Connect with us

The Online Technology

Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Stock Market The Shift to Remote Work Could Be a Big Swing and a Miss – The Wall Street Journal


News & Analysis

Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Stock Market The Shift to Remote Work Could Be a Big Swing and a Miss – The Wall Street Journal

The jury is out on whether the benefits of working from home outweigh the disadvantages. Photo: Joe Giddens/Zuma Press Marissa Mayer may have been onto something when she banned remote work at Yahoo seven years ago. A survey published in April from economist Erik Brynjolfsson and colleagues showed nearly 50% of the U.S. workforce had…

Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Stock Market

The jury is out on whether the benefits of working from home outweigh the disadvantages.



Photo:

Joe Giddens/Zuma Press

Marissa Mayer may have been onto something when she banned remote work at Yahoo seven years ago.

A survey published in April from economist Erik Brynjolfsson and colleagues showed nearly 50% of the U.S. workforce had gone remote as a result of the coronavirus. Based on a few months of early data, companies are now considering a major cultural change by instituting permanent work-from-home policies. But corporations as productive, well-oiled remote machines could easily turn out to be a pipe dream.

Facebook

in May said it expects it could have half of its employees working remotely in the next five to 10 years—a policy Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said he thinks will be “the most forward leaning” at his company’s scale. He has cited stable productivity from at-home employees so far and the promise of untapped, potentially less costly remote talent as compelling benefits. Others weighing or instituting permanent remote policies include Nationwide,

Shopify,

Barclays Capital,

Twitter

and

Mondelez International.

Early data certainly suggests some upside: Freelancing platform Upwork has reported one-third of hiring managers in two surveys found productivity increased in April from November as a result of forced remote work, bolstered by the lack of commute and fewer unnecessary meetings. Similarly, a recent survey by Facebook found more than half of employees reported being at least as productive at home as in the office.

But there are concerns, too: Mr. Zuckerberg said last month that half of his employees “really just wanted to get back to the office as soon as possible,” and suggested a lesser feeling of alignment without free-flowing conversations and in-person connections.

“It’s unclear at this point whether we’re just all drafting off of existing bonds that have developed before it started,” he said.

General attitudes toward remote work have been changing. Ms. Mayer’s move was controversial back in 2013, though she voiced legitimate concerns over lost productivity and connectivity. Today, working from home is considered less a boondoggle and more a flexible arrangement that can, at the very least, save employees time and money.

But even some remote-work pioneers are wary. Tim Ferriss, the author who championed the benefits of working from home in his 2007 bestseller “The 4-Hour Workweek,” cautions that companies shouldn’t assume employees under lockdown “will be equally productive once

Starbucks,

Real Life. Real News. Real Voices

Help us tell more of the stories that matter

Become a founding member

lunches with friends, happy-hour drinks and other temptations return to day-to-day life.”

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

What have you found to be the advantages and disadvantages to working from home? Join the conversation below.

Mr. Zuckerberg said he doesn’t expect to realize significant savings as a result of the shift because remote workers will need added infrastructure at home and will likely have to travel more. He also said he may need to hire additional employees to complete the same tasks if productivity declines at home.

A permanent shift isn’t appealing to all companies—even to Facebook’s social-media peers.

Snap

Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel says he is “avoiding making sweeping statements that project far into the future in such a rapidly evolving situation.”

Major corporations rushing to turn lockdown lemons into lemonade could get hit with a sour aftertaste.

STAY INFORMED

Get a coronavirus briefing six days a week, and a weekly Health newsletter once the crisis abates: Sign up here.

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Subscribe to the newsletter news

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

To Top