Grand summary of posts on Remote work & Yahoo
With my upcoming book about my experience at WordPress.com, where everyone works from home, I’ve been following the Yahoo announcement closely. Here’s a rundown of the better posts I’ve seen about their policy change and notable responses:
- All Things D reports that the Yahoo ban on remote work will only effect a few hundred workers, primarily service reps.
- Here is a copy of the actual memo CEO Marissa Mayer sent out. And the data she used to make the decision.
- The Economist reports results of a recent survey of 11,000 workers. 20% work from home frequently, and 7% work from home everyday. They also quote Virgin CEO Richard Branson saying “Yours truly has never worked out of an office and never will.” While Donald Trump said “Mayer was right to expect Yahoo employees to come to the workplace vs. working at home.”
- There are a growing number of successful companies that are nearly 100% distributed
- Is Yahoo’s remote work ban worse for women?
- Daring Fireball says Yahoo needs a kick in the ass (pointing out remote work hadn’t helped them much so far)
- Slate thinks she made a terrible mistake
- The Daily Beast offers “What I expect Yahoo to learn is that telecommuting is not the problem—it is a solution.”
- Shanley Kane believes “A world of startup privilege hides blithely unexamined underneath an insipid, self-reinforcing banner of meritocracy”
- Cisco’s Telework week starts on Monday
- CNN quotes Foursquare Co-Founder Dennis Crowley taking the middle ground “It is great to offer employees flexibility if they need to be off for a day or so, or for an afternoon”
- 37Signals, who have an upcoming book called Remote, suggest Yahoo isn’t doing well enough to have hard rules.
- Does Remote work boost productivity? Yes for creative tasks according to one study.
- For NPR, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg points out “it’s difficult to transition from being reliant on in-person interactions to being just as effective in a distributed fashion — it’s something you can’t do halfway”
- The Washington post reports the U.S. Patent office is heavily distributed
- Surowiecki at the New Yorker claims creativity is harder when working remotely – so I guess he doesn’t see anything on the web that’s creative?
- CNN / ORC survey says American’s in favor of remote work
- From 2012 CNN ranking of top 100 companies, may have high percentages of remote workers
I took the middle ground defending both remote work and Marissa Mayer.
If you know of other excellent responses please leave a comment. Thanks.
So many ‘authorities’ asserting most definite ‘opinions’ on this question! With the multitude of variables effecting the outcome in each case, the most rational answer is: “It depends.”
I am not surprised staff leaked the e-mail.
Perhaps part of bringing Yahoo! together was to be more high-touch. If so, it’s ironic how, for a message so many found so disturbing, they used a high-tech but low-touch method.
I read that Shanley Kane quote about 5 times before I gave up trying to understand what it means.
I had to consciously turn down my sarcasm knob for this one:
I can imagine a traditional pyramid organization having a workplace with noise and interruptions. But with modern flattened pyramids, and empowerment, the leadership can be distributed to all the desk-computer workers.
In a traditional work place, say with monks at desks doing manuscripts, you can complain that the abbot should make a culture where everyone is quiet. But where everyone accepts responsibility, instead of complaining like a child-victim, adults can cooperate to form a culture (such as ‘don’t be evil’) they believe in, one where they manage noise and so forth.
In my city a former politician, Brian Lee, (Custom Learning Systems Group) has for years been making big bucks changing the culture of certain hospitals down in the US. I was part of the process for one year up here (until provincial funding ran out) so I know it is indeed possible to change culture and have people be responsible.
An HR perspective: http://www.hrbullets.co.uk/unplugged/silly-you-yahoo-flexible-workings-one-of-the-biggest-assets-youve-got.html