When returning to work, in addition to finding the right JOB, it is important to seek the right COMPANY. And that means ensuring a cultural fit. A cultural fit means both you and your company share the same values. This could include career advancement, challenging work, flexible work arrangements, community involvement, etc.
Sometimes, the company's culture - and values - change. And that might mean it is time to move on.
To encourage productivity and collaboration - supposedly - Yahoo! has requested that all employees only work in the office. In other words, if a Yahoo had a previously confirmed arrangement to work at home, that arrangement is being terminated.
In a time when many companies are accommodating personal schedules and flexible work arrangements, Yahoo! is reversing the trend. Of course, its own CEO returned to the office within 2 weeks of delivering her first baby. So if she can do it, so can everyone else. Right?
And, rather than discuss this with individuals one by one (privately), Yahoo! issued a memo all employees - probably to quell the rumor mill. The memo explains that to be "the best place to work" everyone has to be at the office. The company wants to be "one Yahoo!" and that means, according to Yahoo!, working together in the office.
The tone set forth in the memo is positive. The goal is to improve speed and quality. In this situation, however, I think the underlying message can viewed negatively.
Rather than trust employees, a different cultural tone is being established. One where employees are not trusted to make their own decisions about when they should be present in the office. There is even a comment about the cable guy: "And, for the rest of us who occasionally have to stay home for the cable guy, please use your best judgment in the spirit of collaboration."
Yahoo! employees can certainly quit (and many probably will). And those that stay will need to now ask permission to handle personal emergencies. What about a sick child, family member, or personal illness? Will employees be viewed negatively for staying home? Will employee careers be impacted negatively if personal situations arise?
Yahoo! executives are establishing a new culture - the new culture might be closed, private and timid - counter to what they are intending.
If you sought a company whose culture changed, be honest whether your values can coexist. Ask yourself whether you can support and thrive in the new culture - or if it is time to move on. Don't be afraid to move on because of mismatched values or a bad cultural fit - if you stay, you won't be happy in the long run.