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Changing where you work is changing your job has posted my op-ed about why where you work is not about the quality of your life so much as about the substance of it.

Judging from some of the reaction, I should emphasize that if the only way to save Yahoo were to require everyone to come to work every day, that would certainly be the right decision. But it seems clear to me that Marissa Mayer was sending a signal with this policy, for surely there are some people who were working productively from home. So, if the new policy is a signal and is not actually required to save Yahoo, then I think she has underestimated how disruptive a signal it is. [To late to stick in a spoiler notice? That was the essence of my op-ed.]

Also, has stripped out the links, I’m pretty sure unintentionally. Here they are:

3 Responses to “Changing where you work is changing your job”

  1. I think I am going to carry this sentence around with me everywhere I go – “The space we’re in is deeply determinative of the lives we lead.”

    You make the observation that space and distance may not be the determining factors of work performance (managers, etc., too). Yet, insofar as space plays a critical role, it would seem wise that Yahoo and all others should look at the design of the workplace in a new way. Too many workplaces are nothing but cubes or offices. Deploying a variety of space types that people could choose from based on the work they are doing, or the mood they are in, or whatever, could make the office the best place to go rather than the last place.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    (BTW, I am trying to formulate ways to make the spaces we design fulfill the promise of the “room being the smartest person in the room.” That is such a great motivating concept for an architect of the workplace!)

  2. Thanks, Jim. Making rooms where people can be smart is a wonderful challenge! Good luck with it.

  3. I agree with you. It was especially galling to me, and likely to her employees who knew before I did, that she can bring her baby to the office in a special area (even if she paid for the renovations). She is unlikely to provide space for the other men and women who would want to do this.

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