According to infoworld.com on March 5, Marissa Meyer consulted VPN logs to determine that many of the company’s work-at-home employees were indeed failing to work productively, which is what led her to decree last week that employees must now report to the office.
The VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is how employees who are working out of the office can log in and work remotely. When reviewing the logs, Mayer discovered that many remote workers were not checking into the VPN as frequently as they perhaps should have been.
Lack of connection to the VPN does not necessarily signify lack of work, however. Many remote employees routinely conduct their business via email, chat client, and by utilizing software that is localized on their laptop or remote desktop, without ever having to log in to the VPN.
However, in the case of the remote Yahoo! employees, Meyer decided that the data indicated a true problem, and took steps to remedy it. Whether this drastic solution will help to solve Yahoo!’s problems or not remains to be seen.
In the meantime, critics have been brutal. Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler, designers of the flexible work policy at Best Buy, said “…last week, you didn’t just mess up. You dug yourself a hole that no one can see to the bottom of. You made a move that has effectively painted you as 2013’s CEO Who Doesn’t Get It. And we might as well just give that award to you right now for the next 7 years… because what you’ve done has sealed your place at the top of that list for a very long time.”