In recent tech news, Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer, decided that employees could no longer work from home. They had until June to start working from the office, but if they are unable to relocate, they would no longer be working for the company. Shortly after this, Best Buy implemented this policy too. What has come out of this is cacophony of yelling and screaming from people in the tech industry that killing work-from home is a bad idea and will kill Yahoo’s already anemic productivity.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Marissa looked at the VPN logs and found many employees not even logging in while they were at home. What came from this is another round of yelling and screaming that looking at VPN logs is not a good metric for productivity and if the work is getting done, there not really a need for metrics at all.
Here’s the odd bit. At my company I recently was given the *privilege* to work from home. For me to even get this I had to keep my metrics in 90% area for about a year. Now I don’t have a home office or anything. My apartment is actually 9x12 feet (I do have my own bathroom though, so that’s cool!)
To even log into my office from home I need a special cable connection (That my company is paying for), that gives me a LAN address. I also require a special router that will only work when it’s physically connected to my work laptop. From here, I log into the office using a WoW-like authenticator, then fire up a remote desktop session to a virtual machine and start my day. My software phone is the only application my computer runs “natively” and even that goes though the router.
Working from home and not connecting to VPN is completely alien to me. How can you not? How is there any accountability? If the computer’s not connecting back to the office, you might as well not even be at work. Now I admit, I do work for a company that deals with lots of secure info, but VPN is an encrypted connection to allow you to get company resources. If you are not even using the company infrastructure at work, then what are you doing? Am I not seeing the same thing Marissa is seeing?