I’m amazed by the number of posts blasting Marissa Mayer for requiring employees to be in the office rather than working from home.
I’m obviously a fierce proponent for remote work arrangements of all kinds. I know that over the long term, companies with the strongest leadership win because they are able to attract, engage, and retain the best people. Strong leaders lead regardless of the environment they are placed within, and most people can learn to successfully lead their teams through all kinds of work arrangements.
However when faced with a fatally poor performing culture, change must happen quickly. Unless the investment has already been made to build strong leaders, when your company is dying then you must take dramatic steps to increase the speed of organizational learning. There are obvious advantages to physical proximity when you are driving significant and fundamental change, especially if you do not have strong enough supporting leadership in place to spread new ideas and build new habits.
I applaud Ms Mayer’s courage in taking the steps she feels necessary to save the company, regardless of how unpopular they may be. However, the remote work ban at it’s best solves only a symptom. I hope that once a better culture is established and results are on the mend that she takes a longer term view, and begins to build a leadership team worthy of managing remote teams. Only when she and her leadership team are strong enough to lead despite the circumstances can the company be truly successful.
- Silicon Alley Insider: Why Marissa Mayer Told Remote Employees To Work In An Office … Or Quit (YHOO) (businessinsider.com)
- Yahoo: Ailing co finally looking up [Thanks to Marissa Mayer] (bazaardaily.com)
- Why Marissa Mayer Told Remote Employees To Work In An Office … Or Quit (YHOO) (embargozone.com)
- Lisa Belkin: Marissa Mayer’s Work-From-Home Ban Is The Exact Opposite Of What CEOs Should Be Doing (huffingtonpost.com)
- Marissa Mayer Not Focused on Being Role Model (nymag.com)