I’m guessing that Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, had some idea of the wrath that she would incur by last week’s controversial decision to insist that remote workers move back in to the office. Headlines like Back To the Stone Age? New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Bans Working From Home and Mommy Bloggers Are Tearing Apart Marissa Mayer might mean she now requires a cup of Horlicks before bed time – but then she was brought in to make tough decisions.
Apparently a lot of the remote workers Yahoo had on their books were no longer productive and as Business Insider explains “a lot of people hid. There were all these employees [working remotely] and nobody knew they were still at Yahoo.“. It sounds like Yahoo were doing a lousy job of managing their workforce, both in the office and out. They clearly need to scale down and make people redundant, so this “is a layoff that’s not a layoff.”
I hope ultimately the Yahoo situation won’t put people off trying to become remote workers, or deter employers from employing remote workers. As I’ve said many times on this blog (and else where), it doesn’t work for everyone. The decision needs to one made by employer and employee together. Some people just can’t get themselves motivated without a little encouragement (i.e. they need to be sitting in an open-plan office where management can keep an beady eye on them). Also remote workers need real support to fulfill their potential, they need to be kept in the communication loop and that requires effort. Remote working wasn’t working at Yahoo because people messed up, not because remote working doesn’t work.
Out of all the posts and articles Ive read about the Yahoo situation Tim Sniffen’s An Open Letter to Yahoo! CEO, Marissa Mayer is by far my favourite. Tim, who claims to have been a Yahoo junior server administrator for eleven years, explains to Ms. Mayer that “you do not want me in your office.”
The reasons why are clear…
Tim ends with some PSs…
He sounds like the sort of employee I really wouldn’t want to lose if I was Marissa Mayer. Humour may be the tool they have in fighting their current financial crisis.