Marissa Mayer says no more telecommuting for Yahoo employees
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Thread: Marissa Mayer says no more telecommuting for Yahoo employees

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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Default Marissa Mayer says no more telecommuting for Yahoo employees

    What do you think of Yahoo's impending policy of no more working from home. Do you think its a good thing? Bad thing? Is it another strike against women or working families in general? Or is it what they need to do to get Yahoo back on their feet.

    I'm not going to C&P any one article because there are a lot of differing opinions out there and you can find articles leaning both ways.

    Here are a variety that argue both sides. But you can find plenty more

    Decision is wrong:
    4 Reasons Marissa Mayer's No-At-Home-Work Policy Is an Epic Fail - Forbes

    Lisa Belkin: Marissa Mayer's Work-From-Home Ban Is The Exact Opposite Of What CEOs Should Be Doing


    Decision is right:
    Marissa Mayer, I hear you | ZDNet

    No, Marissa Mayer Doesn't Hate Your Children


    FTR, i think the last article is a bit off the mark. Very few telecommuters i know actually attempt to care for their children all day while they work a full time job.
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    Prolific Poster Danifo's Avatar
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    I think telecommuting is a great option and if your job has work that can be done at home then you should be allowed to. Since I went back to work in October the two kids have missed over 20 days of daycare (weather and illness). 14 of those were in my first three months when I didn't get any days off. My husband stayed home and made up the rest of his hours at night or on the weekend. If he couldn't have done that, we would have used up all our holiday time because of blizzards, hurricanes, vomitting and fever.

    He also routinely telecommutes if the weather is horrible because of the impact on his commute or when he was at the office 12+ hours the day before. In those cases he sleeps an extra hour and still puts in a 10 hour day before I get home. He does billable hours and has lots of deadlines so it is obvious if he doesn't do the work.

    I know one guy who does it 2 days a week and he is not married and has no kids. He loves it because goes running at lunch and prefers running near his house than downtown.

    However, I know lots of people who take it as a paid day off and that messes it up for everyone else.
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    The coverage of the decision actually bothers me more than the decision itself. I think that such a big deal is being made of the fact that a WOMAN made this decision (omfg women are supposed to be so family friendly!!! *sexist assumption*) is annoying as heck to me. She is taking a risk here ~ she could easily lose good talent if employees are not willing to come into the office. My husband works from home and if he suddenly had to be in an office we would have to move to either SAn Fan or DC. I don't know if he would look for something else or if we would move ~ that would be a big decision for our family!

    She didn't get to the position she did at the age she did by being an idiot. Like any decision made my CEO's the proof is going to be in the pudding ~ in this case profitability coupled with stock performance, I would guess.

    Not knowing the inner workings of how many of their employees currently work from home, or how their creative teams are set up, it would be impossible for me to say if this is a good or bad decision on Yahoo's part. I'm not willing to judge her or necessarily call this decision "anti family" ~ who knows ~ if this decision makes Yahoo more profitable and their stock go up, their employees will ALL benefit as will their families.
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    I work for a company that promotes working remotely. I work remotely and I love it. It was the reason I joined. I work better at home because I don't have distractions, I can sleep longer since I don't have to get dressed up all the time or commute. I typically go in office 1x/mo for meetings. I think it is such a good idea for those that want it.

    Like Melis said though, it's not something we will know for sure how it will pan out but my initial reaction is that they will lose talent and that's not good. Too many people who were hired for the benefit to working at home may not be on board with coming into the office 100% of the time. I sure wouldn't.

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    Community Host Sapphire Sunsets's Avatar
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    It's a bad idea. Ditto on people who took a job because they could work from home. Thats one of the main reasons my sister took the job she did after she had her middle child.

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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Okay i have a lot to say about this and not enough time to put all my thoughts into one post right now. So I'm just going to write out what I have in my brain at the moment.

    I'll start by saying I think its a bad idea. I say that while acknowledging that i don't work at Yahoo, i am not a CEO, and not a CEO at Yahoo.

    Why I think its a bad idea.

    Why i don't think its good for Yahoo:
    First, i agree with the Forbes article i linked to. I think this is an excellent way to weed out your very good remote employees. They are talented and have the skill set most likely to work where they want to. It leaves you with the less marketable remote employees who may feel like they have no choice but to move from wherever they are and comply. So, I don't see that as good for Yahoo.

    Second, I think its bad for company morale. Sure that may only be temporary, but that means taking a temporary hit and I am still skeptical of the beneficial return on the decision.

    Third, I think for every con that was mentioned about working from home, there is a pro. Working remotely is not strictly negative and has some advantages over working in an office. I think having a balance of both types of pros and cons is beneficial to a company. I question if Yahoo has full considered what they are giving up (which is more than just employee satisfaction IMO).

    And of course i agree that they are taking on an added monetary expense, both in providing resources for these new in office employees and the cost of replacing the ones that will choose to leave

    Now why I think its bad for society:
    I think there are huge benefits to encouraging telecommuting. I know first hand the benefits it has provided my family. It has nothing to do with trying to work while my kids are home, because I don't do that. Well, not my official hours anyway. Often flex scheduling and working from home go hand in hand and the flex scheduling is a gift to double income families that is extremely valuable. It improves our quality of life and the quality time i can spend with my kids. Its a gift that I value everyday, and in my opinion the type of gift our society should value. My flex schedule works because I can work partial time in the evenings, from home.

    Environmentally it goes without saying why its beneficial.

    And lastly from a female perspective, i do think taking away these options where they really do work (tech jobs) is bad for professional females. While in the great picture, telecommuting was a good break to double working families in general, having the option taken away is more of a disadvantage for women, who i think still in this day and age are going to be the ones that will make the sacrifices professionally more-so than men if they need to balance their home life. We don't live in an age yet where tending to family is viewed equally.

    Ultimately i do criticize Mayer. And I'm totally okay with her taking public heat for it. And yes with her being female, i do come down on her harder when i see what her creating what I feel are roadblocks for family/work balance. Just because she made it to the point of being a successful CEO doesn't mean that she is infallible or always makes good decisions. There are plenty of CEO's that make bad decisions.

    I"m not saying she isn't allowed to make whatever decision she sees fit for her company. But I don't feel bad at all for being disappointed in her for doing so...and I feel pretty safe saying that just because she's CEO doesn't automatically make it right. And I don't really think profitability and performance are necessarily meaningful if they are at the expense of something i see as valuable to society.

    Just as an example, Walmart does all sorts of things in the name of profitability and performance at the expense of things that i see as good for society.
    Last edited by KimPossible; 02-26-2013 at 09:49 PM.
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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    ITA with everything Kim said. I telecommute regularly one day a week, and have the flexibility to do it other days. My job is project based; if we're on a deadline and my family is sick, taking the day off is not really an option. I get most of my work done at night after the kids are asleep, and I can book medical appointments and school conferences during the day as long as I still have time to check in and get a few work things done if needed. I would not consider any job right now that did not offer this flexibility.

    It does sound like Yahoo had a real problem with remote workers, but I think a better decision for Ms. Mayer would have been to hold managers more accountable for their employees and productivity than to outright ban telecommuting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimPossible View Post

    Ultimately i do criticize Mayer. And I'm totally okay with her taking public heat for it. And yes with her being female, i do come down on her harder when i see what her creating what I feel are roadblocks for family/work balance. Just because she made it to the point of being a successful CEO doesn't mean that she is infallible or always makes good decisions. There are plenty of CEO's that make bad decisions.

    I"m not saying she isn't allowed to make whatever decision she sees fit for her company. But I don't feel bad at all for being disappointed in her for doing so...and I feel pretty safe saying that just because she's CEO doesn't automatically make it right. And I don't really think profitability and performance are necessarily meaningful if they are at the expense of something i see as valuable to society.

    Just as an example, Walmart does all sorts of things in the name of profitability and performance at the expense of things that i see as good for society.
    I in no way think that she is infallible or that simply by being a CEO she will always make the right decision. I'm just saying that if the identified a problem and is trying to tackle it, it is possible that her decision IS a good one. If it isn't, they will lose talent and their profitability and stock will suffer.

    I also think that its total BS that she is held to a different standard than a man would be. She is not charged with making family friendly decisions over profitability decisions simply because she has a vagina.

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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potter75 View Post
    I in no way think that she is infallible or that simply by being a CEO she will always make the right decision. I'm just saying that if the identified a problem and is trying to tackle it, it is possible that her decision IS a good one. If it isn't, they will lose talent and their profitability and stock will suffer.
    Even if it were to help with profitability, i still think its the wrong choice. I think its bad for society to discourage the option and I think there are other ways they could have dealt with getting people into the office to collaborate. THey could have modified the policy instead of killed it. Like i said before, i don't think every business decision is right just because it increases profitability.

    I also think that its total BS that she is held to a different standard than a man would be. She is not charged with making family friendly decisions over profitability decisions simply because she has a vagina.
    I'm not saying i would find it acceptable if a man were to have done it but not a woman. My CEO is a male and i would have the same criticisms. But I don't think its wrong to be disappointed when someone from a disadvantaged group does things to encourage maintaining that disadvantage. Seems pretty logical to me that would make some people feel a little extra displeased.

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    I just don't see this as something that is more damaging to women than to men, so I guess thats where the disconnect is.

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