When Virgin entrepreneur Richard Branson blogs about Yahoo's CEO, Marissa Mayer's decision to ban work from home and calls it a "backwards step in an age when remote working is easier and more effective than ever," it bears attention.
There is no doubt, not everyone is mentally and emotionally equipped to work at home – productively. When I ventured out on my own in 1990 it was from a successful corporate background and I learned many environmental and personal lessons to equip myself for it.
Being a home worker is an image problem – just as being an introvert can often be. Working from home conjures up you get to keep those comfy pajamas on, and sleep until you want to, or do household chores when you procrastinate on work. Don't kid yourself.
You must build up a routine and structure your time so that there is work time and there is home time, just like you would do if you commuted to an office.
More introverts are likely able to work productively, independently, because they seek solitude to be the best they can be, not usually found in the chaos of an office.
Collaborating with others can bring about the best ideas. Even as an introvert who can get in an energy downward spiral with too much people time, I find that when I get to talk out loud ideas with others, it helps nurture creativity, but that comes from a seed of an idea I had on my own.
As a facilitator of brainstorming for at least 20 years in my corporate training business, we would often build in preliminary time for personal ideation. In A Reexamination of Brainstorming Research: Implications for Research and Practice, http://www.buffalostate.edu/creativity/documents/brainsearch.pdf, it's referenced that even Alex Osborn who is often credited with designing brainstorming, encouraged the process as a tool to supplement individual ideation, not as the only way.
With the technology available today we can have group communication to create a similar environment: time for collaborating for those creative, crazy winning ideas and time for self-reflection.
Given the right tools, anyone can concentrate, stick to the task at hand, in the home environment. Granted most introverts are blessed with being able to concentrate, but anyone can make it happen when they work from home.
Being one attracted to new ideas and new ways, this year I've been working with the Pomodoro technique. Basically I list every thought rolling around in my head, weekly works for me, on the Activity Inventory Worksheet. From that, at the beginning of each day, I create my To Do Sheet. Finally after selecting the most important task from the list, I set my kitchen ladybug timer to 25 minutes and work until the timer goes off.
Procrastination in minimized, time is my friend and my productivity are high. Not to mention there is fun in my beating the ladybug.
While I'm not in Mayer's position being the 6th CEO at Yahoo in five years (there is pressure there) I do know as someone more of an introvert, I manage to be effective and productive working from home as a solopreneur. Not to mention the enormous benefits to most companies, with the right leader and infrastructure.
Possibly Mayer would consider educating her staff on the ways of working more productively at home at the same time she gives them their goals and expectations from the companys side.