At Jenrick we have seen various working trends over the last 46 years. From on-boarding to offshoring, outsourcing, near-sourcing, home-sourcing and home working.
Recently Marissa Mayer (CEO at Yahoo) has reversed an increasing trend in the workplace by reducing the number of employees who are permitted to work from home. This decision has been, to say the least, controversial and has been met with some derision in the marketplace.
Yahoo, which was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in 1995 (‘Yahoo’ stands for Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle) and whilst it is one of the most visited websites on the internet, many analysts state it has started to lose its way. It is hoped that Mayer will help transform its fortunes.
However her 'come into the office' policy, which was announced in February, has attracted widespread criticism. In February, Yahoo HR director Jackie Reses sent a memo banning employees from working from home. Marissa Mayer is thought to have decided on the ban after spending months frustrated by Yahoo’s empty car park, postponed internal meetings and having checked the VPN logs to see if employees were logged on.
The memo included:
"We need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together."
Whilst the ban has been met with some negativity, most employees at Yahoo agreed with it as they recognise that the culture needed to change. At a conference in LA, Mayer commented;
“people are more productive when they’re alone, but they’re more collaborative and innovative when they’re together. Some of the best ideas come from pulling two different ideas together”.
Marissa Mayer is very highly rated by her colleagues, peers and competitors alike and in a recent magazine article Eric Schmidt (Executive Chairman of Google) described Mayer as a “Path breaker and a trailblazer and an inspiration to women everywhere”
One wonders if Yahoo could start a trend towards more office based collaborative working, especially where the business strategy is based around innovation rather than pure production. Having held discussions with some of our key clients, the jury is still out on the advantages and disadvantages of home working, but the issue is a discussion agenda point for the first time in a long time.
We would be keen to hear your thoughts on this matter, please feel free to contact us on 01932 245 500