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Almost all industry sector have been encouraging employees to work from home. It was felt that work from home shall help employee give flexibility to manage his or her home and office effectively, hence contributing more employee happiness. Last year, Richard Laermer decided to let his employees work from home. “I always assumed that you can get your work done anywhere,“ Laermer, who owns a US-based PR firm.Turns out, he was wrong. Employees took advantage, Laermer said. The last straw, he said, was when someone refused to come in for a meeting because she had plans.

Ten months in, he scrapped the benefit.

While telecommuting work occurring outside the traditional office -has ballooned over the last 20 years, some offices are rethinking overly broad policies. More than 60% of organisations surveyed by the Society of Human Resource Management, US, this year said they allow some type of telecom muting. But 77% don’t let people work from home full-time.

Technology such as chat programs made remote work feasible for many white collar workers in the last couple of decades. Employees love flexibility. Parents in particular say it’s “extremely important“, a 2013 Pew survey found. Researchers have argued that unconventional work hours could even help close the pay gap.

In a bid to attract employees -and cut down on real estate costs – firms permitted more remote work, and employees took advantage. At the same time, work has become more team-based. Some organisations found the most lenient work-from-home policies kept workers too isolated for that kind of work.

IBM is one such firm. This year, the tech giant called back tens of thousands of workers to the office amid falling revenue, hoping that bringing people back together will lead to more productive workers.

One of the challenges with ending remote work is keeping employees happy .Firms removing the perk risk backlash and attrition. IBM, for instance, still offers adhoc work-from-home arrangements to accommodate appointments.

Having everyone in the office has had “quite a positive impact“ on business, said Laermer. He still offers flex time and lets workers leave at 3.00 pm on Fridays. “I think people have to be trusted,“ he said, “But the work-fromhome thing has to be on a perperson basis, and it can’t be very often. It just doesn’t work.“

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