There's been a lot made in the media about Yahoo!'s (YHOO) Marissa Mayer and her recent decision to force Yahoo!'s to work from home. Whether you like it or not, she's right.
Mayer, 37, is trying to build a company that can compete with the likes of Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB) and others, as it tries to become relevant in the eyes of advertisers, and consumers as well. By instituting this, it will hopefully allow the company to innovate more and collaborate with each other, something that isn't as easily achieved when parts of the team are working remotely. Studies show that working from home does make the employee more productive, without the daily distractions of office life, but the networking, camaraderie, and idea generation take a step back, and that's what Mayer is trying to do here.
Much of the strife has been made by the media regarding this topic, but an actual look at responses from Yahoo employees shows a much different picture. A thread on Quora, a question and answer website, has shown that much of the reaction to Mayer's policy is positive. One employee, who has been at Yahoo! for five years, noted it's a great thing. "I think its a great thing for the company," the employee said in the post. "I have been at Yahoo! for 5 years and Marissa is doing a much needed house cleaning. There is still some good talent here but we need all hands on deck and those who are not team players can just bow out."
There are several more posts similar to that, but the reaction inside Yahoo! is clear. Something needed to be done, and Mayer is taking charge and making employees accountable.
Some of the controversy that's surrounding this issue is the working mother problem. Mayer, just recently had a child and had a nursery built next to her office. The argument is that this is hypocritical of her, since not many working mother's can just build a nursery next to their desk. From what I understand, the policy is not nearly as stringent as some are making it out be, with a variety of exceptions being made. Even with the exceptions, Mayer is trying to turn a company around, not run a day care. She's compensated incredibly well to return a struggling Internet company close to its glory days. She isn't running a charity. If the employees (and I suspect that the majority of them are in favor of this) do not like the policy, there are plenty of other companies in Silicon Valley to work.
Yahoo! has struggled for years with lackluster leadership and hiring the wrong people for the wrong job. Mayer is instituting what she thinks is best to get rid of the status quo, as she has done since taking over the top spot in July of 2012. Many people, including myself, questioned whether Yahoo! was making the right choice in hiring Mayer. She had no prior experience leading a turnaround project as big as Yahoo!, but she has proven her naysayers wrong.
By getting rid of the work from home policy and making her employees even more accountable, Mayer continues to show Yahoo! made the right choice. If you don't like it, there's the door.
Connect with Chris on Twitter @Commodity_Bull