Diet, health and fitness tips for average women. Site created and maintained by Ann Chihak Poff.

Flexible schedule keeps employees happy

When my furbaby, Joey, was  still around he would help me on the days I worked from home. I made him sign a confidentiality agreement first, of course.

When my furbaby, Joey, was still around he would help me on the days I worked from home. I made him sign a confidentiality agreement first, of course.

Yahoo’s CEO has announced that employees will no longer be able to work remotely.

A major uproar seems to be coming from working parents, especially mothers.

Not to discount parents at all, but I am not a parent. And personally for me if this was announced at my place of work I would be unhappy with the new plan and it would add a layer of challenge to my life.

When my company was 4.5 miles from my house I rarely worked from home. And that was if I had to be home for the exterminator or something like that. I never worked a full eight hour shift from home.

Now that my company is about 20 miles from home,which means a long commute and traffic over the Bay Bridge I work from home on Fridays. It was an agreement my boss and I made when the company moved. He also works from home on Fridays.

I prefer to be in the office with my co-workers.

But there are times working from home is necessary: big project where interruptions are detrimental, numerous private conference calls (I sit in a cube and rather open area) or just when you need to crank something out and get it done.

Working from home one day a week makes me more productive professionally and personally. My commute time is about 30 seconds from my bed to the desk where my laptop sits. I sit at a desk in our home office and seriously work. The TV doesn’t get turned on and I get work done.

The benefit for me personally is I can run errands on my lunch break. I can throw in a load of laundry. Since I take the shuttle to work there is no running errands on my lunch break (or laundry for that matter).

If I have a doctor’s appointment I work from home and don’t have to take a whole sick day for that appointment. Seems to be a much more productive option to me.

I understand Yahoo’s decision to a point. But working from home one day a week for me makes a huge difference in my life. It used to give me only four days a week that I had to get up at 5:30 a.m. But now on Fridays I get up at 5:30 to be to the gym in time for a 6:30 class.

Because of my long commute my personal time is very limited. If I had didn’t have the option to work from home one day a week (actually I could probably work from home more than once a week–but I choose not to) I might have to figure out another plan of action.

My company makes it easy for employees to work from home, as a sales person throughout the U.S. and at our various international offices and for someone like me. Just about everything I need is in my computer, including my phone and voicemail. (I realize not all jobs can be worked from home.)

Good workers stay longer when work is flexible. If not, they can go somewhere else and make more money and get flexibility. I hope Yahoo realizes that they could lose some good people.

With my company giving me this flexibility it shows they care about me as an employee. And frankly, one less day to commute and have it easier to get things done for me is a huge plus in the mental health department.

4 Responses to “Flexible schedule keeps employees happy”

  1. Nicole Says:

    Good points Ann, and good to read about your perspective. I esp like points that a) sometimes the work environment is not conducive to particular types of work (ie the need for long periods of focus), and b) you might have a more productive day of interspersed work, rather than taking a whole day off bc of something like a doctor’s appt. I don’t know the details of the Yahoo decision (is it all scheduled telecommute work, or even the intermittent work from home days? or just the solely telecommuting workers?), but it will be interesting to see the results there…I’m really hoping there’s some followup to the story, ideally w quantified data.

  2. Ann Says:

    Thanks, Nicole.
    A follow-up story would be great.
    The way I understand the Yahoo! situation is that any remote employee (whether full time or just occasionally) will be required to be in the office full-time.

  3. Brenda :) Says:

    I have been lucky I guess in my career. For the majority of it, I have been working in a weight room/personal training center. I would go in for my morning clients, then workout and then I would go back for evening clients. The last “office” job I had was Wellness Coordinator at the YMCA. I did like it, but my office was in the “dungeon” of the downtown Y…no windows. Now I teach for Pima Community College. I teach online classes which I can do from home and I love it. I only have to go to campus for my lecture class and then leave. After having this flexible schedule for years…I honestly don’t think I can do a typical office job for 8 hours a day. I have freedom to do what I want/when I want and still get my work done. I can see how telecommuting helps those with families and/or long commutes to work. Everyone is different and knows what environment they perform best in.

  4. Ann Says:

    I think I would like that kind of schedule.
    Yup, different things work for different people. Glad you found what works for you.