Thursday, February 28, 2013

A World of Yahoos

Big buzz this week regarding Yahoo's CEO announcing employees will no longer be allowed to work from home. This has touched off a fairly large debate about whether people are more productive at home or at the office. Some research out seems to suggest people are more productive at home than at the office. I certainly know I can be more productive at my dining room table than at my desk (at least when everyone else is also at the office).

But I think the more interesting aspect of the whole model is how employees are held accountable. To me, what Marissa Mayer is saying by telling Yahoo employees to come back in is "we don't have an effective system for determining whether you are doing a good job other than to see you here working." That is a pretty terrible message. Companies that have clear goals and performance expectations based on those goals should always be able to let anyone work from anywhere - for any number of hours - and determine whether  the employee is successful based on their performance against those expectations. I would guess there are less of those companies out there though than there are Yahoos.

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