No more working from home, folks!
The cat is out of the bag. According to a leaked memo from Yahoo! HR, starting in June 2013, its employees are required to show up in their local offices. Working from home is no longer allowed. Marissa Mayer, the controversial CEO of Yahoo! believes this will boost collaboration, creativity, and productivity among its workers.
It is a surprise hearing such a thing happens today. Working from home allows employees to be more productive with the time that otherwise being wasted in commuting or being stuck in traffic jam. Moreover, the comfortable home environment is ideal for getting things done, let alone stimulating creativity. Online collaboration is no longer a myth. Tools like Google Hangout or AgileZen allows teammates to bounce off ideas quickly and easily. Coming to office is not always as good as it seems. Last month, JC Penney fired some 1,600 workers after finding out that its employees watched more than 50 Youtube videos per day instead of working.
The issue is not about working style, but is rather about the culture of innovation. Yahoo! has been a dying giant. Many of its services like Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! News, etc. are outdated. The company has not had any impressive press releases lately in comparison to its competitors like Google or Microsoft. Tell a tech person about Yahoo! and he will ask what it is doing and why it is still relevant. Thus, fixing its working culture will not likely result in any meaningful impact unless Yahoo! makes bold moves to reform itself by eliminating non-productive services and focusing resources in producing new products and services in unexplored market segments.
Technology is changing quickly. Yahoo! should act appropriately, not recklessly, if it does not want to die.