Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Meg and Marissa

Just when we thought we'd heard it all, out comes this one:

Oct 8, 2013, 6:58am PDT

Hewlett-Packard curbs work from home, echoing Yahoo policy

Scott Eells/Bloomberg
HP CEO Meg Whitman might face similar backlash for a change in the work-from-home policy.
Vincent Lara-Cinisomo, Web contributor
Hewlett-Packard Co. is discouraging employees from working at home, telling them they should return to the mothership if they can. The policy echoes Yahoo's decision earlier this year to end work-from-home for most employees.
According to an HP memo obtained by AllThingsD, the Palo Alto company says the policy is meant to create "a more connected workforce and drive greater collaboration and innovation.”
Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, who was appointed in 2011, is trying to return some luster to the company's faded Silicon Valley brand (and share price). In that regard, she finds herself in the same position as Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who in February announced that employees who worked from home would have to return to the office. The goal? To foster collaboration and accelerate the company's attempt to reinvigorate itself.
The HP memo said, “During this critical turnaround period, HP needs all hands on deck. We recognize that in the past, we may have asked certain employees to work from home for various reasons. We now need to build a stronger culture of engagement and collaboration and the more employees we get into the office the better company we will be.”
Whitman is expected to address the change Wednesday at a meeting with analysts in San Francisco.
A source told AllThingsD that HP isn't instituting an outright ban on working from home. Neither did Yahoo, since some employees were granted exemptions.
Mayer received both criticism and praise when she curbed working from home. Critics said the move alienated some talented workers. Advocates said she effectively washed out less dedicated, motivated employees and had signaled a needed cultural change.
It's unclear how many employees would be affected by Hewlett-Packard's new policy. According to AllThingsD, HP employs more than 300,000 globally. Yahoo had about 11,700 when it made its policy change and some reports indicated about 10 percent of workers were affected.


Walter Underwood said...

If they want people in the office, they should bring back "the donuts". The cookies and fruit at 9am were one of the most powerful workplace collaboration tools I've ever experienced, and I was in a group working on collaboration tools.

If I wanted to talk to someone, I'd just go to the aisle at 8:55 and hang around until they showed up. Done.

solentbreeze said...

Hard to beat face to face communication, more challenges/issues solved during "coffee breaks" than any other times. Meeting over "coffee" helped to break down "silos".

chuck said...

the other secret about 'the old HP' was the small work group size, which meant that you had a good chance to see folk from other septs either at the coffee breaks or in the cafeteria. Engineers could actually meet folk in manufacturing or marketing over 'coffee and donuts' and realize they had 'somewhat' common interests. Or more importantly, iron out some differences.

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