Telecommuting

July 19, 2013 • Volume 23, Issue 26
Is working from home productive?
By Sarah Glazer

Introduction

Yahoo employee Cheryl Stober (Getty Images/The Boston Globe/Suzanne Kreiter)
Yahoo employee Cheryl Stober telecommuted from home in Newton, Mass., on Tuesdays, when she didn't have child care for her daughter, Hannah. The company recently renewed debate over telework when it said all employees would have to work in the office or leave the company. (Getty Images/The Boston Globe/Suzanne Kreiter)

Recent restrictions on telecommuting by tech giant Yahoo and retailer Best Buy are spurring debate over the merits of working from home. Some companies say allowing employees to telecommute reduces turnover and boosts profits. But Yahoo's leaders say collaboration and innovation suffer when everyone isn't in the office together. Advocates argue that telework has been crucial for parents and other caregivers struggling to balance work and family obligations. Yet, while the advent of mobile working — by smartphones, tablet computers and laptops — has helped workers remain productive, it also has led more and more people to labor long hours from home, often at night and on weekends. Global communication by email, videoconference and Skype has become so integral to business that some corporate leaders say they no longer see telework as a distinct form of work.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Workforce Protections
Jul. 19, 2013  Telecommuting
May 21, 2004  Worker Safety
May 02, 2003  Asbestos Litigation
Jul. 19, 1996  Crackdown on Sexual Harassment
Aug. 09, 1991  Sexual Harassment
Apr. 13, 1990  Reforming Workers' Compensation
Mar. 09, 1990  Asbestos: Are the Risks Acceptable?
Feb. 16, 1990  Repetitive Motion: New Job Ailment
Nov. 25, 1988  Fired for No Good Cause: Is It Legal?
Jun. 07, 1985  Safety and Health in the Workplace
Dec. 24, 1976  Job Health and Safety
Sep. 26, 1947  Mine Safety
Jan. 18, 1946  Fair Practice in Employment
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Employee Benefits
General Employment and Labor
Workplace Safety and Worker's Compensation