Business Insider: “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.”
I work remotely. I use a VPN connection. I’m not always connected via VPN. I would be screwed as a Yahoo employee.
Having said that I work on desktop software so maintaining a persistent VPN connection doesn’t mean anything to doing my job. I can lose the connection and still build new features and fix bugs. It’s not a big deal. Maybe the folks at Yahoo need a persistent VPN connection to perform their daily tasks and that’s what screwed them?
In the end Ms. Mayer has to do what she believes will turn Yahoo around. At the end of the day her butt will be on the line if they don’t succeed.
There is, of course, another side to this coin. You can find highly motivated, very good, people that can’t live, or don’t want to live, in the Silicon Valley. Not everyone is well suited to be a remote employee. It takes some getting used to and it takes a lot of personal discipline. If you can manage it, it’s a pretty great setup.
Richard Branson on the flipside:
“I have enormous respect for Michael Bloomberg and have rarely disagreed with anything he has done or said. However, on this occasion I disagree completely. Many employees who work from home are extremely diligent, get their job done, and get to spend more time with their families. They waste less time commuting and get a better work/life balance. To force everybody to work in offices is old school thinking.”
The bottom line: It’s up to the company to decide what’s best for the company. If you want to telecommute, look for a job that will allow you to telecommute.
Yahoo clearly isn’t the place for telecommuters.