How Far is Too Far When Helping Clients in Tough Economic Times?

As a service provider offering essential phone service to our clients we need to make a lot of tough decisions regarding how we run our business, and that’s doubly true when our clients experience rough economic times. This is true not only for DLS but for many other smaller companies that develop close, personal relationships with their business clients over the years.

On the one hand service providers can be rather hard-nosed and impersonal with their clients and demand full payment, on time, every time their bill comes up due. Lots of providers take this approach. They don’t listen when their clients experience financial difficulties and they don’t make any overtures to help their partners out when times get tough. This hard-nosed approach is pretty common among larger service providers who tend to be less likely to ever meet their clients half-way.

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Listen to Your VoIP Service Providers Advice

Infoworld recently posted a great story detailing this exact problem and just how bone-headed IP telephony implementation can go, and how a simple mistake (like mis-calibration) can make an entire technology seem deficient.

In the story a VoIP service provider was called in to an organization to check out their communication system. The organization had been experiencing a lot of crippling problems with their IP PBX. The organization’s employees were experiencing degradation in call quality, dropped calls and busy signals when and where there shouldn’t. In other words this organization’s VoIP deployment has turned into a mess in a manner their old traditional telephony solution never had been.

Turns out they were using an IP PBX that wasn’t nearly powerful enough to meet their current needs.

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Did Yahoo! Make the Right Decision Banning Work-From-Home Arrangements? (Pt 6)

There’s one more point deserving a quick mention in the discussion over Yahoo!’s decision to ban work from home arrangements and how this might impact the way other businesses approach the whole topic within their own organizations.

The CEO Question

A lot of the debate over whether or not Yahoo! did the right thing banning work-from-home arrangements has read as a debate over whether or not Yahoo!’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, made the right decision implementing this ban.

While it’s probably not fair to place the full weight of this decision on Mayer alone, it’s wise to note when these sorts of shake-ups occur they’re usually discussed entirely as the sole decision of whomever is in charge, in this case the company’s CEO.

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Did Yahoo! Make the Right Decision Banning Work-From-Home Arrangements? (Pt 4)

However, just because other Silicon Valley companies have implemented remote work arrangements, that doesn’t mean every company allowing working from home takes a completely hands-free approach to the act, simply installing an IP telephony system and telling their employees to do their work whenever they want, wherever they want, as long as they get it done. In fact, the most successful companies with the most successful remote work arrangements tend to build their workforce from the ground up with remote-oriented employees, or they place firm boundaries on their remote working policies, or they give their employees all the freedom they could ever want while simultaneously incentivizing them to spend every waking hour at the offices.

Essentially, the most successful forward-thinking companies use work arrangements as an addition to traditional work structures instead of as a substitution. Not only that, these companies think through and organize their remote work structures with a lot of care, a lot of thought, and a lot of oversight, something to keep in mind when implementing your own remote work policies.

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Did Yahoo! Make the Right Decision Banning Work-From-Home Arrangements? (Pt 3)

The only response Yahoo! released regarding their work-from-home ban illuminates an important facet of the debate. After reaffirming the company’s commitment to not “discussing internal matters,” Yahoo!’s PR reps stated:

“This isn’t a broad industry view on working from home- this is about what is right for Yahoo!, right now.”

In other words, Yahoo!’s basically saying they aren’t laying down an indictment of work-from-home arrangements across the board. Instead, Yahoo! hints the problems lay internally, they lie within how the company itself was handling its work-from-home arrangements, a point reiterated in comments made by some of Yahoo!’s ex-employees speaking on the matter.

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Did Yahoo! Make the Right Decision Banning Work-From-Home Arrangements? (Pt 2)

The fact of the matter is- the way Yahoo! announced and implemented its ban on work-from-home arrangements, and the fact the company refuses to discuss the matter, is just as problematic as the actual logistical ramifications of the decision itself. The decision was sent via an internal memo to the company’s employees, a memo that was quickly leaked by disgruntled Yahoo! employees.
Here’s what the memo says, in its entirety, in case you haven’t read it yet and to refresh the memories of most of you who have read it already:

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Did Yahoo! Make the Right Decision Banning Work-From-Home Arrangements? (Pt 1)

No more work from homeOver the last couples weeks a single piece of news has hit the tech world hard and been the focus of spirited debate, with different publications, bloggers and popular writers taking both sides of the discussion.

In late February Yahoo! decided to effectively ban work-from-home opportunities for their employees. While it’s unlikely any other company is going to follow Yahoo!’s lead and put a stop to their own work-from-home opportunities, the ban itself and the debate it’s inspired has brought to light many of the Pros and Cons of remote work arrangements, which may influence the way you choose to implement these arrangements in your own workplace, and which may convince you these arrangements aren’t right for your organization either.

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