So it turns out that Google isn't the only tech company to prefer that staff co-locate rather than work remotely or flexibly. Yahoo has just told all their remote and work from home staff to head back to the office:
“Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home,” reads the memo to employees from HR head Jackie Reses. “We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”
Yahoo's CEO is ex-Google, so perhaps this just an attempt to follow their play book?
However, while much smaller in head count but no less successful in their niche, the company behind Wordpress - Automattic - is noted as being proud to be geographically distributed:
"Everyone works from their own home or office, and we’re spread out all over the world — California, Texas, New York, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Iceland, Bulgaria, Australia, and more. We track about 70% of our projects on P2-themed WordPress.com blogs, 25% on private IRC channels, and the rest on Skype or AIM. Because of the geographic variance, we’re active pretty much 24/7. We care about the work you produce, not just the hours you put in."
If you are looking for some pointers on how to work more effectively in a remote team, Automattic's Matt Mullenweg was recently interviewed by Fast Company.