Is there a legitimate reason for an employer to ban employees work from home if engineers able to commit code and work on repos remotely? Specifically for web developers and engineering related positions.

For example, employer may start suspect people are under performing so work from home becomes the first suspect to blame for. Is that normal?

closed as unclear what you're asking by PeteCon, Kent A., paparazzo, gnat, David K Apr 17 '17 at 20:05

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    Of course there are legitimate reasons. This feels like a rant in disguise, can you edit to clarify what problem you are trying to solve? – enderland Apr 17 '17 at 18:24
  • I believe your question lacks some details. In my country, reason is cultural, people is not used to be self managed but can't tell that will work for you. I think you need to be more specific here. As overall I have identified two major concerns: 1. lack of control over your assets, 2. lack of commitment from your people, but as I said before, all this is cultural so being specific helps – user49901 Apr 17 '17 at 18:25
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    There are many: It takes more effort to support remote workers. Security is difficult to manage/enforce. Employees lose contextual awareness of the business. Some tasks cannot be performed without specialized tools or resources. You need to be much more specific about the job and its context. – Wesley Long Apr 17 '17 at 18:27
  • In one place where I worked we had to pull two different people off of remote work because their output was so low. If a manager has had that experience, he or she is much less likely to want to grant the privilege to others. – HLGEM Apr 17 '17 at 20:39

There are legitimate issues around trust and communications.

In general people in close proximity to each other will have more open lines of communication than those who require some communication tool (phone, IM, wiki, etc). Being face to face provides much better feedback for question tone as well as whether the answerer is understanding the intent behind the question. Also it is much harder to ignore a person knocking on your office door than an email or an IM. Speed and quality of communication are benefited from nobody being remote.

Trust is important as well. Being able to see butts in chairs provides some managers the perception that their workforce is in fact working. If you were inclined to slack off, it would be much easier to do so if you were not in the office.

With respect to your edit

For example, employer may start suspect people are under performing so work from home becomes the first suspect to blame for. Is that normal?

If I were in a managerial role on a team that was mixed, in house and remote and my team was underperforming I'd have to look at why expectations were not being met. If the root cause was poor quality communications (misunderstood requirements, people waiting on answers, work being duplicated due to lack of communication, etc) I would see getting everyone in the same space as low hanging fruit for improvement.


The main issue employers have is that it is more challenging to determine employee output. Some managers are very old school and don't feel in control when their employees are not in the office. A legitimate concern is security, although most VPN solutions address that well enough.

The reality is a good manager can measure throughput through the use of various simple tools and processes.

I can be lazy in or out of the office if no one is measuring my throughput.

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    Postive any suggestions on the ` various simple tools and processes` you mentioned? What you said is very interesting. – Ezeewei Apr 17 '17 at 19:02
  • From a process perspective you can look at any of the agile ones such a scrum. From a tool perspective any sort task tracking tool, atlassian makes one that's really reasonable called Jira. – Mister Positive Apr 17 '17 at 19:05

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