|Do you know where your variables are?|
This was covered in Hackers, Writers, and Productivity. But, in order to beat the expired equine ...
The problem with the more flexible approach at this time, IMHO, is the dot-com "fiasco". Too many upper-management types think the whole thing stemmed from the lax, "unprofessional" atmosphere within the workplace. Of course, it was flexible. The old mold of desk time meaning anything was long gone, and that is part of why such fledgeling companies could draw such tallent (obscene salary and benefits helped, too, no doubt).
An associate left her position at a comfy, Fortune-500 company to start her own consulting gig. She and her partner started it with nothing but their own savings, no investors (beyond some family members, who were quickly paid back). She is a business school-educated manager w/ technical skills and her partner is the inverse. They turned a profit w/i two months, due to a solid business plan and the ability to acquire qualified start-up cast-offs as employees.
Now, a year down the road, with cash reserves and an ever increasing clientelle, she cannot get additional funding to acquire more infrastructure. The anti-investors pointed out the flexible work environment as the main problem and "would you please fix that".
Is this appropriate? No, I don't think so. But, I have no money to invest and have not been stung by the NASDAQ, so these folks' milage indeed does vary.
I look at my old employer, who only a few years ago made the "no suit" leap. People still flood out of there, even with an uncertain future. Why? THEY HATE THE ENVIRONMENT and LIFE IS TOO SHORT.
The moral of this tail is a management philosophy I employed in my bleek "I'm the boss" days: If the work gets done, it is quality work, we make money, we take care of the customer, and the staff is content - let it be. As managers, make the expectations clear and let folks take care of business. If it means they can cut out at 4:00 to hit the links or whatever, so be it ... One aspect of management I could never stomache was the busy bee scenario, anywho.
"That's just my opinion. I could be wrong." - DM