I’m sure most of you have now heard about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer banning employees from working from home, and the numerous blogs and articles which have followed since. All of them seem to uniformly say the decision is wrong, and will have a negative affect on Yahoo…and I’m not about to disagree.
However, I do want to take a closer look at an article I read this morning. This article, from an ex-Yahoo employee, states that Marissa is making the right decision because a lot of the people who work from home aren’t as productive as they could be. Now, I realise that working from home can cause some people to slack off…it’s very simple to pop the TV on and become distracted by the latest episode of Jeremy Kyle (not that I do)! However, the answer to some people not working properly isn’t to stop everyone from being able to do it. When has punishing the masses for the mistakes of the minority worked?
Also, and possibly more worrying, is that bringing those people into the office isn’t going to make them 100% focussed on their job…they’ll still be distracted but just do it surrounded by more people and possible ‘infect’ others. In the article it says that:
Mayer saw another side-benefit to making this move. She knows that some remote workers won’t want to start coming into the office and so they will quit. That helps Yahoo, which needs to cut costs. It’s a layoff that’s not a layoff.
Surely this is the wrong way round? If she wants to get rid of people, get rid of the ones who aren’t performing not just freely allow people to leave! What if the people who decide to leave are the highest performing home workers Yahoo have, and they’re left with the disengaged and uninterested? This is a great example of a CEO not having the strength of leadership to make the difficult decisions and making lesser decisions in the hope it has the same effect!
Another great point is that Marissa Mayer has built a nursery at her office for her children, is she going to let those employees, who need to look after their children, use the nursery as well? I doubt it, and there lies the problem…if she didn’t have this nursery would Marissa be in the office all the time? I somehow think not, the double-standards are obvious and an all too often occurrence in large corporations where the senior management play to a different set of rules to the rest of the workforce. I’m sure when people could work from home it wasn’t such a huge issue, not so much now!
In reality, I don’t see how this decision will do anything but disengage those employees who worked hard from home, while bringing employees who aren’t engaged into the workplace and allowing them to have a negative affect on their fellow employees. If Yahoo wanted to get rid of staff, then get rid of those who aren’t performing…not just those who don’t want to come into the office. This is an incredibly old-fashioned and unsustainable business model for me.
I know there’s been lots of articles about how great Marissa Mayer is and how she’s an example for other women in business, but from what I can see here…no one should be looking up to her at all unless they want to fail!