High tech companies are supposed to be at the leading edge right?  So why did Yahoo’s new CEO just turn the clock back to 1985 and require all of their employees to come into the office?  I can think of a few reasons – what do you think?

  • Workforce Reduction – Don’t like the new policy?  Quit.  Now Yahoo doesn’t have to give you a severance package which could add up to big savings and minimize bad press about layoffs.
  • Weak Management/No Management Development – Poor managers don’t get much productivity out of people they don’t see every day.  Has Yahoo been neglecting their management development or incentive program?  Years of cost cutting and overloading of management staff might be to blame.

While dragging employees back into the office may trim some dead weight, the cost is likely to outweigh the gain.  All those remote workers will now need desk or office space which means a bigger operational footprint and that’s not cheap.  And if they do have a management development problem, having people in the office won’t fix it.

It’s 2013.  We have more collaboration tools and capabilities than ever.  Study after study has shown that flexible schedules and the ability to work remotely conveys substantial benefits in terms of employee satisfaction and productivity.  Bottom line – if Yahoo has a problem with worker productivity, it’s a management problem and it won’t be solved by bringing those workers back to the office.

What’s your opinion – is there any way that this decision makes sense?

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