Raw Transcript:

Is Telecommuting Good Or Bad?

Good morning and welcome to the think future podcast.  My name is Chris Kalaboukis and this is show #153.  Going to give us an interesting announcements in the news lately so following.  In Marissa Meyers footsteps from Yahoo.  A couple years ago when she announced that telecommuting would be over at Yahoo.  Jeanie and I forget her last name the president of I.B.M. The C.E.O. of I.B.M. has basically amounts the very same thing just a little while ago has said that.  Teleworkers are telecommuters telecommuting will no longer be allowed and anyone who wants to continue to work at I.B.M..  Will need to come into one of their centers wherever they are in the world.  So if you’re not interested.  It was kind of sounded like a bit of a look at an ultimatum.  If you’re not interested in working for I.B.M. Then you can leave the wise you’ll have to come into the office.  And in the announcements use the exact same type of terminology the Marissa Meyer did when she brought that into Yahoo and that’s well we need to come together we need to collaborate and with collaboration becomes comes more innovation all that stuff.  And I thought to myself and I’ve commented before on what Yahoo did or what Morrison wired to Yahoo and how it was a terrible idea.  It was basically going back in time it was turning things around to a time before.  Telecommuting in the latest technology allows us to work from anywhere and I’m already written several posts on how the future of work is basically where ever you are when ever you are whatever you’re doing.  I thought it was interesting to contrast that with another story coming out of Redmond where Microsoft has just gone out and purchased we work memberships for their employees and if you guys aren’t familiar we work is basically a co-working space so we work as a company and it’s doing quite well.  And it’s.  It’s one of those companies that I guess sells pitchforks to the gold miners what they do is they sell or they rent co-working space in a number of different cities around the U.S. and maybe the world.  I’m not sure if they’re outside of the U.S. But basically you sign up with them on a subscription basis and you get a spot.  In the office in the you can get a spot in the office you can get an office and you can get a conference room there’s a lot of different things basically co-working space.  If you’re familiar with Regis and places like that.  It’s a bit like that but the only difference is with we work is that we work purposely puts you all together in one big open space.  So that there can be collaboration amongst individuals who are not working for the same company.  So that’s a key point.  That’s an extremely key point right there.  So let’s contrast these two.  Let’s contrast these two approaches right.  So we have Yahoo and I.B.M. their C.E.O.’s both saying in order for us to be more innovative we need to be more collaborative.  So we need to bring you all in and you all need to work from within the office and only then can we be more innovative.  And then you have Microsoft on the other hand saying listen we want you to be more innovative.  So we’re going to send you out of the office to go work in these spaces with these startups.  Shoulder to.  Shoulder.  So the you can come back and bring us more innovation.  Now which of those do you think is the more innovative approach and if you listen to me you know exactly what I mean to say Missy it’s the latter because one of the interesting things about if you take all of these employees and bring them back into this place and you bring them into this echo chamber where all they do is get up get in their car drive to work spend eight hours ten hours at work in an office with the same people day after day talking about the same things day after day.  Then turning around and going home.  Do you really think you’re going to get more innovation and collaboration will you make it more collaboration but will you get more innovation out of talking to the same people day in day out about the same projects day in day out or do you think you can get more innovation.  If you regularly insert yourself into brand new situations with brand new individuals and have brand new conversations about brand new things.  It’s obvious right.  So I can understand why people look at this and go yeah that’s a good idea.  I don’t think anybody has actually said this is a good idea and I’m sure there’s plenty of I.B.M. employees are that are going what why.  If you really want the company to flourish.  You don’t force us to all come in.  If you really want the company to be more innovative you help us be more innovative by setting the vision they said this in a previous show set a clear vision.  And then let us do our thing where they were doing it from our desk in the office where they were doing it from a local coffee shop where they were doing it from a co-working space where they were doing it from an airplane train.  Wherever we are in the world.  Whenever we are in the world.  Old whatever we are in the world.  We will be able to provide you with interesting work productive projects and cool innovations that we’re not going to get if you force us to come into the office.  So I ask you.  What is your personal sense.  What do you feel like listeners of my show.  All of you out there.  I’d love to hear from you.  What’s your thought on the what Microsoft is doing compared to what Yahoo and I.B.M. is doing.  Do you feel that it’s more important that you bring your employees into the office day after day or into an office day after day so they can collaborate with their peers face to face or do you feel that it’s more important for your employees to be out there in the world interacting with the rest of the world interacting with other people bring possibly bringing back new ideas from the rest of the world into the organization.  So I really have that question for you.  What do you think is better.  What do you it.  What direction do you think works best if you want to be innovative and collaborative at the same time I’m really curious.  So let me know so I mean email it think future G. Mail dot com and I will talk about the results later.  Thanks let everybody talk to next time until then don’t forget to think future.