Enterprise 2.0: from management to autonomy…With shades in between?

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Since June, employees at Yahoo aren’t allowed to work from home. Marissa Mayer, CEO of the company, decided that the era of teleworking was over. The decision was seen as a contradiction, as a “return to a management” foreign to the style of a leading IT company.

The idea of the social company is closely tied with self-management of employees. One of the major advantages of collaborative tools is they reduce the cost of group action and management, enabling companies to focus on their real mission and extending the profit margins. It has been demonstrated that knowledge workers don’t usually respond to traditional motivation systems, based fundamentally on economic compensation, rather that on its scale of motivational values which rewards issues such as autonomy, the desire for improvement in performance, and working with a clear, significant purpose.

The social company has the tools necessary to drive collective action based on “scattered” work groups and in turn requires autonomy if it wants to promote the prized engagement with its mission among its employees.

Some technology companies have been working hard on this area. IBM has been encouraging the teleworking culture for more than ten years, and almost half of its employees telework from home or from its clients’ offices.

It’s rather surprising to see the giants of the 2.0 era that are not up to the task. There we can see the example of Google, which doesn’t let its employees work from home either, only from Google Campus. And Facebook with its “lockdowns“, periods of intense 24/7 work periods where employees transfer their personal lives to the office.

Is teleworking a system in decline? Is human interaction in the physical world more fertile for the ideas emerging in cyberspace?

Manel Alcalde (@manelalcalde) is a creative writer and audiovisual communicator. On his personal blog, Nionnioff, he writes about the world of creativity and communication.