So, why is Yahoo!’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, telling Yahoo!’s work-at-home employees to get back into the office? And what could Yahoo!’s employees learn from the example of Apple?
To Work Or Not To Work
Here’s the story in a nutshell. Newly crowned Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, an engineer with Google street creed, decided that the company’s many work-at-home employees needed to come back to the office.
That edict created a firestorm of protest which divided much of the world into two very distinct camps.
Camp #1 decried the decree as overbearing, dictatorial, not recognizing the need of a modern employee base.
Camp #2 isn’t as noisy, and their message is simple. ‘You go, girl!’ Why? Camp #2 is also divided into two sub-camps, though both are in agreement.
The first sub-camp is made up of those smart people who recognize what Mayer recognized; Yahoo!’s work-at-home employees were not doing the job, but collecting a paycheck, and corporate survival is at stake. People need to collaborate to improve Yahoo!
The second sub-camp is made up of Yahoo! employees who don’t work at home, and know that those work-at-home employees were not pulling their weight. Mayer’s edict levels the playing field. Those who can’t stand the heat of the kitchen will leave; so to speak.
Learning From Apple
Apple has plenty of work-at-home employees, but the vast majority prefer to work in an Apple campus, long known as a hotbed of creativity and productivity, and notorious for work weeks that go long beyond 40 hours.
Apple gets a lot more done with fewer employees than most technology companies. How? Apple chooses employees carefully, and Apple manages employees carefully. Pull your weight and then some, or you’re gone.
Apple’s employees, culture, and methods make Apple a great company; proud, efficient, profitable. Yahoo! could learn a thing or two from Apple.
Critics be damned. Mayer is correct. Yahoo!’s employees need to pull together, work together, and inspire one another– face to face. Why? Because work-at-home doesn’t work if those working at home don’t really work. And, let’s face it. When was the last time that Yahoo! really excelled at anything?
Their work-at-home culture wasn’t working. Mayer knows that. Insightful critics know that. Yahoo!’s own employees know that. And Mayer did something about it.
Will it work? Can Mayer inspire Yahoo!’s troops to be more like Apple? That remains to be seen. The complainers will leave, insulted, of course. Critics will hate the back-to-the-office edict. But Mayer made the right move.
Most of my work is done on a Mac and I can work from home now and again (especially if I have a communicable disease), but most of the time I’m in the office and working shoulder to shoulder with other professionals who want to move our company forward, rather than bask in self-aggrandizing glory, selfishness, and privilege.