Industry and Business blogs and leader opinion right now seem awash with the fall out and comment on Yahoo’s decision to effectively bring to a close remote working for employees. Now, I don’t know very much about the Technology or Internet industries, nor do I claim to have any insight into Yahoo’s business but I must say I like the decision.
Firstly, Marissa Mayer, the relatively new CEO of Yahoo had to invoke change, leadership is about change management and I applaud her for taking a stance, striving for improvement and following her heart.
Secondly, it just makes good sense. Let me explain. I am not old fashioned, in fact I would consider myself forward thinking and I have had some success working from home myself over the years, but this success was limited to getting a particular task completed or making best use of the time available because of external events, bad weather, personnel appointment etc and here, for clarification, in 20 years of working I suspect I have worked from home less than 20 times!
Given the choice, I wouldn’t do it. Yes it would be easier, yes I would save on gas and I genuinely would not abuse the privilege, but, and this is important, I would miss out on all the things that happen at work, I would miss the opportunity to build relationships and I would miss the spirit of collaboration and execution that exists at the heart of AMRI’s SMARTSOURCING™ initiative.
This collaboration and desire to ‘do’ is one of the things that makes AMRI truly effective in the projects we run. We are big enough to know what matters and to maintain excellence of scientific practice, but we are small enough to remain agile and to move in the right direction without politics of bureaucracy preventing our goal; the goal of supporting our customer project.
By way of example, today I had just two meetings; one was a one-on-one meeting with someone in my team, an important and regular event and the second was a brief introduction to someone who recently joined the company. Both of these needed to be scheduled, but on top of that I have had twenty plus conversations today, addressing many points and moving lots of items forward at pace and towards a conclusion; I didn’t have to wait for people to respond and I could explain my point directly to each person’s face and see their reaction. I caught up with people in the lunch line and as a whole I made significant and timely progress on many items. At home, I may have perceived myself more efficient, I may have done more stuff and no doubt would have sent more emails, but I would not have achieved a fraction of the real progress that today saw, the benefit of which rests with our customers tomorrow … when for me, I’ll do it all again!flexibility, opinion, workplace