Marissa Mayer, CEO of global giant Yahoo, has declared that her employees will no longer be allowed to work from home.
A Yahoo memo to staff from Human Resources said:
“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. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo, and that starts with physically being together.”
37-year-old Mayer, who is also a mum, has drawn widespread criticism since the new policy was announced – especially from employees who don’t live near a Yahoo office or have young children, as they will either have to relocate or resign.
Richard Branson, founder and chairman of Virgin Group, wrote on his blog that he found the decision “perplexing”.
“This seems a backwards step in an age when remote working is easier and more effective than ever,” he wrote. “If you provide the right technology to keep in touch, maintain regular communication and get the right balance between remote and office working, people will be motivated to work responsibly, quickly and with high quality.”
“Working life isn’t 9-5 any more. The world is connected. Companies that do not embrace this are missing a trick,” Branson said.
However, the move has been praised by other influential business figures such as Donald Trump, who tweeted: “.@MarissaMayer is right to expect Yahoo employees to come to the workplace vs. working at home. She is doing a great job!”
But is the CEO of a company – especially a CEO who is the mother of a 5-month-old baby – doing the right thing by putting in place a policy that will limit rather than improve flexible work practices for staff?