A recent announcement – ultimatum – by Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is clear: Telecommuters must come into the office or leave the company. Then, Best Buy followed suit and decided to end their “result’s-only work environment,” or ROWE, which evaluated workers performance instead of the amount of time spent in the office. These decisions have caused quite a stir recently, and for good reason. There are people who enjoy this flexibility, and feel that working whenever and wherever they want is a perk of balancing life and work.
When was the last time you saw Yahoo! do anything really worth talking about? Or, Best Buy for that matter? You walk into Best Buy and it’s a veritable ghost town. This move makes sense. Its imperative that these companies reign everyone in to work under one roof where: collaboration, innovation and creativity can take place.
I’m all for a telecommuting. But, when your employees are possibly shirking responsibilities and “entire floors of cubicles were nearly empty because some employees were working as little as possible.” You need to seriously take a look at how the business is running. If people are performing their duties wonderfully, then let them stay home and work in their pajamas. If they need to be around to collaborate, and create new awesome products — then bring them back into the office.
This whole ultimatum deal is ridiculous. Having entire floors of people out is no way to run a department. Telecommuting needs to have a good structure in place, where people are accountable for the time they spend at home. Startups are great with this. If you want to work form home they have no problem. Its more of an unspoken rule, but employees understand that working from home doesn’t mean taking it easy, and that they could be left out of crucial conversations that could be taking place.
Who knows how many ideas are sparked from casual conversation, or an impromptu meeting happening around your desk? People are inspired all the time, and being around others to achieve this goal is imperative to the creative process. So is shutting everyone out, and taking some quality time to truly focus on a task at hand. Mulling it over and over in your brain without interruption is vital to creating ideas. But, you have to be able to take it to the group for vetting. An idea that you have bouncing around in your head, and not put into action is just that — an idea bouncing around in your head.
Let’s see if these moves stir some renewed vitality in Yahoo! and Best Buy.