Yahoo CEO will regret telecommuting policy

  • Article by: EMILY SAMS
  • Updated: March 3, 2013 - 4:59 PM

 When all the hubbub hit about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to have employees start showing up to an office instead of working from home, the first thing that came to mind was that her reasoning goes against the eight months of research I conducted as a master’s candidate at St. Catherine University in St. Paul.

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cookcoanglerMar. 3, 13 7:10 PM

People are horrified when I tell them that I work with geeks, up close and personal, all day long, often working on the same computer. Such is the way many software engineering shops run now. I've gotten used to it, mostly, and the collaborative and productivity benefits can be amazing. This is of course if you don't work with lunatics. Special care must be taken when hiring to make sure that people's personalities will work in such settings. That being said, I love working from home although that's really a thing of the past for me and many of my colleagues. For people who do work from home and it works well for them and they're employer, the more power to them. As for Yahoo, if they become a serious innovator with a supportive work culture, then the geeks will stay (or return) regardless of the work from home policy. "The action is the juice." The bad news? Many people who require the flexibility of working from home will not be able to stay. I have mixed feelings about the whole concept.

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jdlellis1Mar. 3, 13 9:35 PM

While there is a need for personal and professional solitude, organizations generally rely on building relationships in order to deploy a viable good/service. What is missing in the working from home model is human interaction verbal and non-verbal. When receiving an eMail from someone which simply says, "Hello." provides little context as to the current state of the sender.

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FrankLMar. 3, 13 9:35 PM

This is the silliest commentary yet. One I believe the Yahoo policy is aimed at people who work remotely and don't come into the office more than a few times per year. Second, I think you would find that this policy is directed at the creative types who should be working with their teams very closely.

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hecklesMar. 3, 1310:23 PM

"People are horrified when I tell them that I work with geeks, up close and personal, all day long, often working on the same computer." Bigotry, nice.

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traderbillMar. 4, 13 9:10 AM

Teamwork? In the office there are few conversations. My wife asked a co-worker for a few minutes to discuss a problem. Her reply, "send me an email." We live in a society that is rapidly losing its ability to communicate. Go out to dinner and see that the popular restaurants are the noisiest while people sit texting rather than holding a conversation. I too have mixed feelings on telecommuting but to do an outright ban is frivolous and unproductive.

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FrankLMar. 4, 13 3:41 PM

Lots of naive people here. The hardest part to learn about business is that the important decisions get made in the hallway outside the conference room.

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maryjacoMar. 4, 13 8:14 PM

I would have to agree with Yahoo's CEO. There are many advantages of working "collaborating" as a team in an office environment. This does mean interpersonal communication and face to face interaction. Emails, text's, and today's modern communication mechanisms will Never take the place of a handshake, a live presentation and a smile. These devices are tools to assist employees to do more with less. I believe that a bridge needs to be built for the New Millennials entering into an exiting Baby Boomer model because there is an abundance of "unstructured data" that as a "TEAM" face to face they can capture, process and manage. As a society, we need that valuable data moving forward. Communication is much more than a Key Stroke!

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myob_STMar. 4, 13 8:56 PM

You know what our employer did to enable "collaboration," maryjaco? They paid big bucks for the licenses and the staff to implement SharePoint - so that people who sit next to one another could collaborate ELECTRONICALLY. We can do that from anywhere.

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