Friday, July 5, 2013

Dear Yahoo, Work is what you do, not where you go.

For a considerably long period of time (over 5 years now), I've been a full-time, remote-worker who works from home, a cafe, an airport, a co-working space or wherever else I may roam - in any city or country where I choose to be.

I love my job and what I currently do makes for a large part of who I am. The fact that I have the freedom and flexibility to do it from anywhere makes me love it even more. I get to work with multiple geographically scattered teams and audiences, across various time-zones.

Over time, I've come to enjoy the remote-working mode. It helps me achieve a balance between working alone with maximal productivity at some times and collaborating with people and teams using various collaboration tools at other times. Of course, I make occasional visits to our company offices as none of these are located in the city where I currently (choose to) live. These visits are helpful because I get to spend time meeting and talking in person, with the colleagues and teams who I work with and this helps us bond better before I get back into remote-working mode.

This method of working has made me a firm believer in the fact that people work best when they're given the freedom and flexibility to choose how they want to work. I'm thankful to Zoho, for giving me this freedom and flexibility and for their faith in me as a remote-employee.

Not all companies are as futuristic about their policies and culture. In fact, a couple of months ago, when Yahoo! made it mandatory for all employees (even those who were originally hired to work remotely) to work from Yahoo! office, it came as quite a shock to many of us who've chosen this working style and believe in it. I meant to share my opinion about Yahoo!'s move and I finally got around to doing it this week, thanks to a discussion about it with a friend yesterday. Here's my first Hitler video around this theme:


  1. I am contemplating this really. I enjoy the interaction in a company office, but it's been true that whenever I've had flexibility I'm generally more creative.

    But for a company going through a transition and trying to reclaim itself, generally a type A leader works better (in my mind). I suspect that's her role and I also feel she won't ending up making too many friends and maybe move elsewhere quickly once she's done helping Yahoo. Because the moment they're in a good place again they won't remember how good she were. The tumblr acquisition and overtaking Google sites in the US is a positive spin on her impact already.

    Upasna at Someplace Else

  2. Hey Upasna,

    While I don't personally like her style of leadership, and I feel that freedom and ownership are important related parts of a company culture that cannot emerge under such leadership. You might be right about the reclamation phase and how this is right for them at the moment. However, what irked me most was her blanket ban on remote-working for employees instead of maybe a case-to-case evaluation - the whole move appears dictatorial, restrictive and illogical.