Allow me to repeat what Lisa says in my own words.
Marissa Mayer's Work-From-Home Ban Is The Exact Opposite Of What CEOs Should Be DoingLisa Belkin
Senior Columnist on Life/Work/Family, The Huffington Post
What others see as the future of the workplace, and what parents see as a most important tool for juggling home and work, Marissa Mayer apparently sees as disposable.
The CEO of Yahoo!, who made news when she took the position last summer... announced through the company's human resources arm yesterday that employees will no longer be permitted to work remotely.
"Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home," says the memo from HR director Jackie Rees, and reprinted by Kara Swisher on allthingsd.com last night. "We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together."
No. It doesn't.
No. It does not.
I worked for Yahoo! for nearly 6 years. I started as a contractor; 1 day remote was part of the deal I made. When they offered to convert me to FTE, I negotiated 2 days a week.
After two years, when I had enough vacation time "in the bank" to take every other Wednesday afternoon off, my manager agreed to let me work from home those Wednesday mornings. At 3 years, he agreed to let me work from home every Wednesday. (3 days/week.)
Nearly everything I did was by email and IM. We interacted by email and IM _in the office_.
I had one regular weekly meeting which I attended on site. If a meeting with stakeholders was important, I attended on site.
The cubicle area was noisy and distracting, with cell phones, break room conversations, tromping feet, hallway conversations, and bad lighting. And unlike some companies, Yahoo! had 5-ft-high cubicle walls.
I simply adjusted to the idea that my productivity would be 50% or less on the days I was onsite. I tried to schedule meetings for those days.
My work area at home is private and quiet. I have two large screens (Yahoo! allocates one). Bandwidth is excellent. There's no vehicular traffic or slow trains to contend with when working from home, so the day begins less than an hour after waking up.
I was re-orged out of Yahoo! at the end of 2012 (lost my VP, lost my manager, lost my team, new team wasn't a "fit", job was eliminated.) I can't blame Marissa for the loss of my job; she came in after I left.
Over the past year, I'd been thinking it would be nice to go back if something opened up that was a fit. Today, my separation from Yahoo! has become a finalized divorce.
Here's a quote from Linda Belkin's article that I think summarizes things nicely:
Rather than championing a blending of life and work, [Marissa] is calling for an enforced and antiquated division. She is telling workers -- many of whom were hired with the assurance that they could work remotely -- that they'd best get their bottoms into their office chairs, or else.
That's not how you retain good people.
If I had still been at Yahoo! when that memo came out, my resume would have been posted that afternoon and I would have been job hunting. With a 40-mile, (hour+ on public transit) commute _one way_, my productivity and mental health is far more important to me than the slim possibility that a co-worker might want to "drop in" for a chat.
If you really want to see my face, I have a camera in my laptop.
I Loved my job at Yahoo!. I love my sanity more.