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3 ways telecommuting can bring down the firm


Every business owner must have had a reaction when they learned Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently banned working from home at the company and is requiring all employees to come into work each day. While her choice may have been seen negatively by some, Nick Balletta, CEO of webcasting company TalkPoint, told Entrepreneur magazine he is a fan of the move.

"Marissa Mayer was brought in to fix Yahoo," Balletta said. "If she does what her predecessors have done nothing will change. I applaud her leadership and believe she's doing the right thing."  

Balletta understands why some firms would give their employees the option of working from home, but he also sees how it could be a detriment to the business. He shared with Entrepreneur magazine a few thinking points that could cause some small-business owners to reconsider their telecommuting policies.

Working together is made more difficult
Many small businesses rely on their staff to collaborate on ideas for the company, and if employees are in the office, it can make it easier to work in tandem with other members of the workplace. While most firms are backed up with cyberliabity insurance, the cloud and other software solutions encourage working from home, but Balletta believes its better to collaborate in the office.

"You can't replace the entrepreneurial results of face-to-face collaboration," he said. "There's no substitute for what can happen when you get people in a room together." 

Slackers can go undetected
Every small-business owner has some employees who are less motivated than others, and when they are working away from the office it is hard to keep an eye on them. Requiring staff members to come into the workplace each day will force low producers to be accountable on a regular basis.

"Those who don't really want to be there will weed themselves out," Balletta asserted. "Today, people not only have to work harder and smarter, they have to work together. Those who embrace the change will step up and rise to the top."

Low levels of morale
Having staff members in the office every day will allow employees to form friendships and increase the potential for hanging out outside the office. When the workforce is working from home on most days, it can make it difficult for small-business owners to create a company culture.

"You can't have a virtual happy hour," said Balletta. "Part of the office environment is developing esprit de corp. That's what builds company culture and drives innovation."  

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