Y U NO let me work from home, Marissa Mayer?
An interesting debate has raged in the public sphere in the last month regarding the decision of Yahoo!'s new CEO, Marissa Mayer, to no longer allow Yahoo! workers to work remotely. Every employee has to have a home office to base out of by June, and if they do not, they will lose their jobs.
I found the debate intriguing, if for nothing else, the public's opinion on a company that largely had remained out of public discourse on what would be considered a "successful tech company." Google ate the search business, and quite possibly was the demise of Yahoo! Mail as well. Yahoo! had to decide if they are a tech company (yep, they decided that now), or a media company or something of both.
Many have conceded the glory days of Yahoo! long gone. Near where the cover photo for this blog post was taken once stood a symbol of Yahoo!'s dominant position in the technology world in Silicon Valley, the large Yahoo! billboard easily visible in San Francisco. Its removal a signal that the heydays of Yahoo! were officially over, and a new more conservative approach to spending and branding were being taken by then interim CEO Scott Thompson.
Certainly, the decision by Mayer to no longer allow employees to work remotely has been controversial. This is the dawning of the age of a truly mobile workforce. More and more companies have already embraced once taboo ideas such as working from home, even for non-management positions.
The debate raged and it seemed to me moot, because Yahoo! would never implement a complete stop of remote working. I believed workers would still be encouraged to work from home if circumstances required or allowed.(kid is sick, some unexpected emergency, Friday?). Mayer is trying to encourage community and collaboration and build a lasting technology company.
The public opinion of her decision is of little value to her and Yahoo! They first need to right the ship, get the crew onboard, and chart their course. I for one still Yahoo! and I know I'm not alone. Good luck Marissa and Team.