Mayer talks about Yahoo telecommuting policy

Christopher Tkaczyk, CNN Money:

Mayer defended her decision by first acknowledging that “people are more productive when they’re alone,” and then stressed “but they’re more collaborative and innovative when they’re together. Some of the best ideas come from pulling two different ideas together.” The shift in policy affects roughly 200 of Yahoo’s 12,000 employees.

People can collaborate and innovate without working in the same office, as well. It’s all a matter of effective personnel management and effective use of appropriate technology.

  • Mother Hydra

    Her “corporate narratvie” jargon is word soup. She should have stuck with “My goal is not to change the culture, but to amplify its greatness” and left it at that.

  • Aenean144

    Mayer should just say STFU to her critics or ignore them. She’s right. Yahoo has had a long, near decade long, slide. It’s all hands on deck time. If Yahoo employees don’t want to get with the program, they can leave.

    When Jobs took over, it was the same mentality. It was time to work and go 100%. If employees couldn’t handle it, they could leave.

  • kibbles

    I work IT for a global enterprise company, my manager is in another country. sorry but I don’t buy into the groupware…it sucks. net meetings are nowhere as good as working with people in person. you can’t schedule happy accidents down by the water cooler or at happy hour.

  • People can collaborate remotely, but the immediacy and subtlety of in-person communication takes a noticeable hit.

  • dtj

    A lot of the success of remote workers is based upon the caliber of people you hire, the job they have to do, and particular characteristics of people working. Some people just can’t handle it or don’t like it. Others flourish in that environment.

  • People can do well in a remote situation, but even setting Mayer’s situation aside, which is not a good one for remote workers, that doesn’t mean it’s always the best idea.

    For example, even you prefer in person. What about your session at that conference in Ireland required you to be there in person instead of a talking head on a screen? Technically, nothing. But, there are subtleties of communication that even HD can’t replicate, and, as others have pointed out, the chances for “aha” moments in conversations after a session, in a hallway or at a restaurant can’t exist with remote workers. Once you close that connection down, you’ve shut all that down. Email is not spontaneous, it requires latency and encourages filtering. Chat is more immediate, but it is mostly textual, and too easy to ignore.

    In-person communication is always, always richer and allows for a feedback that no amount of remote working tech can replicate.

    That is NOT the same as saying remote working is a bad idea. But again, given Mayer’s situation, I don’t see what she did was a bad idea at all.