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Monday, March 4, 2013

Why Working From Home Did Not Work For Yahoo

Photographed By Brigitte Lacombe 

When Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, announced that their employees could not continue working from home, and had to go back to the office, most of the world was shocked.

Home working is growing, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 22% of men work from home, while 24% of women worked from home. Why go against it?

It was controversial and many voices, companies and bloggers stood up in favor or against it. But everyone had their opinion. Why was yahoo doing this? Should they expect an uprising from discontent workers? Is that the most important thing Marissa Mayer should be worrying about now?

Those in favor of home offices gave their arguments:
  • People save time and money if they avoid commuting.
  • Instead of commuting, staff could spend more quality time with their families or doing what they liked.
  • Going to the office doesn’t necessarily mean you`re working.
  • It’s more comfortable, working from home means you can work in your pajamas and have the flexibility of doing it at any time.
  • With today’s technologies, meetings, interaction with colleagues and sharing ideas or projects can be done online.
  • If organized properly, employees are more efficient.

Those against it also gave their arguments:
  • People are less productive as there are more distractions (phone ringing, dog barking, kids yelling, etc).
  • Less interaction between employees makes all processes take longer.
  • There is less bonding among the team.
  • People feel they are missing advancement opportunities.
  • Some executives prefer to have everyone under one roof for more control.

Who is right and who is wrong?
There is plenty of research trying to show benefits for both opinions, a recent survey from Stanford University revealed that employees who work from home are more productive and happier, yet they're 50 percent less likely to get promoted compared to those who regularly come into an office.
But the real discussion is why Yahoo did it. The explanation is simple. Yahoo like a lot of companies, has something called a Virtual Private Network or VPN. Remote workers can use it to securely log into Yahoo's network and do work.

After spending months frustrated at how empty Yahoo parking lots were, Mayer consulted Yahoo's VPN logs to see if remote employees were checking in enough but Mayer discovered they were not. Home working wasn’t working for Yahoo.

While the controversy continues, we are convinced that home working can be beneficial, just as it can be risky. It all depends on each person and on how the company handles it.

In case you’ve decided to follow Yahoo’s steps and will not continue working from home, give us a call at (866) 354-5478 or visit us as OfficeList and we’ll help you find the best environment to find a shared office


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