Marissa Mayer, the relatively new CEO of Yahoo, has decided she wants her employees showing up to the offices beginning in June, not just telecommuting from home all the time, according to All Things D’s Kara Swisher. From an internal memo:
“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.”
Swisher also reports, perhaps unsurprisingly, “strong” anger among those affected by the policy, many of whom joined the company in part because of the flexibility that Yahoo previously provided. But don’t just assume that telecommuting, or working remotely, or whatever you want to call it, comes from a place of laziness. A number of studies have proven quite the opposite:
- A Stanford study, conveniently released on the same day as Yahoo’s memo, reported that call center employees increased their performance by 13 percent when working from home. They also reported “improved work satisfaction and experienced less turnover,” according to the study.
- A University of Texas at Austin study from late last year found that those people who work from home “add five to seven hours to their workweek compared with those who work exclusively at the office.” Such workhorses, we homeworkers are!
- A Bureau of Labor Statistics study, also from last year, reported that working remotely “seems to boost productivity, decrease absenteeism” -- that means missing work -- “and increase retention.” It also gives employers more incentive to ask you to work on weekends, the authors say. Boo!!
- According to some recent research published in the MIT Sloan Management Review, bosses are roughly 9 percent more likely to consider you “dependable” and “reponsible” if you “put in expected face time” Translation: Being at the office can help you get that raise you so desire.
All in all, it appears working from home is a bit of mixed bag for employee and employer alike. On the one hand, enhanced productivity, more work satisfaction, less turnover -- all good things! On the other, longer hours, more weekend obligations, less chance of impressing the boss -- not so good! Looks like Yahoo just took a big chance.