blog - 2013
Chaining employees to the office is a health hazard akin to letting the smokers back in. What is Yahoo! thinking? #YahooSOSDate Posted: February 26 - 2013
OPEN LETTER TO MARISSA MAYER, CEO OF YAHOO!
Dear Ms. Mayer,
As the leader of one of North America’s most respected and established technology companies, we are astounded that you would miss the opportunity to be an employer of choice by removing your employee’s ability to work where, when and how they are most effective. This is obviously top of mind as you draw from the same talent pool in the same regions as your biggest competitors.
Have I missed the key data that supports that people (particularly knowledge workers) produce their most creative and inspired work between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. while sitting diligently at their appointed workstation?
Sharing the same physical space is not required to communicate effectively. Yahoo! already knows this as your 11,500 employees use technology to collaborate across your offices in more than 25 countries.
To say Yahoo! employees need to be neatly tucked into their cubicles each and every day, contradicts your key business of helping people share information globally using technology. It goes against common knowledge about what motivates the employees you are trying to attract.
Your workforce is young and demands flexibility. Studies show flexibility is a key criterion when evaluating employment options and is often equally weighted to compensation. I suppose if you want to wipe your organization clean of self-starters, Baby Boomers, Gen Y and Millennials, by all means, remove all flexibility and manage by presenteeism. Amidst a global war for talent, why would you want to do this?
Flexible work programs are not all or nothing. If you want to get the best from your employees, allow them to work when, where and how they are most effective. And here’s the key: it’s not all employees or all positions all the time. And the benefits are well measured and documented. These can include real estate savings, increased productivity, and higher employee satisfaction and retention rates in addition to the positive environmental impact of reducing commuter numbers. To be successful in today’s workplace, managers need to have the skills to measure outcomes not physical presence.
I’d like to offer you a solution. Calgary-based WORKshift helps organizations understand and accept that the change has already happened as well as how our companies, cities and families can benefit from it.
Telling Yahoos! that they must be tethered to life in a cubical is akin to allowing smokers back in the office. Like excessive commuting and life in cubicle, the hazards of smoking are well documented. As you know, logic and the well-being of employees prevailed and smoking was ubiquitously abandoned as a norm in the workplace years ago.
We believe 20 years from now, people will laugh at the business world for believing that effective work meant rush hour, water cooler conversation and cubicles five days a week.
Robyn Bews is the creator, curator and chief strategist of WORKshift.
What started out as a passion for finding a better way to work, has morphed into transforming the way people and organizations operate. By challenging conventional thinking, Robyn Bews has become the leader in what can only be described as the revolution of the traditional workplace.
As a result of Robyn’s leadership, advocacy and management, WORKshift has grown from Canada’s first regional telework initiative to the defacto brand for all things related to flexible work in Canada.
It is not just Calgary groups recognizing WORKshift. The program and Robyn have received numerous accolades from both Canadian and international organizations including the Royal Bank of Canada award for “Most Innovative Economic Development Program”, a Landmark Projects designation, an Economic Development Achievement of the year award and the International Economic Development Council Gold award for Sustainable and Green initiatives, in addition to five international marketing awards.
She is also assembling key organizations and thought leaders in the areas of technology, organizational change management, real estate and telecommunications, to create a standards-based network that will define what a truly flexible workplace of the future will look like.
Robyn is dedicated to enhancing the quality of the discussions about the future of work. To that end, she oversaw Canada’s first national white paper detailing the bottom line benefits of telework and has undertaken numerous media interviews with the likes of The Globe and Mail, CBC’s The National, The National Post, Canadian Business Magazine, CTV and Global News.
In her work, Robyn has advised hundreds of private and not-for-profit organizations across North America and municipalities around the world by offering a holistic ecosystem approach for organizations to make their WORKshift program a reality.
Follow her on Twitter @RobynBews
WORKshift is an innovative program created by Calgary Economic Development.