Why More People are Working From Home
Most industry articles focusing on today's mobile workforce tend to conclude that the primary reasons for its exponential growth are related to convenience. Commute distances and family flexibility are often cited. But the real reason lies with enabling technology. It’s always been more convenient to work at home. What's really changed over the past
decade is that technology allows us to be connected anywhere, anytime at low cost. Communications technology has finally become good enough that most knowledge based workers have no reason for going to the office. I work from home. My home office has a faster internet connection than most commercial offices. My laptop, connected to my 42" HDTV along with my Logitech BCC web conference camera provides a much better work environment than most firms can afford to spend on each employee. And that is what's changed. 10 years ago commercial offices had better equipment and facilities. That's no longer true. Which brings us to the real reason Yahoo recently banned working from home. It's a "last mile" issue. While from a communications/equipment perspective my home office is better or equivalent to a commercial setting, it still can't reproduce the social effects of everyone being in the same room. And that is the real reason Ms. Mayer banned Yahoo employees from working at home. There is still a technology gap which prevents mobile employees from reproducing the work at office experience. But that is quickly changing and Jell Networks is working on eliminating that gap.
For those of you interested in the numbers, the chart below shows the amazing growth in the US mobile workforce over the last decade. With better technology on the horizon this trend will accelerate even more.