The Mother Ship needs you in the office, or, as the Internal Yahoo memo stated, 'We need to be one Yahoo, and that starts with physically being together'.
No more working from home, telecommuting or calling in. Yahoo channeling Google? I think not. We can understand a new CEO establishing her stamp on the business, but this was handled so poorly, receiving hoots not only internal to Yahoo but also external from many other companies.
This approach may not fit the sketch of many Hospitality companies, for we are very Customer facing and much of our work does not relate to work from a remote location. But, we do have some flexibility in certain areas, mostly support – those functions not requiring Guest contact. Such is our lot. But, every company seeks to enhance creativity and productivity, with some, like Google, simply way out there, as reported by the New York Times on Saturday, March 16, 2013 in an article entitled, “A Place to Play for Google Staff”.
We can understand why Yahoo wants to emulate the Google spirit and success, but CEO, Marissa Mayer, may have just shot herself in the foot rather than kick the door open for advancing the Brand. The biggest difference is what defines a workplace. For most of us a workplace is an address, a desk or work station, maybe a phone line, employee time and attendance systems and extensive Policies and Procedures. Google might have geographical addresses, but the rest of the “layout” is very different, kind of a dreamland for many us, looking in. I mean you start with treating employees like adults and trusting them? Far out!
Let me tick off some of the Google perquisites: play areas, cafes, sunny outdoor terraces, free food, dogs allowed, eye brow shaping, Yoga classes, massage and many, many more, plus the usual benefit package, highly enhanced. Ping pong anyone?
Google has created a unique community, essentially what we all want with our businesses. But, then we add all the structure, walls and laws, which become the barriers to productivity and innovation gains. Hopefully, Yahoo will overcome some of their missteps. Interestingly, Google does not require employees to work from the office. They do not even keep track of who is there. People come into the office, because they want to work in that office. Wow, there is a change of attitude! Knock, knock - please let me in!
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