News wires have been buzzing for the the past several hours with the news that Yahoo is banning working from home. In a much-quoted memo, Yahoo HR said the following:
To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.
The Washington Post points out, “There is painful irony in a Web company that touts its mobile strategy at the same time that its HR chief calls it critical for all employees to be ‘physically together.'”
Yahoo followed this message up with one stating that the company is adopting creationism as its official belief, instituting timecards, and requiring every employee to wear a blue shirt with their name embroidered on the left breast pocket.
OK, I made that part up, but what the what?
Hello, commuting to work
What does that mean for remote workers for whom lifestyle is a key part of their job choices? It means they’re expected to report to the mother ship by June 1, 2013 with a smile on their face, some sort of pet calendar, and a personalized coffee mug. OK, I made that part up, too, but what year is this, anyway?
It seems universally accepted that the future of work (and the now in Silicon Valley) is a distributed workforce with flexibility. Ironic that Marissa Mayer was pregnant when she took the job. Employee pregnancy might be the next bit of flexibility to get axed.
Not missing an opportunity, Automattic, the company that gives us WordPress (and hosts this blog), said:
For anyone who enjoys working from wherever they like in the world, and is interested in WordPress, Automattic is 100% committed to being distributed. 130 of our 150 people are outside of San Francisco.
Written while working from home with my newborn baby