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 forYahoo 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.

I don’t work from home and I have to admit I am suspect of those who do. That might be because I was never given an opportunity to work from home. I also have an old school way of thinking that if you don’t show up to work; you shouldn’t get paid.
One quick hit before I go. Long time Softchoice senior executive Nick Foster has retired from the company late last month.Foster, who was instrumental in acquiring NexInnovations for Softchoice will do some consulting work for companies around values, brand and company culture. CDN wishes Nick the very best.


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  • gisabun

    Now if she can only get her crew to concentrate on security such as killing off the hacking of accounts, the spamming, etc.

  • David Agosta

    Sounds like you and Mayer are the kind of management dinosaur that will soon be extinct as Gen X & Y move up the management ranks. I agree telling people you are working in your PJ’s is unprofessional, but doing so is not. My computer and VPN connection don’t care what I’m wearing. There was a time when IBM’s dress code required male employees to wear garter belts to prevent their socks from drooping. Times change and those who cannot or will not change with them are cast aside.

    Today collaboration is possible anywhere and everywhere. A blanket ban on telecommuting is foolish. Instead revoke the privilege from those without the discipline to use it (or actively abuse it). All Mayer has done is give employees another reason to leave a sinking ship. She should be more concerned about keeping Yahoo relevant in the marketplace than where her employees are located.

  • Ryan Michelsen
  • Breh Nilbor

    If you have an appointment with Paolo, set your watch back 20 years and you will be right on time.

  • ABTeacher

    Mr. Del Nibletto, you should really start by asking Gen X and Y people moving into management positions how they feel about this. You might get a better sense of how business culture is shifting. For example: My wife works in an office, but at times has worked from home. She much prefers the latter…why would she want to commute for upwards of 2 hours a day (and longer in the winter, while driving down dangerous ice-covered highways), so she can sit in a cubicle and have to listen to conversations of other people who do not relate to her job at all, or the employee that has nothing better to do but walk around the office half the day “visiting” with co-workers asking who wants to go for coffee, etc and disrupting her work. Or the continual “staff get-togethers” or frequent meetings that could be done more conveniently though online groups (Google+ hangouts comes to mind).

    Most business communication is now done via e-mail…I couldn’t care less about what someone else is wearing while they type it, as long as they can do their job. In fact, if they are more comfortable, odds are that they will be more productive and more willing to work a bit longer. On top of that, the fossil fuels and $$$ saved by people not commuting, or the resources spent to maintain an office (heat, lighting, janitorial, etc) are a major reason to look at the idea wherever possible. My wife’s company can barely afford to give her a raise to cover inflation, but she would willingly give up a raise if it meant not spending a few thousand dollars a year on gas just to get to work.

    Most people today work with other employees at different locations around the country or even the world. Collaboration software (ever seen how easy it is for groups to use something like Google Docs?) has advanced to the point that if businesses don’t start using it, they will find themselves bankrupt or severely outpaced by newer and far more progressive companies.

    The old ways of doing business are slowly being put into history books where they belong. Either you will end up there with it, or you can be part of the next generation…more efficient, environmentally conscious, and more productive.

  • David Cooper

    As we continue to globalize, functional team members will not be able to share an office anyway. We have to get used to managing a business comprised of thousands of islands. Islands are the new rule, not the exception. Some people, however think of working from home as a luxury and need to be held accountable for their deliverables as well as interacting with their team, or whatever “big rocks” are required for those people to succeed. Lastly, I think it would do most “office” people some good to get out. Spend time with your field people, your customers, and your partners. New perspectives will breed innovative ideas and THAT is the greatest productivity gain there is.