Top Story: Yahoo Says No To Telecommuting
At-home work is a growing trend: nearly 10% of American employees work from home at least one day per week, according to the US Census Bureau. The percentage of remote workers is steadily climbing, which is why many were shocked when Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced in a memo to employees that all remote employees would have to start working at the office, or face termination.
Mayer’s decision has sparked a national debate on the merits of telecommuting. Mayer’s memo cites the creativity and collaboration necessarily to a thriving tech company, which she deems difficult to foster with remote employees.
“To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side by side,” the memo read. “That is why is it critical that we are all present in our offices.”
It’s no secret that Yahoo desperately needs the tech expertise the market currently values at a premium, but her decision has incited mass criticism. Even airline mogul Richard Branson chimed in in a blog post about Mayer’s decision, calling it “a backwards step in an age when remote working is easier and more effective.”
In instituting an in-office only work environment, Mayer and her Yahoo counterparts could be missing out on top-tier talent who either require or desire flexible work arrangements. Research by MTV in its “No Collar Workers” study shows that flexible work options is a top priority for Millenials.
“People want to work for a company that trusts them and treats them as adults,” said Aaron Shaprio, CEO of digital agency Huge. “And since this policy sends the exact opposite message, it does nothing but make it more difficult to attract the best and brightest.
Under the Radar: Google+ Launches Sign-In
It seems like every couple months, Google+ launches a new feature in an attempt to make itself relevant in the social media space. While most of us know that using Google+ is a necessity for search engine optimization, many of us are still trying to be convinced of its value as a networking tool. This week, Google+ launched a sign-in functionality, allowing users to sign into various sites using Google+ credentials, instead of just Facebook or Twitter accounts.
The Google+ sign-in option is currently available on websites like Banjo, Beautylish, Fancy, Fitbit, Flixster, The Guardian, OpenTable, Shazam, TuneIn Radio, and USA Today. It’s a smart idea for these websites to be involved, considering once users are logged into their site with Google+, they’ll be able to easily share and +1 content. The functionality will also make app sharing a little different. According to the Google blog, “…when you share from an app that uses Google+ Sign-In, your friends will see a new kind of “interactive” post in their Google+ stream. Clicking will take them inside the app, where they can buy, listen to, or review (for instance) exactly what you shared.”
Once this functionality spreads to more sites, we think it could make a difference in how people use Google+. But can it compete with Facebook? Would you choose to sign into your networks using Google+ or would you stick to Facebook, Twitter, or simply your site log-in credentials?
Tool of The Week: Carrot 2.0
Have trouble getting things done? Meet Carrot, the to-do app with attitude. When downloaded, Carrot greets its new user with a warning:
“Greetings, lazy human. I, Carrot, am your new task master. Persist in sloth… And I will be upset.”
Carrot acts as a dual reward and punishment system. The app has two personalities: when you accomplish the tasks added to your lists, Carrot showers you with praise, gifts, compliments, and jokes – and when you don’t, the app berates you with insults. In essence, Carrot is a simple to-do list for iOS: swipe down to add an item, and swipe right to check it off. When you do so, you win points. If you neglect your tasks, you are taunted with insults like, “My hatred for you already burns with the passion of 10,000 suns. I literally cannot hate you anymore. So I guess we’ll call it a draw.” The app aims to encourage productivity, but is ultimately more entertaining than anything else. Carrot 2.0 is available for 99 cents in the App Store.
Around the Hub: 451 Marketing Art Party
Last night, 451 Marketing partnered with the Consulate General of Ireland to host an art opening that showcased the work of Irish photographer Daragh Muldowney. Muldowney’s latest collection, Jewellery Box, encapsulates 65 unique, abstract images taken during his 2010 trip to the 17 coastal counties in Ireland. It aims to showcase the details of Ireland’s landscape, including organic, unenhanced images of shells, seaweed, anemones, and sand formations.
Information on Muldowney, as well as his book, “Jewelry Box – Ireland’s Hidden Gems,” are available at dultra.com. 451 Marketing hosted the first night of Jewellery Box’s U.S. tour, and the party was a great success! Be sure to check out our Twitter page for pictures of the food, photobooth and more! We want to thank everyone who helped with the event, especially our sponsors Narragansett and Tito’s Vodka for making it all possible.