No More Phoning It In

Yahoo recently distributed a memo prohibiting employees from working from home. Derek Thompson reviews the evidence and concludes that the policy might be misguided:

It’s understandable for executives to want to build an atmosphere where the office becomes a destination, a place where workers want to come together, where ideas percolate and bounce around an office and end up on a memo in the director’s inbox that becomes a Hot New Thing. But these reasonable arguments for building a dense and collaborative workplace culture should be weighed against the preponderance of statistical evidence, which suggests that (1) sometimes people just like to work from home for a change, and (2) they’re really good at it.

A former Yahoo employee with a different view:

For what it’s worth, I support the no working form home rule. There’s a ton of abuse of that at Yahoo. Something specific to the company.

Katie J.M. Baker criticizes the move:

[W]hat about the people — single parents, working mothers, employees with ill family members — who require a certain amount of flexibility? It’s doubtful that Mayer, who famously pooh-poohed maternity leave, really cares. According to Business Insider, Mayer might be making this move because “she knows that some remote workers won’t want to start coming into the office and so they will quit. That helps Yahoo, which needs to cut costs.”