Five Problems With Flexible Working

by | 18 March 2015

Flexible working sounds great: I can work from home, take care of the kids and work in my PJs!

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But some companies are taking back the flexible working option. Yahoo! famously told all staff that they had to work in the office. CEO Marissa Mayer said, “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side.”

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So, what are the five problems with working outside the office?

1. Visibility

Bosses secretly — or not so secretly — hate people working from home. They like to see the people they supervise, working.

2. Collaboration

Collaboration works best when people get together in the same physical space. That’s what Marissa Mayer was trying to do.

3. Worker health and safety

The home environment has to be as safe as your work environment. So, it should be inspected and signed off by a workplace health and safety expert or you need to indemnify your employer.

4. Communication

Sometimes just bumping into a colleague results in new business ideas, connections or deals being done. You’re not going to bump into a colleague at home — hopefully, at least!

5. Culture

It’s hard to be part of a common corporate culture if you’re not physically there with your colleagues.

So, while flexible working arrangements are great, there are lots of benefits to working in the office. What do you think?

Find out more about how workplace strategy can boost an organization’s performance. For more insights and discussion, follow our Colliers Collaboration page on LinkedIn.

As National Director of Workplace Strategy and Design for Colliers International in Australia, Peter is a workplace strategist and qualified architect with over 25 years’ experience in workplace and base building design, working with clients ranging from Bauer Media Group, AT Kearney, Ricoh, ANZ Bank and Citrix.