Lots of people are up in arms over Marissa Mayer’s decision to outlaw working from home at Yahoo.
As a manager at a media company with a fairly flexible work environment, it’s not that I see no value in working from home.
Say you have a sick child to watch, or a snowstorm hits that makes it impossible for you to get to the office. Those are both valid excuses, and I’m not suggesting that nobody should ever work from home.
But for recent college graduates who are beginning their careers and gearing up to get to the next level, working from home is the exact wrong way to go about it.
Never underestimate the value there is in showing up.
When starting a job, the best way to prove yourself is to be present and dependable. Working from home on a regular basis sends a message to your boss that your first priority is not always your job. It’s tending to your cold. Or recovering from a big weekend. Or simply taking a morning off from your daily subway commute.
The people who come to work every day at the same time?
They become rocks.
As a manager, you know they’re going to show up, so you begin to count on them for various tasks. You walk by them in the kitchen and remember to tell them something. You run into them in the elevator and compliment them on a job well done. You observe their work ethic and watch their interactions with their boss. You keep them in mind for assignments because their presence reminds you. You start to develop a relationship that can only happen face to face, in the office.
You may even start to feel like they’ve been around for longer than they have.
When someone works from home, it’s the opposite. You subconsciously shorten their tenure at the company.
For a startup like Business Insider, working in the office gives employees the opportunity to raise their hands for things that happen to “come up”. So much of what happens during the workday isn’t planned. It comes up. And the people who are in the office when it does are there to claim it.
Some people chalk up their colleagues’ accelerated career development to “luck”.
So many opportunities come from being in the right place at the right time.
The right place, meaning the office.
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