We read about innovation coming out of Silicon Valley all the time, but one company that’s been stuck in the mud for years is Dot-Com classic Yahoo!. You’ll recall last year, their board of directors hired Marissa Mayer, the Queen of Google, to turn things around. As a result, they’re doing some pretty radical things, like giving everyone smartphones, changing their entire home page, and in a recent move that’s irked Yahoo employees with kids, as well as other Valley watchdogs, Mayer wants everyone to come to the office to work. That’s right, employees at Yahoo! will have to physically leave their home and go to another place entirely to conduct their work. Wow. What a real abortion of worker’s rights this will be.
The Virtual Team
You don’t need to convince me of the merits of being able to work from home. I’ve heard the defenses and the key notes and they revolve around the simple notion that it’s 2013 and that there’s little need to have your entire team, especially when it’s a web-based product, in the office five days a week. Maybe some were told they could work at home for some of their time, perhaps out of convenience, perhaps out of necessity, perhaps out of the inconvenience of commuting to a physical location. FleshEatingZipper has, for 99% of its existence, operated as a virtual team spread out across five states. I know other major sites like Kotaku or Polygon operate in such a manner as well. I get it. I’m also well aware of the fact that as your pay grade goes up, you’re supposed to get extra perks. On this one executive order alone, some are willing to write off Mayer’s term as CEO entirely.
That’s crazy talk.
If you understand the value of virtual teams, then you must also understand the value of a fully-stacked office in which ideas can be floated freely and quickly. When you read about entertainment companies like Bungie or other stealth operations, do you think they even have the option to take their covert work away from the office? No. Like every other working-class stiff out there, you get up at a strict time, commute, physically check into your desktop or a time clock and work. If Mayer wants the entire team in-house at a time when your company has been the laughing stock of the web industry for years, how much can you really doubt that? Are you really seeking what’s best for the team or are you merely deflecting blame?
In fact, Yahoo!, I dare you to uninstall Mayer and watch as your boat sinks. You’ll be able to stay home all the time, then.
Of course, if at least one parent can’t be home for at least three working days, it has a largely detrimental effect on the livelihood and upbringing of their children. Really? As if your absence from your daughter’s pony riding session or tutored instruction in your fancy Bay Area housing is really going to result in your offspring becoming derelict, mis-shapen tragedies. Forgive me for generalization, but that is seriously the worst plank of your offense. Between the military and a high-paying white-collar job, I didn’t see my father for an accumulated 2-3 years of my childhood. Some people have it worse. Some kids live in broken homes entirely and never see either parent for more than 50% of their lives. You have the blessing of a family and a decently paying job with a valued skillset in a wonderful slab of real estate at a company that struggles to stay alive where anyone else would be stuck at a call center repairing cable boxes to pay the bills. Worse still, you could be working for Roto-Rooter.
No, I don’t sympathise with your plight. Get over yourselves.