That said, my confidence still gets dented from time to time… and most recently by the new Chief Executive of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer.
Now Ms. Mayer is a former Google Executive… so let’s start with Google and a quote from their Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette. Mr Pichette has said that the answer to anyone asking how many Google staff telecommute (telework, remote work, work from home, call it what you will) was ‘as few as possible’. He went on to say that, “There is something magical about spending the time together, about noodling on ideas, about asking at the computer ‘What do you think of this?’”.
Now that’s got to be one for the sick-bucket… but back to Marissa Mayer. She has issued a memo banning Yahoo staff from working from home. An extract from the memo reads, “Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings.” Another says… “Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”
Given all that I have said on the subject of modern life’s pressure on working people and the effect this has on families and society, I am disappointed by these attitudes. I am particularly disappointed that they are present in ‘Tech’ companies given theirs is an industry that has shouted the advantages of modern technology from the rooftops… ease of communication, virtual office environments, more efficient use of time, lower carbon emissions and so on.
People don’t need to be permanently together to be a team. Nor does your team need to be together and visible to be led.
Unless you’re lacking in leadership confidence, that is.
Tags: advantages of modern technology attitudes cafeteria carbon emissions chief executive chief financial officer confidence efficient use google hallway marissa mayer noodling office environments patrick pichette rooftops team meetings use of time virtual office walks of life working from home