I am sure you have heard the recent announcement that Yahoo! CEO, Marissa Mayer, banned working from home for Yahoo! employees. The memo sent to employees read:
“Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home”, read a memo sent to all employees, “We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together”
You can read the full memo here. What do you think about the announcement? I think it sounds pretty ridiculous. As someone who has made a career out of working from home over the last 3.5 years, I obviously have an opinion. I understand the importance and benefits of working closely and in-person with colleagues. There is a creative collaboration that happens when you are surrounded by other people working towards the same goal. But to completely ban the option to work from home seems a little extreme.
I especially find this surprising coming from a technology company based in Silicon Valley. In my opinion, Yahoo! should highlight the power of their technology as a way to stay connected even when you can’t be at a physical location.
As a self-employed professional who works from my home office, I know it isn’t for everyone. When I tell people what I do, I often hear, “I could never work from home, I wouldn’t get anything done.” But for me, it is what makes me most productive. I don’t have to put on “work clothes” or leave the house to trick myself in to working. I know that if I don’t do something, it won’t get done.
It is also interesting that this memo came after the addition of perks such as free food and iPhone 5s for all employees. It almost seems like they were buttering employees up in preparation for the work-from-home bombshell. For employees who exclusively work remotely, and were hired under that premise, this will have an even bigger impact. If they live outside of the Silicon Valley area, that means a complete lifestyle change for themselves and their families.
I have seen first-hand that working remotely is the future of today’s workforce. Work-life balance is more important than ever, and happy employees means better production and willingness to stick around. I don’t think many companies will follow in Yahoo’s footsteps. Yahoo! has the distinct advantage of being Yahoo! If employees don’t want to comply, Yahoo! has an endless pool of talent that will be more than willing to sacrifice the perks of working from home in order to work for the tech giant.
I hope Yahoo! is prepared for employees not checking email or working on any projects after hours or on the weekend. No working form home, right? 🙂