Recently Marisa Mayer decided to stop allowing her employees to work from home. Some have blasted her for doing so, saying she out of touch with the times and that virtual work is more efficient than working in an office – and they are right. I feel those folks have missed the point though. Yahoo!’s CEO isn’t interested in efficiency, she is interested in creativity. An office like Yahoo! is brewing with creativity and creativity usually only flourishes where there is collaboration. To be blunt, no fucking way you can collaborate as effectively working from home by yourself. I have tried and I found my work suffering as a result.
Working with great people and in close proximity to great people is an amazing force for growth, inspiration and novel thinking. Most startups try to hold on to the “open space” working environment as long as they can. Having marketing people bump into developers is a great thing, magic happens when cross department collaboration occurs. As a result, I have decided to work in a stimulating environment. One that may distract me occasionally, but that will most certainly elevate me more frequently.
I was always worried about productivity and my ability to respond to clients in a professional manner if I wasn’t in my quiet basement. What I am realizing is that sharing the energy around me makes for a better experience, for everyone. Don’t work from home every day, you wont grow at the pace you could if you worked around other creative folks.