out of the boxAt the beginning, when I first read about the memorandum, I thought that in fact there was nothing unusual in preferring that employees were all under the same roof. In fact, I agree that some of the best ideas come out in the most unlikely places, when people get together. I promote it in my own team: dialogues outside the office. I authorize more breaks than those stipulated by the rules of the company, Encouraging work by responsibility and not by clock. In return? Good disposition, creativity (sometimes too much), team spirit and sense of belonging that makes me want to go to work every day. Anyway, the work is absolutely linked to a physical space.

But actually, it is necessary to analyze the activity of which we speak.

The greater the need for creative the less we can be trapped within four walls and a desk. Thinking outside the box can be taken literally. How many times do I do ‘managing by wandering’ …

On one hand it is true that the human relationship, the constant exchange of ideas and dialogue, stimulate thinking. Making ideas pass from person to person until it appears with the ideal shape, can be very useful. On the other hand, it is also true that isolation increases productivity by concentration and no interruptions. Working from home eliminates the stress of balancing personal and professional life.  The commitment is with completing the task and not the time table in which it has to be done. Which of these formulas is correct?

Apparently, comparing Yahoo to Google, it seems that the formula is not to create a mega space with thousands of desks. The difference of results are overwhelming: Google’s employees, 53.861, generate  $ 931.657 in revenue per worker, 170% higher than Yahoo’s $ 344.758 worth of revenue per employee, (Cohan, Peter, 2013. Retried in 03/13/2013 from ), and Google’s employees do not work all in the same building. Apparently, the problems that affect the productivity of Yahoo are beyond this question. According to the same site, Yahoo had the fifth CEO in four years. This may be one reason.

My personal experience does not make my choice easier: I am pleased to have a job that I can execute from home, surrounded by my comfort, with my music or my silence. And I also don’t  want to be without having to meet with several colleagues, exchange ideas, share the same office, the same place of coffee, the vast network connections that is build throughout a career. The agreement, disagreement and debate of ideas. And the stress.

What is the best? Working from home or at the office? I really don’t know. It depends on the weather.

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by, Cristina Gouveia


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