Summary of “When Working From Home Doesn’t Work”

To ease a logjam at the office mainframe, it installed boxy, green-screened terminals in the homes of five employees, allowing them to work from home.
The corporation eventually realized that it could save millions by selling its signature buildings and institutionalizing distance work; the number of remote workers ballooned.
“If what they’re looking to do is reduce productivity, lose talent, and increase cost, maybe they’re on to something,” says Kate Lister, the president of Global Workplace Analytics, which measures working from home.
There’s reason to regard the move as a signal, however faint, that telecommuting has reached its high-water mark-and that more is lost in working apart than was first apparent.
Letting Chinese call-center employees work from home boosted their productivity by 13 percent, a Stanford study reported.
If it’s personal productivity-how many sales you close or customer complaints you handle-then the research, on balance, suggests that it’s probably better to let people work where and when they want.
In one study of software developers, Waber, working alongside researchers from IBM, found that workers in the same office traded an average of 38 communications about each potential trouble spot they confronted, versus roughly eight communications between workers in different locations.
Talking with Purdie, I began to wonder whether the company was calling its employees back to an old way of working or to a new one-one that didn’t exist in 1979, when business moved at a more stately pace.

The orginal article.