Ever since Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer’s recent requirement that employees report to work at Yahoo, there has been much chatter across the blogosphere about the relative merits of working in the office versus working from home. And no doubt, there are valid points generated by both sides.
So here you are, in charge of your department, or Boss of your small business, not knowing which way to go. Better to allow for flexible workplace arrangements or better to corral everyone in the same space?
What if it’s not an either/or? What if you can experiment with what would work best for your specific department or company?
You see, not all humans are created with the same needs or desires. Some people flourish in an environment which facilitates lots of interaction, brainstorming and sharing of ideas. Some people flourish best in private, needing solitude and quiet.
Not only that, but different environments are conducive to different types of projects or challenges. When a project would benefit from open discussion and multiple points of view, having everyone present in one location makes it easier to do so. Other challenges lend themselves better to individual attention on a particular aspect.
You can create a workspace which designates some areas as private, for solitary work, and others as common areas for group discussion. Or you can allow those employees who work best from home to do so, convening in the formal workspace at certain regular intervals. Or any combination of these and many other possibilities.
Let your employees know that you’re experimenting with what workplace arrangements will be the best match for both your individual employees and the overall success of your business. Engage their help in sorting it out, always keeping both objectives in mind: what will give your employees the best support for their personal success and well-being, and give your company the best foundation for its success.