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Remote Management Report 2013

Managing at arm’s length

In February 2013 the CEO of Yahoo, Melissa Mayer, ordered all the company’s workers back to fixed office working.

The move – designed to prevent abuse of flexible working practices – was instantly pilloried by commentators around the globe as reactionary and short-sighted. Yet Ms Mayer’s reaction to poor performance is a common fear in the minds of managers contemplating the task of motivating and managing staff at a distance. The more sensible commentators observed that abuse of remote working practices by employees is not the fault of remote working itself, but simply a failure of management. After all, the challenge of managing a mobile workforce will not go away.