SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Melanie Turek
Melanie Turek is Vice President, Research at Frost & Sullivan. She is a renowned expert in unified communications, collaboration, social...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Melanie Turek | February 24, 2013 |

 
   

Yeah, This is the Way to Run a Tech Company in 2013!

Yeah, This is the Way to Run a Tech Company in 2013! The woman tasked with turning around Yahoo has decided that flexible working arrangements slow decision making, reduce efficiency and lower quality. Really?

The woman tasked with turning around Yahoo has decided that flexible working arrangements slow decision making, reduce efficiency and lower quality. Really?

Marissa Mayer's pre-weekend memo concerning the fate of all work-from-home employees at Yahoo! (they have to start working in a corporate office come June, or leave the company) has come in for its fair share of criticism--and rightly so. The woman tasked with turning around the failing company has decided that flexible working arrangements slow decision making, reduce efficiency and lower quality. Really? This is her response to making Yahoo an innovative tech leader in the 21st century?

Like many commentators, I am tempted to frame this in the context of working parents, especially given Ms. Mayer's high-profile pregnant-CEO role (a role she didn't choose, but which she must have known she would play). Flexible schedules--including the ability to work from home full time or part time--make it easier to balance work and home life, especially when one bleeds into the other, and that can be especially beneficial for parents (as well as people caring for elderly parents of their own, or very sick spouses, and so on). But employees are also asked "use your best judgment in the spirit of collaboration" when doing things like staying home to wait for the cable guy; does that mean everyone should schedule their cable visits for the same day and elect one person to ride along with the installer and let him in to each location? And does it really need pointing out that for people who don't have full-time help at home, waiting for the cable guy isn't really optional, unless you don't want cable? (Maybe this policy would make more sense for Hulu or Netflix.)

Obviously, this is not about parents at all; it is about employees, and how to help them be the most productive, valuable employees they can be.

Study after study shows that people work better, smarter and faster when they have the freedom and flexibility to do so in the ways that work best for them; and when they have time to breathe in between tasks and activities--especially when those tasks require creativity. Not everyone likes working from home, and of course some jobs must be performed in an office or other location. But for those who do favor it, they will almost always tell you they are more productive, higher-performing, much happier and remarkably loyal as a result. Although I understand the desire to have amazing ideas springing fertile from office hallways, we all know the reality of office life is much, much different.

Plus, isn't that what all these new social/collaboration tools are supposed to help with? (Ahem... Yahoo? Maybe you need to rethink what, exactly, makes a web tool relevant today?).

It's also worth noting that Ms. Mayer doesn't appear to be suggesting that, since employees are now expected to act like it's 1955, they will keep the same business hours as their grandparents did: 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday. That might be a trade-off some people are willing to make.





COMMENTS



July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.