Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's CEO, has created a backlash with her recent ban of telecommuting at the tech company. The reaction in Silicon Valley has almost overshadowed the gains she has accomplished in turning the struggling company around.
Jackie Reses, Yahoo's HR director, issued a memo last week that said,
To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo, and that starts with physically being together.
Do you think Mayer is out of touch with the modern workplace with this edict? After all, particularly in Silicon Valley where many of the very tools that allow working from anyplace are created, it seems a little backward.
First of all, many companies have international offices (Yahoo being no exception), so how's that going to work? Second, and this is entirely a personal observation, I've worked in the same office with people who take days to answer email, while ones at home usually respond within minutes.
I agree that face time is very important in a company but I think there is more to be gained by allowing employees flexibility to get their job done where they want to.
Toni Bowers is the former Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.