Posts tagged telecommuting

Thoughts on Marissa Mayer

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An insight, an idea: Marissa Mayer

Yahoo! got the CEO they wanted. They wanted someone who would put work before family. They wanted someone who would make the company–and employees–toe the line.

So no more working from home, although Mayer has the clout and the capital to bring her home to work.

I do recognize, as Amanda Enayati points out in her CNN opinion piece, that Meyer was hired to turn around a company that isn’t performing. It’s entirely possible that the existing work-from-home policy was being grossly abused, and that this is an effort to rid the company of dead weight.

As this Forbes piece points out, Marissa Meyer has always put a premium on face-to-face interaction–so this move was a surprise to many, but in fact is in keeping with her track record.

But I also believe that it’s not fair to refuse to let people work from home during the day, but expect them to do so at night. And saying “You can work from home when your child is sick” assumes that you’re not taking care of that sick child.

Flexibility matters, as former HP CEO Carly Fiorina points out. Surely there is a middle ground–regular work-at-home days don’t have to mean that a worker is never in the office. And they certainly don’t have to mean that there is no accountability.

And the latest evidence that Mayer is delivering what Yahoo! wants? Her 6-month bonus.

$1.2 million? Come on.

It’s like Yahoo! wants the rest of us to hate them. And her.

Photo by World Economic Forum, via Flickr. Creative Commons.

A Question of Trust

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Handcuffs

David Meerman Scott has a great post about why it matters whether an employer lets you use social media at work. One sentence sums it up nicely: “When companies ban social networking, the best employees leave. They sense they are not trusted.”

So, if you’re an employer, here are a few questions for you:

  • Are your employees getting their work done on time?
  • Do you let your employees access social media sites at work?
  • Do you let them check their personal e-mail?
  • Will you find ways to incorporate regular telecommuting on at least a part-time basis?

If you answered “yes” to the first question and “no” to any of the others, then I have only one more question for you:

Why did you hire so many people you don’t trust?

Also, you may want to ask yourself if you’re really as good a boss as you think you are.

Photo by Txspiked, via Flickr.

Looking Inward, Socially

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Jesse Stanchak has an interesting post on the next wave of social media. In short, he thinks it will focus on internal communications, and may not take the form we’re accustomed to.

I think that a lot of organizations miss the boat on internal communications, and this is an interesting idea. But I wonder how I’d feel about actually participating in something along these lines.

There’s definitely great opportunity–as more companies work remotely, there’s a need for ways to link employees who aren’t in the same physical location. Videoconferences can bridge some gaps, but they require a lot of setup. A less formal structure could ease day-to-day interaction and help people share information and get a better feel for each other as colleagues and individuals.

But there’s also the chance for abuse. Stanchek says, “By watching internal social communications between employees, managers can figure out where their workers are spending the most time, where their pain points are and what resources are needed to enhance performance. . . .” That’s a best-case scenario; managers can also become Big Brother, watching employee communications for anything that smacks of disagreement with company policies or practices.

And then there’s the fact that too many places don’t even have viable intranets. Are those organizations really likely to develop useful, functional social networks?

There’s potential in this idea, but I’m not sure how close we are.

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