Working From Home – Does it Work?


Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has dominated the media after recently taking the helm of the Internet giant.

Her latest headline-grabbing move was a widely circulated internal memo stating that all employees (known as Yahoos) must report to work starting in June, putting an end to Yahoo’s telecommuting option for its workers.

The action has drawn mixed reviews: The Atlantic declares “Marissa Mayer Is Wrong: Working From Home Can Make You More Productive”. The New York Times calls it “a blow to work-family balance.” Meanwhile, Forbes called the new policy “One More Reason To Applaud Marissa Mayer.”

So what do workers think about working from home?

According to Randstad’s latest Engagment Index study, 49 percent of women say their company is flexible and accommodating in terms of hours or working arrangements and one-third of respondents feel this is one of the most effective ways to engage them. In terms of the skills important to growing their careers, half of women surveyed (50 percent) chose flexibility/adaptability.

Randstad’s research is joined by numerous studies that point to the same finding: companies that offer work/life benefits to their employees have a happier and more committed workforce.


However, although enhanced technology allows workers more freedom to work anytime, anywhere – our findings also showed that constant connectivity does not mean increased productivity for women workers. According to our study, 42 percent of women believe it is increasingly difficult to disconnect from work while at home, while the majority (68 percent) do not believe that the blurring of lines between work and home has increased their productivity. Modern technology has left some workers struggling to draw the line between work and home life – but the key to productivity is for workers to learn how to work smarter, not harder.

Whether working from home or in the office, we are only productive if we’re producing the results that impact our goals. Increased technology forces us to multi-task even more, but in order to succeed, we all must learn fundamental skills, such as time management, effective meetings and prioritizing. For more information on productivity, check out Randstad’s Six Tips for Working Smarter. For more advice on working at home, read this previous Women Powering Business blog post titled Working from Home? Be Sure to Establish Boundaries.

What are your thoughts about working from home: does it work or should more CEOs follow Marissa Mayer and bring employees back to the office?