completely removed when you work from home, unless of course you own a cat that has the business acumen and charisma of Richard Branson- if you do let me know, exciting blog subjects are always welcome!

As an employer there are also pit falls. Do you really want your employees to hold meetings in their spare room? It is doubtful that your clients would see anything quaint about that! And the ultimate risk, will your staff actually do any work from home? Productivity will eventually drop off in an environment which lack s stimulation and holds a plethora of distractions.

Working from home is a contentious issue. I can understand why the memo to the employees of Yahoo! caused a furore. They were angry that their flexibility was being removed, or rather that their relaxed and unproductive working day may now involve actually doing what they are paid to do! Conversely, working from home is an important shift in the working styles of companies in a huge variety of sectors. It is seen as the modern way, so maybe the employees were frustrated that their company was taking a step back from progress? I would love to think that the staff of Yahoo! share my latter thought, but I would put money on the fact that the crux of their annoyance is the former.

So what is the answer? One liberal school of thought would fight for the value of working from home, how this is a sign of the times and allows people more flexibility, saves money and allows people to work in their ideal environment. The more conventional corner argues against this and warns that home working reduces productivity, does not allow for any work- orientated social interaction and places far too many distractions in the way of the individual. Dilemma? No, there could be a solution that satisfies both parties.

What if you could work from home but still have the benefits of a professional office space? What if you could have access to meeting rooms (rather than spare bedrooms) but not have to spend a fortune? Well residents of Rutland- you can!

The Rural Business Community, Set in the heart of the beautiful and tranquil county of Rutland, has been set up to help companies and individuals thrive in a social, efficient and idyllic rural setting. Our centre offers the perfect Hot-Desking solution in the form of an open-plan office that can be used in a variety of ways, by a variety of business types. Whether you spend a significant amount of time on the road, only work part-time, work from home or even if you need a Rutland base for your business, The Rural Business Community is the ideal location. You can even rent a desk on a more permanent basis, for those who require a more regular space. This style of office spacing will also satisfy the companys accountant, as desks start from the astounding price of 6.56 per day!

By using the open plan office, companies will also have free access to a fantastic range of facilities that are aimed at creating the perfect professional impression and taking the hassle out of your work; including free usage of the meeting rooms that are on site at The Rural Business Community, a fully staffed reception area, Virtual Solution Packages, fast Wi-Fi connection and free-roam of the surrounding countryside. There are also regular networking meetings, so there are many opportunities for you to expand your contacts and business relationships.

The face of office culture may have changed, but The Rural Business Community is here to ensure that flexible working is reliable, affordable and, above all, professional.

If only Yahoo! knew about us.