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Yahoo Flap Misses The Bigger Point
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BrentKillough
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BrentKillough,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/1/2013 | 5:07:17 PM
re: Yahoo Flap Misses The Bigger Point
This article just proves that the new disguise being worn by Theory X'ers (check factual human behavioral Theory X & Y research that is guaranteed to cause certain results when applied). These Theory X'ers just believe in their core that people do not want to do their best work, and do not want to do what is best for their employer and work team. Of course, basic research that has been around for decades proves that creative, high performance individuals who want what is best for their employer, and thus their own career will not function well at all in a Theory X environment. I happen to believe that a balanced approach (some face-to-face with some quiet working at home or elsewhere) is the best where teams collaborate at scheduled times with the proper tools & supplies to support collaboration (of which my organization has nearly none). There is no way to argue that I get way more, and better, documentation, models, analysis, creative architectural ideas, etc. created in peace & quiet in my home office than I do in a loud environment where people DE-PRIORITIZE the work into what THEY want to get done when they come by and stand at my cube to interrupt me, use up my time on non-priority items, distract the people all around, and waste our budget and resources. If you really truly believe in collaboration, like I actually do, and truly are NOT Theory X, which I am not, then actually promote collaboration, lean prioritization, empowered teams, etc. and provide that environment (which is NOT an open phone bank environment). Create policies that promote these concepts that actually cause creative talented people to produce more, spread their knowledge, and grow a better environment. For example: tell people to schedule and meet for regular, organized, prepared collaboration with documented outputs and not just GǣwordsGǥ, Gǣtribal knowledgeGǥ, and chaos. Theory X people can't do anything else but fall back on their core belief that people must all sit at the same desk, hear the same conversations, and be watched all day so that they will work. If these types of people actually exist in your organization, get rid of them and practice real management - because research shows you surely won't attract, grow, or create talented creative people in a cesspool of chaos.
jessicalevenson
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jessicalevenson,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/1/2013 | 4:56:31 PM
re: Yahoo Flap Misses The Bigger Point
This is exactly my thinking as well. Location isn't the issue. Management and culture is. And product. That last one may be a chicken or egg issue, but still.
mmoore629
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mmoore629,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/1/2013 | 4:51:53 PM
re: Yahoo Flap Misses The Bigger Point
It's little more than the Hawthorne Effect. Bringing people back into a central workplace will initially show progress. In 10 or 15 years, some other paradigm will present and that will again be the panacea for the lassitude that has set in.
Much ado about nothing.
Tom LaSusa
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Tom LaSusa,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/1/2013 | 4:49:39 PM
re: Yahoo Flap Misses The Bigger Point
That was sort of my thinking here.

Rob mentioned 'Culture.' Within the realm of a company culture resides employee motivation/morale. I obviously have no fly on the wall of Yahoo's offices, but I would find it hard to imagine that either hasn't been impacted in some way by all this.

Tom LaSusa
InformationWeek Community Manager
MyW0r1d
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MyW0r1d,
User Rank: Strategist
3/1/2013 | 4:01:21 PM
re: Yahoo Flap Misses The Bigger Point
I stopped counting long along the number of times you call or leave messages or email others with which you are obliged to collaborate and then have to run them down in their cubicle, hallway, or other place and fain an apology for interrupting their discussion on last night's game or the problem with clogging of certain maschera brands to get answers. Teleworking, for some and I would even say a noteable percentage, enables less true social interaction and distances the employee from others. Kind of like watching a table full of friends in a bar where no verbal interaction is occurring but everyone is engulfed in their smartphones responding to tweets, SMS, or FB posts of those not present. Teleworking is not the silver bullet for popularism, group think, or whatever label we care to assign to arriving at a group consensus on best course of action. Open office environments are certainly challenging and can be offensive (I get tired of hearing the constant belching of my cubemate on the other side of the partition or listening to his selection of videos) but there are ways to mitigate these issues. Telecommuting must based on an informed decision considering the individual, type of work, and not as a birthright as the article's author indicates it has become. A critical component of it should also be accountability methology which is oftentimes absent.
Melanie Rodier
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Melanie Rodier,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/1/2013 | 3:26:33 PM
re: Yahoo Flap Misses The Bigger Point
Surely there are other reasons to telecommute. By eliminating commute time, a lot of telecommuters actually work longer hours - they start earlier and finish their work day a lot later than the classic office work day. People who work from home also don't typically tend to take a lunch break - or at least don't take the time to trek out to buy their lunch but can just pop into the kitchen to make it, thereby having even less time away from their computer. Ultimately, a lot of people who work from home feel that they need to be on call all the time. So it can be argued that telecommuters are more efficient than employees who work in the office full-time. That's not to say that Marissa Mayer doesn't have a right to ask all her employees to work full-time in the office. It's now up to her employees to decide whether that's the environment they want to be in, or not. And whether that's the CEO they want to work for, or not.
lgarey@techweb.com
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lgarey@techweb.com,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/1/2013 | 2:32:41 PM
re: Yahoo Flap Misses The Bigger Point
Right Chris -- While I truly enjoy my job and coworkers, let's face it, I'd rather be on a beach somewhere! GA, some people are significantly more productive at home, some aren't. Some work at home to join companies that are not close by. Some do it because of their children. Some want to have time to build startups. It's not fair to lump all telecommuters into one pile.
Lorna GArey, IW Reports
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
3/1/2013 | 12:42:30 AM
re: Yahoo Flap Misses The Bigger Point
I'm inclined to agree. It's not that Mayer doesn't have the right to do what she did. It's that she did so in a tone-deaf way, particularly given her personal arrangements. A more targeted dictum to bring innovators, particularly engineers, together instead of most of the company would have been a better approach.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
2/28/2013 | 11:26:13 PM
re: Yahoo Flap Misses The Bigger Point
Don't we all take our jobs for selfish reasons? Are people who accept raises selfish because they aren't doing it for the good of the company? Telecommuting is part of the employee package -- in the same way salary, bonuses, office space, or parking spot allocation are. And all those parts of the package affect the culture and need to be managed, and they can be used well or poorly in building a culture.
royatkinson
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royatkinson,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/28/2013 | 11:10:24 PM
re: Yahoo Flap Misses The Bigger Point
In more than one organization, I've seen "open, collaborative spaces" become open spaces populated by people with headphones on. It is not about the space; it is not about productivity. It is about culture and how the culture promotes collaborative work.

The most interesting input I've heard on this issue had to do with the number of Yahoo! employees who have allegedly been using work time to build startups. If that's the problem, it's a management issue, not a question of location.

Remote work must be based on trust. Mayer has fired a shot across the bow, indicating that a new Yahoo! culture will have less trust. I think that is unfortunate.
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