RE: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do )

Subject: RE: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do )
From: "Al Geist" <al -at- geistarts -dot- com>
To: "'Editor in Chief'" <editorialstandards -at- gmail -dot- com>, "'Janoff, Steven'" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- ga -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2013 21:31:19 -0500

I spent the better part of the last 15 years telecommuting/freelancing, so
I've been following this thread with some interest. Although the "industry"
trend may be to increase telecommuting, there are some specific reasons that
Yahoo may have stopped the practice. First, it appears that Yahoo didn't
have a lot of control over their remote workers and some were taking
advantage of that. Second, Yahoo has some serious problems financial that
need addressing if it is to survive. By closing down all telecommuting,
Yahoo can get the workforce productivity problem under control. Sure they?ll
lose a few workers, but I'll bet most will comply with the new directive. I
also believe that this is a temporary policy. As soon as there are
procedures in place to handle remote workers, then you will see
telecommuting return. This happened at one company I worked
for....telecommuting was dropped for about a year and then reinstated with
new policies and methods to ensure the telecommuters weren't abusing the
system. Rigid deadlines were implemented and weekly (followed by bi-weekly)
net meetings were conducted. Problem solved....and the slackers were gone.

The second problem is more difficult, but related to the first. Corporate
culture is one of the hardest things to change (and may not be possible).
Yahoo was run pretty loose from what I understand. Hard decisions were not
made when they should have been. They are now being made and people will be
upset when their comfortable little worlds are changed, but they'll be
thankful when those big paychecks keep rolling in.

Will Yahoo succeed? Only time will tell, but I bet that if you were in the
CEO Hot-Seat you'd be making decisions that the rank and file find
abhorrent. It's the nature of the beast. As a former manager (I'm retired),
I've had my fair share of communications with staff members upset with
policy changes or deadline issues. I was understanding, but I also knew when
I was being scammed.......

Al Geist-Geist Arts, LLC
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E-mail: al -at- geistarts -dot- com
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?We can?t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to
create them." (Albert Einstein)

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+al=geistarts -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+al=geistarts -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of
Editor in Chief
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 3:39 PM
To: Janoff, Steven
Cc: TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do )

Read again.

Singling out people who make ME listen to it...
And some variants of country music and folk music are not far behind.
Also, I can take only just so much of bagpipes. Two-point-three-one minutes
of skirling in the hills or parade ground per season is about it - less if
indoors.

Try though I might, I can't think of a TW-ishly redeeming twist to apply to
this little exchange. So any further on this offshoot should go off-list.
Thanks.


On Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 12:56 PM, Janoff, Steven
<Steven -dot- Janoff -at- ga -dot- com>wrote:

> There seems to be this blanket suggestion on the list that the primary
> business reason for instituting the no-more-telecommuting policy was
> to impose a silent layoff of sorts.
>
> In today's world companies don't have to be underhanded about this.
> There are plenty of open, publicly known RIFs. Especially among
> publicly traded companies.
>
> She doesn't have to impose this policy just to cut staff. There's got
> to be a business reason behind it other than an HR one.
>
> Probably it's to mobilize the team and get people working together to
> move the company forward. It sounds very difficult to turn a company
around.
> Other CEOs have tried and failed.
>
> For me it's a question of, let's see how she does. Results tell you
> everything you need to know. If the company turns around, well then,
> it was a good thing to do (likely). If not, well then, the company
> had problems that could not be surmounted by bringing people together.
>
> But just to lambast Yahoo for shutting down telecommuting doesn't make
> sense to me. Again, let's see what happens. We're all adults, this
> is life. You adapt. The people affected will have to adjust. We all do.
> The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows, as Rocky said.
>
> If it does work, you can bet other companies will be doing it too. So
> just hang on to your hat. You might need it. :)
>
> And if you don't like it, you can always start your own company. I
> can tell you that being a CEO is a lot tougher than being a tech
> writer, not from personal experience but from the experiences of
> friends who have been in this role.
>
> Steve
>
> PS - I'm not picking on you, Anne, it's just that you were the most
> recent one who suggested this, although you do point out at the
> beginning that there are good reasons for bringing people together on one
site.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: On Behalf Of Anne Robotti
> Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 4:53 AM
> To: TECHWR-L
> Subject: Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do )
>
> The thing is, there's no sense denying that there's a synergy when
> employees are together in one room that isn't present when they're
> dialed in - unless everyone is dialed in. But in every company I've
> been at, if there's a meeting where there's a group in the room and
> individuals dialed in from remote locations, the only people you
> really hear from are those in the room.
>
> Unless one of the individuals is very senior to those in the room, in
> which case the room is a morgue.
>
> I think what people on the thread are talking about is the fact that
> synergy and innovation are probably not the reasons for the sweeping
> changes at Yahoo, and it's disingenuous to pretend to believe their HR
> press release. But HR can't really put out a press release that says,
> "Hey, we're trying to get people to leave in droves - could those of
> you who we don't pry out of your seats with this move please send a
> list of other perks that we can start cutting? That would make this so
much easier."
>
> Anne
>
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Learn more: http://bit.ly/12LyN2z

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References:
RE: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: Brian.Henderson
Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: William Sherman
Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: Bill Swallow
RE: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: Anne Robotti
RE: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: Cardimon, Craig
RE: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: McLauchlan, Kevin
RE: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: Gene Kim-Eng
RE: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: Suzette Leeming
RE: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: Kathleen MacDowell
Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: John Allred
Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: reshma pendse
RE: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: Janoff, Steven
Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ): From: Editor in Chief

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