Published: February 27th, 2013

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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