Telecommuting issues emerge at Yahoo!

There are may significant advantages for a company letting workers telecommute and work remotely. Productivity often increases as this flexibility makes workers happier. In today’s world, it’s important for a company to offer this option for some jobs.

Yet there are disadvantages when you don’t have workers together on a consistent basis. It’s impossible to replicate the casual environment of workers being together at lunch and around the office. Much gets done when people are together.

Every company needs to strike the right balance, and that’s what Marissa Mayer is trying to do at Yahoo!, but her recent announcement has sparked a backlash.

Here’s a clip:

“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.”

Just reading this, it seems like this could have been handled better by bring up the issue and looking at specific jobs. As stated above, balance is best.

But I suspect the problem may have gotten out of control at Yahoo! and that has prompted Mayer to take a hard line. Workers can be very productive at home in terms of how much they work, but it’s harder to keep workers focused on what’s best for the company if they are always at home.

It will be fascinating to see how this story develops.


Are Work Relationships Really That Important?


Just when you thought the workplace was supposed to be for, well—work, someone comes along and says otherwise. Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D. and author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office 101: Unconscious Decisions Women Make That Sabotage Their Career, claims that workers need to build relationships on the job in order to advance their careers. She also mentions that it only takes 5% of your day, which is around 20 minutes or so a day, to build strong 360-degree relationships. How? Frankel provides the following tips on how to work on relationship building without neglecting your responsibilities at work:

-Take a moment to compliment someone on a particular accomplishment.
-During a business phone call.
-On the way to or from the parking lot.
-Over lunch (even if it’s lunch at your desk).
-Before, during or after a meeting.
-In a brief doorway conversation.
-After work at professional association meetings.

If you’re confused about how this can help advance your career in today’s shaky workplace, it’s probably a good idea to pick up a copy of Frankel’s book. Let us know what you think.


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