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  • Why he closed his company's offices—and why he thinks you should, too

    "If my contribution is to take 200 people off the density of the grid, that seemed like a no-brainer," says Sam Yagan, CEO of 79彩票注册网址Runner.

    Sam Yagan

    79彩票注册网址

    The first solution to a problem isn’t always the right one.

    Sam Yagan was wrestling with the same question as every other CEO this week: Do I close my company's offices because of the coronavirus? Initially, Yagan and the senior managers of 79彩票注册网址Runner decided Wednesday morning to allow the Chicago-based tech company’s 240 employees to work from home if they wanted.

    By 10 p.m. it was mandatory. The company has closed its River North office until the end of the month.  "‘Encouraged to work from home’ is not enough,” he says. “We have an obligation to our communities to take every action that we can to flatten the curve and slow the transmission of the virus.”

    79彩票注册网址Yagan’s company provides e-commerce services, including including shipping, returns and checkout, to retailers. “Not everyone has the luxury” of working from home, he says. “There are people who have to go to work … in hospitals, first-responders, people who work at grocery stores. We have the option. If my contribution is to take 200 people off the density of the grid, that seemed like a no-brainer.”

    79彩票注册网址It wasn’t his first instinct, however. Yagan, 42, is a hard-charger who has founded and been CEO of several companies, including Match.com. On Tuesday, he flew to Philadelphia for a board meeting. “I was thinking, ‘I’m a CEO: I should be there in person to present.’ ”

    The next day, as the spread of coronavirus was hitting closer to home, he and his managers were debating remote work, “We were tying to take it person by person, decision by decision, trying to define what’s ‘essential’—is it dealing with a client? We were trying to balance the business interest with what’s the right thing to do for the community.”

    79彩票注册网址His thinking changed after talking with fellow CEOs in San Francisco and Seattle, where the impact of virus was seen earlier. “They were like, ‘Man, if we’d just done something two days earlier, I think we’d be in a different spot,’ “ he said. “Who knows if that will prove to be true? But it got me thinking.”

    79彩票注册网址Yagan said he asked himself two questions: “As business and civic leaders, what can we do to help mitigate the spread of the virus and keep our communities healthy and safe? When we look back at this moment in a year, will we have preferred to have acted too early or too late?”

    79彩票注册网址He says the coronavirus presents a leadership curveball for CEOs. “Every leader wants to be data driven. When you have the data, those are the easy decisions. These are the hard ones.”

    Living with his decision to shut down the office takes some getting used to. “Today was a miserable day for me,” he said Thursday. “I hated working from home, doing meetings over video. What to do between meetings? I normally walk over to someone’s desk and check in. I don’t want six months of today.” 

     

     

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    79彩票注册网址

    79彩票注册网址Yagan’s company provides e-commerce services, including including shipping, returns and checkout, to retailers. “Not everyone has the luxury” of working from home, he says. “There are people who have to go to work … in hospitals, first-responders, people who work at grocery stores. We have the option. If my contribution is to take 200 people off the density of the grid, that seemed like a no-brainer.”

    79彩票注册网址It wasn’t his first instinct, however. Yagan, 42, is a hard-charger who has founded and been CEO of several companies, including Match.com. On Tuesday, he flew to Philadelphia for a board meeting. “I was thinking, ‘I’m a CEO: I should be there in person to present.’ ”

    The next day, as the spread of coronavirus was hitting closer to home, he and his managers were debating remote work, “We were tying to take it person by person, decision by decision, trying to define what’s ‘essential’—is it dealing with a client? We were trying to balance the business interest with what’s the right thing to do for the community.”

    79彩票注册网址His thinking changed after talking with fellow CEOs in San Francisco and Seattle, where the impact of virus was seen earlier. “They were like, ‘Man, if we’d just done something two days earlier, I think we’d be in a different spot,’ “ he said. “Who knows if that will prove to be true? But it got me thinking.”

    Yagan said he asked himself two questions: “As business and civic leaders, what can we do to help mitigate the spread of the virus and keep our communities healthy and safe? When we look back at this moment in a year, will we have preferred to have acted too early or too late?”

    He says the coronavirus presents a leadership curveball for CEOs. “Every leader wants to be data driven. When you have the data, those are the easy decisions. These are the hard ones.”

    Living with his decision to shut down the office takes some getting used to. “Today was a miserable day for me,” he said Thursday. “I hated working from home, doing meetings over video. What to do between meetings? I normally walk over to someone’s desk and check in. I don’t want six months of today.” 

     

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