Original post made
on Mar 7, 2013
Most people admit that they will cheat when they can. Working at home makes it pretty tempting. I would love to work at home, I can do my job in far fewer hours than they pay me for, I'd bet a lot of people can.
There is nothing wrong with working from home. You have people who come to the office and don't do the work they are being paid for as well. I happen to know from personal experience that honest people who work from home tend to get more work done than if they were at the office. When you're at home, you don't have the interruptions and distractions that you experience at the office and you are more productive. If people are going to cheat, it doesn't matter where they are working from.
Personally, I find it easier to focus on work when I'm at the office, and generally work from home only for relatively brief "emergency" tasks. But I've worked with people who were productive and successful while telecommuting. A blanket ban on telecommuting seems like a rather blunt instrument to me, and makes me wonder what the real underlying problems are.
I see a couple of issues with Yahoo's decision.
First, Yahoo needs to ask why these people appear to be lazy. Many of them are traumatized by recent history of layoffs and stark comparisons with the likes of Google and Facebook.
They have seen their former colleagues getting rich in other places. They have seen former (and current) Yahoo senior executives getting rich without doing much good. They might have worked hard before and saw the results utterly disappointing. They are demoralized and forcing them into office won't help.
Secondly, Yahoo has no logistics to support everyone working in office. The parking lot is too full already. The traffic is horrible. And not much on-site amenities to speak of.
Forcing people into office may just create more politics, time-killing meetings, distracting colleagues, etc. The Japanese are famous for being in office for long hours. But that is not the style associated with Silicon Valley successes.
Thirdly, Yahoo is discouraging prospect candidates from applying. It is going to be a big turn-off for good candidates.
The issue isn't cheating or productivity. It's how to enable the creative process. On that, I agree with Mayer although it'd be nice to find a compromise.
It's whatcha been asking fer you yahoos out there...a little leadership...and people get all bent outta their silicone gel shapes over this...I predict a stock surge now that someone in management is asserting that she actually wishes to personally witness creativity, especially coming in conjunction with an actual appearance at work by the employee said manager is paying...as for mr protelecommuter's post which I feel I must respond to....what world do you live in? If coming to work in the good ol' sillyvallley is a turn off, then move to the Sudan, Ecuador, Fresno. I hear the conditions there are much better than in SuperCupertino. You want the benefit of working here and the tax haven of working elsewhere? The physical serenity of home? Is that it? The sheltered life of the cubicle just ain't what you thought it would be? I'd hire ANYONE else than telecommuter even if he or she brought in big bucks. Tude folks. I want someone who WANTS TO BE THERE! Field an all rookie MLB team that wants to be there. They will win roughly half the time over far higher paid employees. It's about that american swagger about getting up every morning and feeling proud about your labor...the labor that beat the fascists in WWII and integrated the army three years later and the schools six years later....you think the Thurgood Marshall telecommuted?
One of our key team members works from home in Florida. However, she flies back to California several times a year at critical times for face to face meetings. Face to face is important to resolve complex issues.
Boss says I need everyone at work .... You go or quit.
I find, unless you work alone, you need the group at the same location for efficient operations, anyone not there misses something or is not participating 100%.