The news that Marissa Mayer has told all employees at Yahoo! that they can no longer work from home is – to put it mildly – a shock in 2013.
We’re living a world that is the most connected that it has ever been, yet the CEO of one of the world’s biggest tech companies still thinks employees need to be chained to their desks to produce the best results.
To be honest, I’m surprised anyone is already allowed to work from home at Yahoo! and that comes from personal experience.
A couple of years ago, I was offered a job at Yahoo!’s London office – I’d seemingly sailed through a couple of interviews and my bosses-to-be knew I lived a fair commute away from London.
When I was offered the job, I asked about the policy on home working – I was met by the unequivocal: ‘There is no work-from-home policy’.
The rigidity of this rang immediate warning bells – was I really hearing this right? I was being taken on in a position that – initially – didn’t have any direct reports and was one of the world’s biggest and well-known Internet companies, and yet they didn’t offer remote working at all.
As it turned out, they couldn’t meet my salary requirements either, so along with their lack of ‘friendly’ staff policies, I said thanks, but no thanks.
What’s the problem?
The thing is, allowing employees to work from home is the ultimate show of trust.
It demonstrates that you know that your staff are mature enough to carry out their job, without them needing to sit at a desk in an air-conditioned office in the company of everyone else 5 days a week.
I’m sure Marissa Mayer has her reasons, but I can see it backfiring in a major way, if she enforces it for a long time.