Water Cooler Or Bust: Marissa Mayer, What Were You Thinking?


Many are familiar with Yahoo's recent decision to ban telecommuting. In an ironic twist, the internet company with state-of-art communication and collaboration technology rolled out a new policy that requires employees to be physically present at company facilities during their workweek.

The new policy, designed to enhance communication and collaboration, will presumably take place around low-tech water coolers staged at various locations at the company's facilities.


In reality, the new rule translates into more employees clogging roads commuting to and from work — hours that could be spent with their families or better yet, working more hours for Yahoo! For parents with young children, the policy brings back an era when spouses spent long hours at the workplace and were rarely seen at home.

The policy penalizes full-time remote workers even more, requiring them to relocate closer to Yahoo! offices. Moreover, the status of remote workers with disabilities may come into question as well.


Strangely, the decree does not take into account the studies that cite telecommuters as often more engaged and productive than their in-office counterparts. I suspect the policy is really not about face-to-face collaboration at the office. Rather, it's about reinventing the existing workforce (read: workforce streamlining).


That said, bold statements demand bold responses. Yahoo! employees, we applaud your collective effort in advance for your work in erecting a 20-foot-high water cooler at the Yahoo! world headquarters and chaining yourselves to it (date and time TBA). With that fun act, the swift IMs, tweets and blog reactions will span the globe in seconds. Oh Marissa Mayer, how's that for a collaborative experience that could only be possible at the office?

Not surprisingly, social content marketing software SocialEars HR identified the following topics as the top upwardly trending this week:  

And here is some of the most widely shared content on these topics amongst HR influencers, as identified by SocialEars HR:

Marissa Mayer Is No Fool   

Yahoo kills telecommuting. Three cheers for Marissa Mayer! 

New Research: What Yahoo Should Know About Good Managers and Remote

Why Remote Workers Are More (Yes, More) Engaged  

Why We (Still) Believe in Working Remotely 

Post written by HRmarketer.com team member Monica Meyer (from home, on the couch).

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