Yahoo! & Working From Home

Much has been made of Marrisa Mayer’s controversial decision to stop allowing Yahoo! employees to work from home. I've heard pretty convincing arguments for it and against it. I feel pretty strongly about allowing employees to work when and where they’re most productive. Personally, I’ve often found that I can be incredibly productive working from home on Saturday mornings. And not so productive when in the office on a Friday afternoon. And often it can be vice versa. But having the flexibility to manage my own productivity makes me a better employee. Having that kind of control is really important.

But none of this takes into account collaboration with my company and team. There are things that I can’t do on my own time. I have to collaborate with my colleagues, and when and where we do that is not always up to me. So I need to balance optimizing my own productivity with finding time to collaborate and learn and innovate with my colleagues. Ideally, a CEO should allow individuals to manage that balance on their own. But when a company is going through a massive change in management and structure and mission (like Yahoo! is right now) it absolutely makes sense for the CEO to mandate that balance.

Right now, according to Mayer, it appears that Yahoo! is in transition. And in need of better collaboration and teamwork and that’s why she made the decision to bring employees back to the office.

In short, I guess my opinion is to not have an opinion. Those of us that are not on the executive team at Yahoo! can’t really know the circumstances at Yahoo! and, given those circumstances, can't really make an intelligent judgement about the most appropriate work from home policy.