Workplace expert Tory Johnson, CEO of Women for Hire, says some in-person time is important to many employers. “I do think that there are benefits for all of our careers and for our personal growth and development to have access to meetings,” she explains. “You get a chance to demonstrate your skills and your knowledge to an audience that perhaps you don’t deal with on a regular basis. It’s exposure to new people and new ideas.” Valerie Jarrett, who ran the Habitat Company before going to the White House, says she prefers to actually see people. “I’m totally addicted to e-mail, but I don’t like to have a lot of serious conversations by e-mail. I like people to get up, walk out of their office, go down the hall, sit down, and talk to one another. So much of it depends on trust and relationships and doing things together, and I think that we get better product when we have that.”
Michael Nannes has critical advice to anyone who thinks they can just work from home all the time—your boss won’t like it, and with good reason.
“I mean look, you want to be available. You want to be seen. Face-time isn’t irrelevant. You want to be down the hall when there’s a new matter coming in or there’s a new development and people sit around in the office or in a conference room and start to think about it and start knocking ideas around—being here is helpful.”
So as you think about your ideal schedule, and wonder why everything can’t be done remotely, remember that bosses have legitimate reasons for wanting you around sometimes. Don’t underestimate a boss’s love of a good meeting!