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Yahoo CEO's Work-From-Home Ban Is The Exact Opposite Of What CEOs Should Be Doing

The idea that people who work from home are less productive than people in the office is laughable. I can say from experience that you can work at an office job and not do a damn thing all day if you want to. Whereas supervisors are suspicious of those who work from home so checking in and producing becomes more important.

The reason I liked to work from home was two-fold: I liked to cook lunch for myself and I absolutely hated wasting time and energy on my commute.

Running Chicken: Marissa Mayer's Work-From-Home Ban Is The Exact Opposite Of What CEOs Should Be Doing

There are certainly some people who benefit from the traditional work environment and there are undoubtedly jobs where “being together” is important. But there are just as certainly some people who do faster and better work when they are in a different environment.

In my own case, there are some times when it’s absolutely critical that I’m physically present at work — either in the classroom, in my office, in a meeting. But there are other times when I benefit a great deal from being able to make use of technology and forward-thinking colleagues to work from home and participate in group work.

As an (obviously idiosyncratic) example (because my job is admittedly not a traditional office job): I’m currently involved in several collaborative research projects with other faculty members and with students. Occasionally, if our schedules allow, we’ll meet in person. More often, though, we’ll meet together on Google and share documents via Dropbox. It’s certainly nice to sit down together, but it’s absolutely false that doing so somehow produces better or faster work than meeting remotely.

In fact, in my own case, meeting together is actually far worse for my productivity than meeting remotely. Because I tend to schedule meetings for days when I’m not teaching and because I commute to work, I have to stop what I’m doing at home — typically reading or writing for an on-going research project, but also administrative tasks for UNL’s human rights program or grading student work or writing letters of recommendation — drive to work, attend a meeting or two, and then drive back home.