People & Culture

Yahoo culture building or destroying?


Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!’s new CEO announced a new ‘no remote work’ policy yesterday that means no more remote working for current employees – yes that’s right, it’s back to Yahoo HQ for everyone! Is this culture building or culture destroying?

“Beginning in June, we’re asking all employees with work-from-home arrangements to work in Yahoo! offices. If this impacts you, your management has already been in touch with next steps. And, for the rest of us who occasionally have to stay home for the cable guy, please use your best judgment in the spirit of collaboration. Being a Yahoo isn’t just about your day-to-day job, it is about the interactions and experiences that are only possible in our offices”.

Ouch if you’re one of those incredible employees that work better from the remote confinements of your home /home office and your creative juices start flowing at 11pm – as mine tend to do….I’m all for productivity, don’t get me wrong but I question as to whether this is the right move for the company. I disagree quite strongly with the comment “speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home”. My god, what I can get through at home compared to the office some days is ridiculous.

“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… We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”

I question whether Yahoo’s management  actually know who of their staff is productive and who isn’t?  Don’t get me wrong, I think collaboration is important but it’s not exactly the ideal way to motivate staff to be ‘at the office 9-5 with your ‘bum on a seat’ mentality when there is so much emphasis today placed on creating the right ‘culture’ at work…..and culture does not have to exist under a roof, it’s a way of life – it’s a combination of passion, discipline, creativity, values, beliefs and expectations shared by a group of people. It’s what someone says about their company at the pub on a Friday night, when no one hears them. So the question remains is this a way of Yahoo doing a cultural detox and ridding those from the organisation that are not part of the new Yahoo cultural shift…I quietly think so!