You are either engaged at work or you are not. It’s as simple as that. I for one credit Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer for making this un-conventional decision. Trends such as working from home and bring your own device just exacerbate the coddled nature of today’s information worker.
If you haven’t heard yet Mayer put a stop to working from home for Yahoo employees starting in June of this year. A leaked memo from the Yahoo human resources department says… “Yahoo isn’t just about your day-to-day job, it is about the interactions and experiences that are only possible in our offices.”
Let’s face some fact here: today’s workplace is a collaborative environment and to get ahead and be competitive you need to work as a team and not be on your own island.
Sure there are tools today that can make working remotely a good experience. But I believe those tools are better utilized by those road warrior-sales types who need to hunt for customers and meet face-to-face with them.
One of the things I absolutely hate hearing when talking to a person who works from home is that they do their job in pajamas. I don’t need to hear that quite frankly. If you are in pajamas you should get ready to sleep; not work. I know it sounds funny but it just goes to prove Mayer’s point here. How engaged are Yahoo employees who do not show up to the office?
This is a loss of productivity issue and Yahoo is struggling right now and I applaud Mayer for making this tough decision especially in the wake of her own work at home experience just after having a child.
Many teleworkers are not going to like this and will stamp Mayer as an un-progressive leader. They will say Mayer is conniving and will force teleworkers to quit and in a sense get a layoff without paying severance. That could be a fringe benefit for sure, but I think this is more about the future of Yahoo and other companies who are struggling with this work at home issue.