Last week Marissa Mayer, new CEO of Yahoo!, issued a memo telling employees they aren’t to work from home anymore. Starting in June. Apparently a lot of Yahoo! employees are unhappy about it. So the confidential memo was forwarded to media. Often. (click here for the memo at AllThingsD.)
According to David Heinemeier Hansson, partner at 37 Signals, in No more remote work at Yahoo:
What this reveals more than anything is that Yahoo management doesn’t have a clue as to who’s actually productive and who’s not.
Sad. Yahoo ruled the web-search world in the middle 1990s, in the days before Google. It’s been through a lot. And Marissa Mayer has a great track record in the industry. And maybe she needs to pull things back together. But is this one going to work?
The memo proclaims the reasons for keeping together:
From Sunnyvale to Santa Monica, Bangalore to Beijing — I think we can all feel the energy and buzz in our offices. To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side.
But this is 2013. The world is flat. Productivity isn’t a matter of keeping seats warm. Productivity needs leadership, motivation, metrics, accountability, and — especially as companies grow — management. Managing expectations and feedback.
The buzz that followed the memo was far from the energy and buzz in Yahoo! offices. It was much more the buzz from disgruntled employees. Kara Swisher reported in her piece in AllThingsD:
The tone and tactics have infuriated some at the company. Wrote one impacted Yahoo employee to me: ‘Even if that was what was previously agreed to with managers and HR, or was a part of the package to take a position, tough … It’s outrageous and a morale killer.’
This reminds methat larger companies struggle with structure and the management they require. I’m glad the business world is splintering into smaller units, much more individuals, much more freedom. What do you think?