Flexible work can be a powerful thing. Here at oDesk, it's a critical part of our culture and organizational structure — our 120 on-premise employees are supported by 250 full-time-equivalent oDesk contractors working for us from around the world, and employees in our Silicon Valley offices can work from home (or wherever they like) every Tuesday. We find that these initiatives make us more productive, more efficient and even a bit more sane.
But in the wake of Yahoo's recent memo revoking work-from-home privileges, there has been a flurry of debate about whether flexible work is a smart strategy or a foolish perk. oDesk VP of Marketing Jaleh Bisharat weighed in on the discussion in her article today for Huffington Post.
"Why is Yahoo now requiring all its employees — even those who were hired with the understanding that they could work from home — to report to an office beginning in June?" she writes. "Is working from home a bad policy? Or is it time to rethink and articulate how we attract, empower and manage talent when it is remote some or all of the time?"
Jaleh writes that, as powerful as flexible work is, it can't be implemented and forgotten about. Managing non-traditional teams requires frequent communication, crisp objectives and milestones, results-focused performance measurement, a remote-friendly culture, and more.
To read more about Jaleh's six best practices for managing remote or blended teams, check out the full article here.
UPDATE — March 7, 2013: In response to the news that Best Buy is now following in Yahoo's footsteps and revoking work-from-home privileges (taking with it their pioneering Results-Only-Work-Environment), Jaleh writes for VentureBeat about how great work can happen from anywhere. Read her latest article here.