Recently the CEO of Yahoo Marissa Mayer’s made an announcement to employee’s who work remotely must come in to the office or well you know the other option, not be an employee anymore. 

As a software developer I’ve done a mix of home and office time.  While I don’t have children at home coming into the office to interrupt I do have dogs and cats that love to distract.  (yes both)  It does take discipline to stay focused and on task at home but I believe it takes the same focus while in the office. 

For me I share an office with a fellow dev and we have Product Managers/Owners coming in with new feature requests or bugs to talk about.  Which in turn pulls our attention away from what we are currently working on; and then takes time to get back on the original task that you were working on.

I believe both ways of working have their benefits.  While in the office our team will have these out of the blue organic talks about our business and website that we may not have had if we were working remotely.  However, if you have a team of really solid communicators, I’m not just talking about over the phone but in all forms, (IM, Video Chat) you can still have these moments of brilliance.

One can understand that Yahoo is in a rough spot right now, to say the least and that they need all hands on deck to right the ship.  However, I don’t believe that all your employees need to be physically in the office at all times to get the collaboration that can create magic.  I also think that a sweeping memorandum like this can hurt your company and obliterate employee morale. 

What we here would like to know is what you our fearless readers think?  Do you work from home and get worked up when you think your boss may say to you "come into the office or else"?  Or are you in complete support of being always physically in the office?  Or do you say who the hell is Yahoo?

8 COMMENTS

  1. I get that at times your physical presence is required but the complete mandate is too far too fast.

    From what I’ve heard there was no significant reasoning other than MM wanted to make a bold move. Damn what the employees feel and her “do what I say or else” attitude has turned the employees against her.

    • Well Murani if she wanted to make a bold move I think it worked. I wonder how much the Yahoo traffic has spiked because of this. I’m starting to think that she just may be a genius.

  2. Not unlike us, Sweet Marissa has to shake shit up over there aggressively. Yahoo may be sitting on a ton of dough and assets but Yahoo has become so desolate that, off-hand, other than what, 3% of the search market and being known for a good finance portal and having successfully recruited this drop-dead gorgeous and tack-sharp young blonde I don’t know what the hell they do! Nothing much, judging by their typical quarterly income of a couple hundred million. Meanwhile, Google does more and more.

    They need to continue to get aggressive whether it’s getting in bed with Microsoft and Facebook, pissing off a bunch of shut-in employees in an effort to get them to actually work with the people they work with (and not just on Google+ Hangouts), they need to scramble. I think the only few reasons this made headlines is because it’s a young woman, the new kid, making a call that strikes a nerve with women and women, and this is not limited to the courtroom, hate other women.

    Whoever doesn’t like this — well I was about to say that they know where the door is but given that they don’t make the schlep to the office I suppose they don’t know where the door is. Point being they’re replaceable and perhaps by talent that can do a better job of putting Yahoo back on the map. Wasn’t there a Yahoo Maps? I don’t even know.

    If anything I think this fine piece of you-know-what should get Caligula on Yahoo’s ass. Yeah, I said it, Caligula. Their situation should be regarded as a crisis that like quicksand grows harder and harder to escape from every single day. Atta girl, Marissa, you sweet little thing, you. Ooo wee and you’re a mom!!

  3. As part of a shake-up, I think it’s a necessity, even if the employees don’t like it (simply because they’ve become used to telecommuting). Whether they implement it again later would have to be dealt with later.
    People simply don’t like change. Oh well.

    • If they don’t have innovation going on at all (at home or in office) they have the wrong people. Forcing those workers to come into the office will be a losing battle if they don’t have the entrepreneurial in the first place. I believe this is a problem with creativity, imagination and marketing. It doesn’t matter if you have an amazing product/feature if you don’t get users’ eyes/hands on it. But will see how this shakes out.

      • You may be right. There is a major search company from the recent past that is undergoing a name and branding change. I was let in on everything as I was interviewing for a position with the company.

        The HR person was trying to sound extremely excited but all my marketing experienced told me was that they would be throwing millions in the trash rebrandig into a name that it would be near impossible for people to easily remember.

        Yahoo hasn’t done anything public facing in so long that no matter what they do they have failed to address the primary issue for them. Yahoo is used as a joke now and they haven’t done anything to make us think otherwise.

  4. I don’t see this as a way to “punish” low performers, or a signal about personal responsibility.

    We’re talking about Yahoo here. A company that we made fun of a few years ago when the CEO couldn’t answer the simple question, “What is Yahoo?”

    Yahoo isn’t suffering because people in bunny slippers are running personal side projects from home. Yahoo is ailing and flailing because there is zero culture. It has the feel of 783 legacy startups that coincidentally share a logo and a universal sign-on credential.

    The telecommuting fix isn’t about being a sneaky layoff – it’s about giving a culture and identity to a company that is siloed at best, and completely a-cultural at worst.

  5. Doug your penchant for the ladies knows no bounds. And I know I’m going to regret this but you are right (damn more ego inflation) and so is Ike. Yahoo needs to do something drastic right now. They are slipping out of the lime light by the likes of: Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Yahoo is not even close to being relevant right now. They need some killer feature/product to set them apart from the rest. I think if they jump on the Code.org bandwagon that this could jump start their engines again and pull out of this dead spin that they are in.

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