Yahoo wrong to recall staff to office, says Regus chief

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The Independent Online

Marissa Mayer, the chief executive of Yahoo, is "absolutely wrong" to tell her home workers to return to the office, according to Regus's chief executive Mark Dixon.

Mr Dixon, who runs the world's biggest provider of temporary office space, says flexible working is booming, and he has the numbers to match after a 72 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £85.1m last year.

Ms Mayer, who claimed "we need to be one Yahoo, and that starts with physically being together", wants workers generating ideas in the canteen and in the corridor.

Mr Dixon says: "She has got it absolutely wrong. Most of her competitors are our customers and they are embracing flexible working. Maybe when you are in a turnaround situation getting people together is not a bad thing, but there is a whole range of software out there which helps people communicate.

"It was a very strange business move. It is important that you get people together, but you don't need them together every day. One of our biggest customers is Google, but you won't find a company that spends more on getting people together as a team."

Regus is on track to achieve a global network of at least 2,000 centres by the end of 2014. The company will add 350 centres this year, including 64 from the acquisition of MWB Business Exchange. It is also opening up temporary offices in motorway services stations with centres on the M25, M11, A40 and M40.

Mr Dixon adds: "These locations are proving very popular because there are a lot of people out there going up and down the highways and they want to work productively."