How Yahoo could have made remote work possible

Yahoo remote associates were likely to be shocked when Marissa Mayer, the new CEO, announced restrictions that would prevent them from working remotely. The company advised employees to put away their casual clothes, find a caregiver and get their cars tuned up so they can return to the office in June 2013. Find a job.

Yahoo is a victim of poor management that extends far beyond its virtual workplace. This could explain why Ms. Mayer, who took over the reins in July 2012 and decided to remote work burnout statistics end the program. While the company will make short-term productivity gains, it will also lose some of the organizational benefits that remote workers can bring to the organization. Remote work programs, for example, have historically resulted in lower infrastructure and operational costs. This allows valuable dollars to be directed elsewhere.

Yahoo news’s most regrettable aspect is that the 1600 work-at-home associates of the company were not responsible for the disengagement and lack of productivity cited by the bold leadership decision. Although remote workers should be visible and are encouraged to do so, it is impossible for a virtual team or remote worker to navigate the halls of a remote office without clear communication from their leaders.

Work at home professionals are generally more productive than those who work in offices. Scott Edinger, an Organizational Consultant at Harvard Business Review, reported that remote workers are more productive than their office-based counterparts.

What could Yahoo have done differently?

Mayer could have identified internal ambassadors who would help the Company’s fledgling remote programs. This would have boosted employee morale, and allowed the tech giant to re-gain a cohesive collaborative culture without sacrificing flexibility. According to a Future Workplace study, “Multiple Generations @ Work”, flexibility is the top benefit cited today by Gen-X and Gen Y workers.

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