You've probably heard about Marissa Mayer, the new CEO of Yahoo!, and her decision to end work-at-home arrangements for employees.
I hated the change as soon as I heard it, and then got furious when I read that her human resources department issued a memo to employees saying the decision was made because "speed and quality" had been negatively affected when people work at home.
A much better policy would have been to start employee reviews individually and look for PROOF of each employees' contributions and then set goals and hold them accountable. Of course, this would take time but it would be a much better way to measure the speed and quality of an employee's work than applying what may be a stereotype to employees who spend some time working at home. (As I understand it, the affected employees spent one or two days at home.)
I can't speak for Yahoo! and their work environment, but I can tell you what always affected the speed and quality of my work when I worked for corporations: Meetings.
Long, long, meetings where nothing was decided nor implemented.
They seemed to be the rule -- not the exception. But, even if meetings are productive at Yahoo!, they can always be scheduled on a few days that all employees must be in the office for. And of course, people could Skype in for spur-of-the-moment meetings.
Some people have faulted Ms. Mayer for other things -- such as taking a two-week maternity leave and taking her child to work in a nursery she paid to have built. These are her choicees, and I don't care, as long as they're right for her and her family. Please, Ms. Mayer, just offer your employees the same option to do what makes them feel comfortable and become great employees.