The ubiquity of digital communication already allows most people to do work from home, even if that means just responding to emails on a smart phone. Completing more complex tasks is often just a matter of scale, requiring more complex technology, but is nonetheless already possible. And those who came of age during the digital revolution are now in positions of leadership, working to create a corporate culture that responds to needs of customers, clients, and employees. For many, having a flexible work schedule is no longer a luxury but a requirement.
While working at home might be nice for employees, how does it affect the goals of a business? Yahoo famously disallowed its employees from working at home, arguing that innovation is the result of face-to-face interaction and the spontaneous cross-pollination of ideas that can only happen in person. Contemporary offices designs, such as those used by Apple, encourage such innovation by creating centrally located facilities like restrooms and drinking fountains, meaning that people of different departments might run into each other and strike up a conversation.
Ellen Galinsky, President and Co-Founder of Families and Work Institute, argues that Yahoo used a blunt tool to correct a sensitive issue. She says that a forum for creative collaboration isn’t limited to chatter at the water cooler. A good deal of creative inspiration, she says, happens on the individual level, i.e. its our alone time after a group discussion from which creative ideas spring.
Read more at Fast Company
Photo credit: Shutterstock