Well, the issue has come up yet again as just days ago Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson, alongside Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, sat down for an interview on Bloomberg TV to discuss their unwavering endorsement of a more flexible work environment.
When asked if Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer’s decision two years ago, to end their longstanding work-from-home policy, put her on the wrong side of history, Branson stated, “Yes… it was a mistake—and I’ve said so… If [people with children] can get the job done at home and they can be around their kids, then I think that’s good for the family and good for the business and good for the individual.”
Beyond simply being detrimental to one’s work-life balance, Sandberg took aim at the type of productivity being promoted by Mayer’s decision. “There’s a difference between seeming productive and being productive,” Sandberg said. “Of course we care that people tried, but when you do that, you build this culture of being seen in the office trying, which is different than results.”
This sounds a lot like what we were arguing back in January. That a more flexible work environment would keep parents from having to choose between advancing their career or quitting, and that telecommuting allows employers to focus on results and not just “asses-in-chairs,” which way more often that not, leads to greater productivity and improves employee morale.
So I’d like to thank these two prominent billionaires for pointing out what we knew all along—that Bonzzu is on the right side of history.