I know a lot of people who hate the concept of working from home or letting their staff work from home.
If you’re worried about your staff slacking off when they work from home, that probably means that those are the people you need to measure, monitor and babysit when they work from the office. In other words, those people are already a time sink, but not just of their time – it’s your time too.
It’s probably likely that the people opposed to working from home have never actually done it.
Ultimately, it comes down to being able to trust the abilities of your staff. If you trust them to do a good job and make smart calls, there’s no reason to be in the same office. Those things can all be done from somewhere else. If you don’t trust them to do a good job if they’re not in the office, I’ll bet you don’t trust them to do a good job in the office.
Working hours is often thrown in to the argument – people who work long hours are often thought to be working harder. I’ve found that this is very seldom the case. Those people usually just work slower or screw around in the office just to make themselves look busy. That’s not to say that there are no hard workers putting in long hours, they’re just not the norm.
Working from home removes the perception of ‘slogging it out’ and leaves only the work as a yard stick. Either it’s done or not. It’s either good or bad. All the crap about how long you’ve been at the office (watching Youtube no doubt) disappears if the work is not done or not up to scratch.
There are many other factors that must be considered, things like the nature of the work, access, technlogy and company culture, but I think the argument that working from home is a ‘bad idea’ or ‘just doesn’t work’ seems to me like a lack of trust, understanding or just plain fear.