Yahoo!’s CEO Marissa Mayer is advising her employees that come June, working from home and flouting flex-time will be a thing of the past. Lots of articles, posts and tweets are appearing in reaction. People love change when they choose it or they get something they want. They don’t love change so much when something they are used to is eliminated or the change is chosen for them by someone else.
Professionals who never had the option of working from home or flex-time see these things as a privilege. Others view them as part of their job satisfaction. Ms. Mayer understands job satisfaction – Yahoo! Provides free food and smart phones and I bet her employees like that a great deal.
But she is now hoping to improve the performance of her organization and regain market share. She finds that people who work from home are not working as hard or as well as those who come to work. They are not accessible, they are not observable, and overall, the team suffers.
I hear this from my clients often so this can not be news – and yet it seems that it is.
Mayer has also been quoted as making a calculation that a certain percentage of employees will depart Yahoos’ employ. If they are no longer a good fit for the organization – unwilling or unable to connect their daily actions to the overall goals, then while it’s a loss, it may not be a negative one.
The truth is that organizations make changes all the time. When we like them, there is applause and when we don’t, be gripe. Sometimes it takes a while before we can see the wisdom in the change, sometimes the insight never appears, and sometimes the change is just plain wrong.
I understand all sides. I know that decisions will need to be made based on the ‘new’ reality. Managers will be challenged and some will need to rise to the occasion in new ways. I hope they can because it can make all the difference in an employees’ engagement, retention, and motivation
Blending family, community and work is an on-going challenge. Anyone who thinks differently should just wait a while – things will change again.