Thursday, February 28, 2013

Yahoo Remote Worker Observations

On Mayer@Yahoo decision to rescind work@home assertions by commenters and authors:

  • Not done immediately.  Must have been resulted from data-driven analysis.
  • Cannot be applied case-by-case because it would hurt morale or be too difficult
  • Must be for better innovation practices based on past experience
  • Must be for better productivity practices based on past experience
  • Company is in trouble so they must do big disruptive stuff
  • She is CEO, that is a good enough reason
  • Merely a ruse to get dead weight to quit then they will let best workers work remotely at some point in the future
  • She is smart

  • She is applying past business practices based on past experiences
  • It is generating a lot of news articles about Yahoo

  • A blanket policy cannot represent smart policy
  • Punishment over Incentive is demoralizing
  • This shows lack of trust
  • Remote employees are more effective (also stated with some or many)
  • Office employees are less effective (also stated with some or many)
  • She is encouraging people to quit to reduce/eliminate coming layoffs
  • She is controlling
  • She is stupid

From my view, I don't think any of us can really know why she implemented the policy.  Publicly stated agendas might not be private agendas. As a CEO, she needs to walk a pretty tight line to make sure she does not dramatically negatively effect share price of Yahoo.  Most of the above assertions imply a lot of inside knowledge and what the real motives are.

Although I am just giving another opinion I just thought I would throw in my 2c ant point out what I think are difficult to deny outcomes:

  1. Current remote workers will dislike/hate this policy
  2. A portion of remote workers will have to quit due to location and/or social situation
  3. Many in-demand remote workers who dislike this policy will change companies in the next four months.
  4. An unpopular decision by management has some demoralizing effects
  5. Yahoo is being talked about a lot right now

4 and possibly 5 of these are negative outcomes.  The fifth might actually magnify the first four for employees.  For this to be a good decision these all have to be outweighed by other positives.  I tried to think of the immediate positive outcomes and I could not think of anything really obvious (yahoo is doing something to change course -- maybe?).  That does not mean this won't work out as a policy (my personal feelings aside), but I think it does explain the dogpile of negative comments on the articles about Yahoo.

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