Yahoo has decided that as of June of this year, workers who had been previously telecommuting will have to report to the office for work, as discussed on many news sites. The type of collaboration, communication and creative energy that can only be achieved face-to-face seems to be a driving factor.
It is no surprise that employees directly affected by this new policy are unhappy. In fact, employees are not the only ones reacting to this; the internet is buzzing with criticism over this decision.
Telecommuting is considered one of the more flexible ways employers deal with an increasing diverse workforce whose needs, professional goals and personal situations benefit from this working arrangement. A number of studies have shown the benefits of offering the opportunity to work remotely. Of course, telecommuting has also raised a number of new issues that employers will have to deal with, such as occupational health and safety (when is an employee considered on the clock for the purposes of determining whether the employee suffered a workplace accident?) and supervision.
While more and more employers consider this option for their own workforce, the fact that Yahoo has decided to do just the opposite at this point in time certainly explains part of the explosion of interest in this move. If the main purpose of this new Yahoo policy is to have people get together and be more creative, it will be interesting to see if the impact on morale and motivation thwarts this very goal.