Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer got the world talking earlier this year when an internal memo was leaked, effectively announcing her intention to put an end to the company’s work from home policy.
Beginning in June, employees who work from home will be expected to start working from the office:
To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices.”
Of course, this announcement was greeted with a lot of criticism from the tech community and proponents of flexible work environments. Read more…
Yahoo’s making flex work news again with an announcement Tuesday that it’s beefing up paid parental leave for men and women.
Up to 16 weeks of paid leave, with benefits, for new Moms (8 weeks for new Dads) is heartening news from the tech company whose CEO, Marissa Mayer, came under fire recently for announcing a telecommuting ban.
As you can imagine, social media was all a twitter with Yahoo’s leave decision, with some employees seeing the move as further proof that working parents get special treatment when it comes to flexible work arrangements. Read more…
I recently spent a week in an office for the first time since July 2009. I have spent days in coffee shops, co-working spaces, and other people’s offices but never a full week of that in one place and at one desk.
I thought it was going to be mostly annoying, but to my delight, it was mostly not that at all. I don’t know if that’s because of my great new co-workers or nearly four years of office sensory deprivation talking. Let’s just call it both.
Somebody asked me if I liked working from home and I responded enthusiastically that I do. When asked why, I said something along the lines of, “I’m kinda a loner.” It felt like a loser, cop-out answer. Read more…
“People are more productive when they’re alone, but they’re more collaborative and innovative when they’re together.” — Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO
Marissa Mayer maintained a long and remarkable silence in the face of unrelenting criticism of Yahoo’s mid-February “ban on telecommuting.” She let a clumsy HR memo stand in for her views.
Late last week, as gun legislation and the Boston manhunt blanketed the news, Mayer chose to appear at a long-scheduled Great Place to Work gathering of HR professionals and executives in Los Angeles.
Rather than cancel and avoid the inevitable issue, according to news report she came armed with well-prepared lines and graphic support. According to CNN Money, mid-speech she said: Read more…
Have you read Sheryl Sandberg‘s new book Lean In?
If not, you’ve probably heard about it. It’s receiving rave reviews and generating a lot of conversation. Oprah Winfrey referred to the book as “honest and brave … The new manifesto for women in the workplace.”
The book — and the author — have created quite a stir. In a PBS interview, Sandberg stated “there’s no such thing as work-life balance. There’s work, there’s life, and there’s no balance.” The book encourages women to challenge assumptions about themselves and the workplace, and urges us to give up the myth of “having it all.” Read more…
My how things change.
Several years ago, companies began taking employees out of offices and putting them into cubicles. From there, the trend went to open work spaces; then shared work spaces; and now large groups of employees don’t even work in the company building.
In fact, by 2014 more than 1 billion people —more than 30 percent of the global workforce — will work remotely.
Last year, the Society for Human Resource Management reported, for the first time, more than half of all U.S. companies offered employees the opportunity to work flexible hours or in programs like job sharing. These options give employees a lot more flexibility and freedom, and make them happier about their jobs because they’re able to put their lives together in ways that matter to them. Read more…
Jack Nilles was a Southern California engineer who coined the term “telecommuting” in 1973. It caught on.
Frank Luntz is a Republican marketing strategist who also names things. He relentlessly tests campaign language in focus groups to see what moves people in his desired direction.
Luntz is credited with morphing the term “anti-abortion” into its more effective successor, “pro-life.” He suggested replacing the vaguely “anti-rich” phrase inheritance tax with the now ubiquitous “death tax.” Clever – and very effective.
He describes his work as “testing language and finding words that will help his clients sell their product or turn public opinion on an issue or a candidate.” In a recent memo he says, “Bad language is costly.” Read more…
Just when the dust was settling on Yahoo, along came Best Buy.
Another endangered company with a new CEO was pleading for “All Hands on Deck!” as it abolished its ROWE (Results-Oriented Work Environment) version of flexible work.
Yahoo and Best Buy each argued that collaboration was best done in the office.
According to the Yahoo HR memo: Read more…
In all the many words that have been written about the Yahoo and Best Buy decisions to quit allowing out of the office flex work, one point seems to have gotten lost: there are a number of important things those work-from-home employee miss out on.
I’ve been working from home now for three years, and although I enjoy the short commute upstairs to my office, I really miss not having other people around to bounce things off.
That’s a big loss, because I function better in some ways with a team that’s physically around me.
Plus, it’s easy to feel distant and removed from your co-workers without the common bonds and shared experiences that flow from working together in an office environment. A lot gets lost when you don’t have that to bind you to the work and the rest of the company. Read more…
Now that the dust has settled a bit about Marissa Meyer’s controversial “no working from home” policy at Yahoo, I thought I’d weigh in.
Many companies provide work-from-home options. Employees love it.
But many managers struggle with it. They ask me about this all the time — “How do you optimize motivation AND productivity?”
There are two important thoughts here: Read more…