I wonder if Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer has looked carefully at the costs (as well as the benefits) of denying staff the opportunity of working from home in favour of office-based collaboration?
In my experience of working for an office-based team it was possible to get quite a lot done for the team, when working remotely from it.
It was necessary to focus on the specific tasks and outputs to be delivered whilst operating from home though. The Guardian’s five golden rules for successful home working would have helped.
The point Yahoo may be missing is that home working wasn’t an everyday event, but an infrequent privilege extended as a sign of the healthy upside in the emotional contract between employer and employee. Employer trusts the employee to get the job done, even though the employee is not sitting in front of them chained to a desk.
What was the usual result after home working?
The employer got the timely outputs needed in the quantity required and to the appropriate quality standard. The employee got to shape their life around their work and lower the environmental impact of their work by commuting less. No dramas, no skiving and no downside involved. In fact it seemed to me to be a fairly happy, efficient and productive arrangement for both sides.
If Yahoo was to ask me I would say their proposed change seems counter-productive. Employees lose a privilege, gain a commute and wonder if their employer trusts them to deliver tasks at arms length.
- Memo to Marissa: It’s A-OK to WFH. (elance.com)