Posted: Mon 11th Mar 2013
The much publicised decision of Yahoo boss, Marissa Mayer, to ban homeworking has had its fair share of critics, writes Emma (left). I'm one of them. Since launching Enterprise Nation in 2006 as the home business website and our first book Spare Room Start Up being focused on how to start and grow a business from home, I've believed the home is the best and most productive place to work.
In this, I'm not alone. In the recent survey we carried out on business membership groups , 77 per cent of 1,200 respondents answered their business was based at home. This makes sense. Why take on the cost of a second office when the spare room/attic/garden shed will do just as well? Business-owners starting from home make money and save time through:
a 30-second commute
being on hand to run the family alongside a business
having no need for new fashion every day or pricey boxed sandwich lunches!
no office gossip; with Twitter, you can turn on (and off) the chatter when you please
adding value to their property with a home office in it.
I could go on with the benefits and you will undoubtedly have your own (dancing in the home office on winning a new contract is a popular one!). These same benefits apply to corporates who enable their employees to work from home.
Large and small employers in the UK have demonstrated the property cost savings and the extra productivity of homeworking.Â BT Â says its 10,000 homeworkers are 20 per cent more productive than office-based colleagues and research in 2012 showed employees spend a shocking five weeks of their year (200 hours) commuting. Just think of the positive impact on the environment through reducing peak time congestion.
The technology is now in place to ensure homeworking is as productive as possible:
Skype enables you to speak to anyone, anywhere, and have the feel of an office with its instant messaging feature
OmniJoinÂ allows you to enjoy high quality web and video conferencing with colleagues (and we wrote a series of posts on how to make the most of this)
Basecamp means everyone can stay on top of projects and in touch with progress
As above, Twitter provides the virtual watercooler moment, if that's what you're after!
It's ironic that on the day the announcement was made, Enterprise Nation was posting Five Tips for increasing productivity when working from home.
In seeing the benefits, business-owners and employees are heading home to work. For client and colleague meetings, they're making the most of serviced offices and co-working spaces and benefiting from the infrastructure being built to encourage a more modern and flexible way of working.
So a message to Marrisa: follow the lead of small business owners who are setting up thriving businesses from home and managing virtual teams to keep costs low, remain nimble, and stay wide open to opportunities. Surely this is what you want for Yahoo?
Â Emma Jones is founder of Enterprise Nation
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Photo credits: Jess Shanahan and Simon Wicks