Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Yahoos new rule is a test of "Engagelement"

Engagelement is the theory that  company culture and employee engagement is like quantum entanglement. When employees work closely and become used to working well together they retain this state even when separated by many miles.

OK it's not a real theory, well more accurately I just made it up, so its not a well known theory...

If you missed the big debate, the CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, sent out a memo saying all working from home will stop in June. Not completely unexpectedly the world blew up and everyone has been talking about this for the last 2 weeks.

Sanity is starting to come back and most people realize that this was not a publicity stunt done to get Yahoo's name in the press. Though it did get a lot of press out of it.

It was not done because Marissa wants people to quit, though it sounds like at least some of the people that worked form home, did half of that. They were home, but not always working. I'm sure the will decide now is a good time to quit, they will step it up and become good employees again, or they will get fired once someone figures out they aren't valuable.

It was not done because telecommuting doesn't work. Clearly  for many functions an office at corporate us not a requirement and most of us work remotely at least part of the time. Who hasn't checked their email at night before going to bed or on a weekend when watching a game?

It was done because Yahoo is in turnaround mode and that means quite simply they have a lot of hard work to do and need everyone engaged.

Which of course is what got me thinking about engaglement. If you just don't believe in Quantum Physics you can also think of this as a UPS that occasionally needs to get recharged. Employees are kind of like that.

Employees that never come into the office become dis-engaged. They just tend to lose energy or excitement. Not all the time before you all jump on and call me an idiot, it's just hard to stay excited about the company and to fully understand what's going on if you aren't there on a regular basis. That's why most companies have regular company meetings.

Now I'm not saying that I think it is bad for people to work from home if they are sick, or have an appointment in the morning, or there is a blizzard, but when you are trying to turn around a company that is struggling you need people that want to work hard and do what is right for the company.