A fierce media debate was sparked this week, when leading online multinational corporation, Yahoo!, circulated an internal memo placing a ban on homeworking. The decision, coming from one of the leaders of the internet revolution that facilitated the rise of the work-at-home phenomenon, has led some commentators to question the future of flexible working.
The decree at the heart of the debate, sent to Yahoo! employees on Friday 22nd February, urged that “it is critical that we are all present in our offices.” Rationalising the move to recall its workers back to the office, the online giant maintained that “speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.” Such criticism of the telecommuting model often points to the difficulties of monitoring and optimising the efficiency of employees beyond the office environment.
Applied effectively, however, there are real merits to giving workers the flexibility to choose how, and where, they work. The right technology can facilitate flexible working practices that are both fully visible and accountable, whilst promoting greater levels of productivity and collaboration. RedPBX®, delivered from a cloud platform, gives users the ability to work remotely from any location simply by logging in via web portal, and have their calls automatically forwarded to them.
Each RedPBX user has access to an intuitive personal portal, through which they can access a range of features, including personal conferencing functions and an online corporate directory. Computer-telephony-integration (CTI) enables workers to interact with one another quickly and easily using their computer. Meanwhile, fully customisable presence gives users and supervisors full visibility of workers’ statuses across the business.
“Despite this week’s debate, flexible working still has much to offer businesses and, backed by the right technology, the practice can have real productive benefits,” commented Martin Taylor, Redwood Director. “RedPBX gives users the flexibility to work from home or ‘hot-desk’ across multiple sites, allowing them to suitably adapt their working patterns at short notice.”
Taylor continued: “The inclement weather that Britain experienced in January this year is estimated to have cost the UK economy more than £470 million in lost productivity, as many workers found themselves unable to reach work. Imagine the money that could have been saved if those people had been able to work from home.”