Karen L. Jones
While I agree with many of your assumptions about the purpose of Ms. Mayer’s evaluation, I disagree with your statement regarding being able to know who and what talents are available if you aren’t “seeing” the people. If I am expected to produce a certain number of widgets in X time with a predesignated quality standard, and I do that, why should my boss have to “see me do it in real time” in order to evaluate my performance?
It is the culture of the organization that determines its innovation, creativity, and cohesion, not the physical location of the employees. I have worked on multi-national project teams that were extremely creative because we were encouraged to email, phone, video conference/skype, chat at any time. We had regular, virtual team status meetings, and everyone was held accountable for their portion of the project. I have worked full time from home on contracts (which, for some reason is OK) and then offered a full-time job by that same company and told I would no longer be able to telework because I would then be an “employee.” No question of my competence, desire, etc., just the rules…
If Yahoo’s overall purpose is to re-evaluate their corporate culture, strategy, and vision, then arbitrarily eliminating telework simply creates a new environment, as those who prefer to telework will leave the company, and they will be left with those who either 1) are Yahooligans, 2) don’t like telework, 3) don’t like to telework, or 4) simply need to keep their job in this bad economy.