Marissa Mayer, innovation and telecommuting

You probably have heard it: Yahoo’s culture and employee morale have dissolved as it has fallen behind hotter tech companies. Innovation has suffered. Now Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer has found a solution through banning working-from-home and hoping to boost innovation as work will be done with physically being together.

I do not wish to argue pro or against telecommuting. I agree that face time is essential to collaboration. But I still see some dangerous signs in this decision. It’s well summarized in upstart.bizjournals.com:

But when choice is removed from the equation, it’s hard to imagine innovation coming as naturally. How innovative are workers who’ve experienced a corporate move so sweeping and drastic? Rather than feeling inspired and encouraged, they’re likely disgruntled, befuddled and fearful. And top potential talent seeking a flexible situation now need not even apply. That’s without mentioning the impact on morale after such a corporate move.

No matter how well intended Marissa Mayer’s message was, many people will get it as following:

start thinking outside the box

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