Inflexible working

27 Feb 2013

For many companies at the moment, flexible working is all the trend - the idea of redressing a work/life balance is seen as the key to a happier and more committed workforce.

But Yahoo! chief executive Marissa Meyer has just drawn a huge red line through all that this week, with her carefully worded memo to staff basically telling them that flexible working is over, girlfriend.

See the full memo here courtesy of AllthingsD.

"Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home," claims the memo, sent by HR head Jackie Reses. "We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together."

Does it really? Many firms, including the one I work for, are actively encouraging flexible working as a means to allowing staff to be more productive.

That is why tablets and smartphones are so popular because it allows people to do their job outside the walls of the office.

I, for example, am a staunch fan of coming into work and being able to talk to the people I work with face-to-face - but there are occasions when I need to work from home, and having that option is a very welcome one indeed. I wouldn't like to be forced into either one to be honest.

Anyone with commitments outside the office also appreciate a little flexibility to help them meet childcare needs for example.

At Yahoo! there are bound to be people who have joined the company specifically on its flexible working policy. Where do they stand legally?

But it appears this is a comply or get out situation. If you don't like it, there's the door, buddy. No wiggle room at Yahoo!

At the end of the day it is all about trust.

If you trust your team, there is no reason at all why they should not be allowed to work remotely when necessary.

The message being sent out by Yahoo! is that management don't appear to trust their staff to work appropriately outside the workplace, and want them all in a building where they can be monitored for the most efficient output.

The number of outraged comments surrounding this memo says it all really. I predict a wave of CVs landing on rival companies' doormats as a result.

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