A lot has been reported and blogged about concerning Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to end working remotely for all employees by June 1.
Mayer is trying to change Yahoo’s company culture and believes this can only be done by working together and by together I mean in the same office around the same water cooler and drinking the same company Kool-Aid. It’s no secret that Yahoo is in danger of becoming another AOL, WebCrawler, Netscape, or AltaVista. Simply put, Yahoo is no longer relevant and she needs the best and brightest to work at Yahoo again.
So I ask, “Would you want to work for a company that believes you can only work from work?” Does she really believe work only happens in the office? Look around you. We’re more connected today to business and friends than ever before. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, WIFI, Skype, Facebook, text messages, IM… the list keeps going. And what year is it again? 2013 or 1953? I thought Yahoo was a forward-thinking company and a key part of the information age where innovation pushes new product development.
For me this comes down to trust and responsibility. Lousy employees are lousy in the office as well as out of it. Yahoo needs to put in the checks and balances necessary to retain and attract today’s dynamic workforce. I believe if Marissa really looked at the qualities and traits she wants in Yahoo employees she would see that it all comes down to performance. Either the work is getting done and getting done right or it’s not.
In this day and age, I’ve found the best employees understand what personal trust and commitment means. This same group knows that work doesn’t start at 9 or end at 5 and that working late into the evening or on a weekend is sometimes necessary to get the job done. In exchange for accessibility and productivity, the company provides benefits like schedule flexibility and an easy commute to the home office without rush hour hassles and no work expenses like parking or eating out.
We all work remotely at True Digital Communications. We are not a virtual office performing virtual work. I hate that term because it implies a lack of professionalism. We’ve even poked fun of it in a video. Instead we refer to it as an Open Office. Open in terms of flexibility for our team members but also open around the clock as needed for our clients. We work from our home offices, our clients’ offices, Starbucks or Panera and meet regularly. Isn’t this the type of work commitment Yahoo is looking for in its employees too?
In fact, our team members are together all day everyday. Perhaps that’s where Marissa should start as she retools Yahoo. The technology is there to connect a team remotely through email, instant messaging and video chat. Maybe that’s the real problem, Marissa. When did Yahoo last create tools to assist today’s progressive, innovative forward-thinking Open Office companies? At True, we use Google’s digital communications package because it meets our needs, wherever we are. If Marissa was looking for advice, I’d tell her to check out Google’s program.