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Working from Home – Teleworking in Germany

The recent decision by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to ban working from home resulted in plenty of online discussions about the pros and cons of teleworking. By coincidence, a couple of weeks ago my brother-in-law became the poster boy for working from home in a campaign by the German district of Kreis Cochem-Zell (he's the one in the blue T-shirt).

Image courtesy of Kreis Cochem-Zell
Image courtesy of Kreis Cochem-Zell

These guys have launched a funding programme to support employers willing to offer teleworking, called "Offensive Home-Office" [don't laugh - 'Offensive' means something like 'Campaign' in this context i.e. 'Campaign for Home Office'].

The reason? They believe that it'll help people stay in the district's towns and villages and prevent mass exodus to the cities, where, let's face it, most of the work is these days.

I for one am completely for working from home though I'm not saying it's better or worse than working in an office! Each has their own strengths.

I do believe however that in the current economy, digital skills and the ability to productively contribute to the digital economy while also being able to raise a happy family are vital skills for the future of this and all countries.

Rather than banning teleworking, as Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer advocates, we should be looking at ways of enabling it. Research shows that teleworkers are up to 35% more productive and I for one would most definitely want a less stressed, happier, more balanced, more productive workforce!


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