Yahoo's announcement ordering all telecommuting employees back to the office ignited the now ubiquitous debate about WFH, and Best Buy is the first to follow suit. According Carolyn Humer of Reuters, the National Study of Employers reveals that 63 percent of companies surveyed allowed employees to log some hours from home.
This trend adds an additional complication for a small business trying to build a company culture where most or all of their employees work from home. Humer reports that Aetna Insurance has almost half of its employees working remotely. This means over 14,000 employees don't have a desk. According to the article, CEO Mark Bertolini has revealed that this policy has also led to turnover among virtual employees of 2 to 3 percent which is less than half of what it is in the company overall.
There are many ways technology can help build a company culture with employees not in a central office. Supply webcams to the entire team and ensure they're used. Video conferencing with Skype or Google Hangout will connect and focus employees more when e-meeting. Group chat also gives a common place where employees who work in teams can talk with each other during the day. Products such as Facebook Chat and Google Talk can work well. In fact, connecting employees through social media can integrate their personal and business lives to support a healthy culture.
What's your take on the WFH debacle?
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