07 Mar Richard Branson on Homeworking
Sir Richard Branson, UK’s popular billionaire and the owner of the Virgin Group began as a young entrepreneur. Frank and forthright, he has always been very vocal about his support for the concept of homeworking, saying that he has not worked in an office even for a day.
Branson’s success hasn’t exactly come on a silver platter. He was born in Surrey, England in a typical British middle class family. He struggled as a student and as a result became a school dropout at 16 which is when he started his music company “Virgin Records”. His success graph has fluctuated through crests and troughs but the last two decades have catapulted him into the elite league of British billionaires.
Richard Branson’s stance on Homeworking
Last week Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyer’s decision to put a stop to all work from home arrangements for the company’s employees stirred a countrywide debate on whether or not such a ban was justified. Richard Branson stresses that he has never worked out of an office and this decision has couldn’t have worked better for him. Although he says he has a lot of respect for talented achievers like Marissa Meyers and Michael Bloomberg and agrees with them on most matters, this is one point where he holds a completely opposite point of view.
Contrary to what Meyers said about remote working having an adverse effect on speed and productivity, Branson believes that “employees who work from home are extremely diligent, get their job done, and get to spend more time with their families. They waste less time commuting and get a better work-life balance. To force everybody to work in offices is old school thinking.”
According to Branson, it is the choice of being able to choose where they want to work that empowers and motivates people, making them happier, more contented and therefore more productive. It is important to keep pace with the rapid technological strides of the modern era and make way for newer concepts. Our mind-sets need to evolve and our vision needs to broaden as it won’t be long before virtual working becomes the norm and offices regress to being an old fashioned, antiquated idea.
As you can see below, Branson is firm supporter of the kind of homeworking model promoted by Arise.