Smule was already fairly flexible about scheduling, asking its employees to work a minimum of five hours a day, four days a week, in the office. Recently, as our businesses merged more fully, the company asked the employees from Khush to switch to Smule’s schedule. But instead, I persuaded Smule’s C.E.O. to switch all employees to the three-day-a-week minimum that my company had maintained. He agreed to the change even though he had reservations about it — he is a big believer in face time.
I think this policy comes closest to a middle ground that satisfies the needs of both employers and employees. Rather than leaning on organizational principles designed for an older time, companies should collectively develop new strategies to remove the remaining challenges to working from home.
I think, as with most things, that the best solution is a hybrid of the two primary modes of thought. I think requiring 2-3 days of in office work is great for those who are able to get there, as the face time really does provide something to the dynamic of collaboration.
In contrast, working from home is invaluable from a perk and freedom and overall productivity standpoint–at least in my experience. It says the employee is trusted. It keeps them from being crushed by a commute, and it partially insulates people from the high overhead of office interruptions and ambush meetings.
The answer seems obvious: do both. The exact mix will depend on the business, and you can experiment with the ratio, but I’d say it should be roughly 60% from home and 40% onsite ideally.
What do you guys think?