Her responses about long hours/weekends seem to be primarily directed at early stage startups/companies that are in the midst of building whatever will make or break them. It seems to make sense: your newborn’s needs don’t start at 8 and end at 5. Repercussions of ignoring nascent (or troubled?) company’s needs are obviously not as grave, but passion and commitment to its success are comparable in my experience. I’m curious what Basecamp founders’ work hours looked like in the early days, before they had something that could chug along on its own for at least a few weeks at a time?
Imagine that you weren’t joining a perfect, thoroughly selected, lean, efficient team that you have at Basecamp, but a bloated and — reportedly — dysfunctional one at Yahoo!, as a CEO. And, imagine that some significant percentage of employees worked remotely, possibly on something that isn’t a priority or shouldn’t be worked on at all, some underperforming as well. I see her ending of remote work as a version of the seemingly awesome, mandatory Basecamp weeklong, in-person get-togethers, except lasting until focus is regained and ship is not sinking. In one of her keynotes, she did simply say that “It’s not what’s right for Yahoo right now,” implying that the policy may be resumed later on. Could it be done more effectively with 11K+ employees at the time?