New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has added his voice to the debate on working from home.
“I’ve always said telecommuting is one of the dumber ideas I’ve ever heard,” the mayor said on his radio show Friday.
“Having a chat line is not the same as standing at the water cooler,” he said. “And standing at the water cooler is where you get a lot of ideas and information and it’s a euphemism for a lot of interpersonal dialogue.”
Bloomberg was weighing in on a discussion inspired by an internal HR memo at Yahoo that outlined new rules that will soon go into effect at the company. The memo showed up on the website allthingsd.com:
To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.
Yahoo later issued a public statement on its new policy: “This isn’t a broad industry view on working from home. This is about what is right for Yahoo right now.”