The latest U.S. census data says that working from home for at least one day a week grew 34 percent, and this comes just a couple of weeks after CEO Marissa Mayer famously killed the Yahoo’s telecommuting policy.
In 2007, 7 percent of U.S. workers spent at least one of their working days in a home office. In 2010, the most recent data that the Census Bureau released, 9.4 percent were telecommuting at least one day a week.
That’s 13.4 million people across the country, and these aren’t low-level employees that we’re talking about.
In fact, the Census Bureau says that they’re more likely to be in management and business, saying that “advances in communication and information technologies have allowed for a more mobile workforce.” And a growing segment of them are programmers, developers, and engineers.
The number of computing, engineering, and science professionals who work at home grew 69 percent from 2000 to 2010.
“The matter of how people work is as it has always been: What does it take to get the job done in a way that affords an equitable balance — a quid pro quo — between the organization and the individual?” said Joseph M. Pastore, a professor emeritus at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. “For most companies, the issue is pretty clear: Do what works.”
What wasn’t working at Yahoo was home workers who were certainly home, but — alas — not workers. They were not logging into corporate systems like Yahoo’s VPN to get their work done.
But as someone who just had a child might realize, you don’t necessarily need to throw out the baby with the bathwater. As companies like Google, LinkedIn, Netflix, Cisco, Microsoft, AirBnB, Foursquare, and IBM realize.
Unless, that is, you want to do a stealth layoff.