That may be true - I can only speak for myself and tell you that for me, having that trade off (working extra hours but also having a ton of flexibility) is something that I truly prize about my job. That flexibility makes it all worth it to me. Not everyone may feel that way, but I truly truly do. I really like my job, and that flexibility (which again, I see as the trade off) is a huge part of why.
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I think all companies have social responsibilities, not just yahoo, not just companies headed by women, but all in general. Back to my walmart analogy. If they stopped doing some of the things that I thought were socially irresponsible, it definitely would be at the sacrifice of some money. Corporate bottom dollar isn't a reason to justify anything and everything.who is responsible for making decisions which impact families more than they impact her corporation.
Thats a big if and really i don't think if their stock triples it will be directly related to this specific decision. I think thats unrealistic, if she is successful in turning the company around it will be a combination of things. Its not like this is the one problem with Yahoo and then automagically they make everyone come into the office and things are all fixed. I don't think a sustainable company is mutual exclusive to one that has telecommuters. IAt the end of the day I believe that a more profitable and sustainable company is the ultimate in rewards for a family, over simply working from home from a struggling and poorly performing company. If this worked and, say, their stock tripled, I have a feeling few families would be complaining. In publicly traded companies like this I'm sure they offer stock options in hiring, as bonuses and probably have some sort of ESP plan. Their profitability increasing dramatically would make those families a lot of money. And I don't agree with you that working from home is as much a boon to ALL families as it may be to you.
I was doing a little reading on the subject and read an interesting point. Marissa Mayer needs to turn yahoo around because they've become stagnant in their industry, maintaining their existing products and services yet not moving forward and thinking of the things that consumers need today. While other companies are embracing telecommuting and the lifestyle that goes with it, Yahoo has made a decision to nix that from their own equation. Instead of embracing ways to think outside the box and make telecommuting work for them and their employees, they chose to move backwards and get rid of it completely. That doesn't seem to be a sign of innovation and being 'with the times' I thought it was interesting food for thought.
Although i'm not surprised. I would imagine that Marissa has gotten to her point in her career by embracing the old school way of thinking, as evident by her two week maternity leave (which i actually dont' begrudge...as that is a personal decision). I think she is more of a believer in a woman working in a man's world than changing that world.
I can agree that it isn't clear cut, but i don't think that article shuts the door on the idea that it can be more environmentally friendly. I run almost no peripherals...just my computer. I don't need a printer...i almost never print anything out ever. I dont' run an air conditioning unit in the summer, granted that works well with the climate i live in. I have no public transportation available to me that would work if i chose to work in my local city...and it wasn't available to me when i went to my current HQ office back in NY. And i dont' think its fair to include things like doing laundry or dishes while working at home. There is only going to be a limited amount of that per family regardless of where someone works. If someone doesn't run that load during work hours, they will just run it later in the day. Its not like working from home generates more laundry and more dishes....it does generate a little bit more dishes, but has never increased my load per day.I disagree with you that the environmental benefits are as clear cut as you think
I don't know if you could take the train or bus, but my husband could not to a daily office locally. When he has to go to DC, two to three times/month, he does take the train.
I didn't mean socialization, i meant 'for the social good' as in better work life balance is good for society. I absolutely miss have co-workers around. I love going back to the office on a regular basis and enjoy the time i have face to face with my colleagues. I agree it can get lonely. But just like you said, its not for everyone. Some people, like your husband or myself are willing to work with that given what you might get in return. I'm just saying that option should be there, especially for a company that needs to be in touch with modern day life.And I also disagree that the social benefits are as clear cut as you paint them to be. When my husband and I were engaged I almost moved to his house in DC. My company offered me the ability to work remotely. Frankly I was terrified, I would have HATED the isolation of working from home, I would not know anyone (work is a great place to make friends and have a social outlet). Ultimately he was also offered the ability to work remotely and he ended up moving to my house up here and working from home, which he has now been doing for the past 7 years. He does admit to missing the fun of office life at times, lunches out, etc etc. He gets that comraderie through his frequent travel, but I know that we both see and recognize how working alone can be lonely, isolating, and NOT always the social boon you state it to be. My friend worked remotely for Morningstar ~ she was the only one on her team working remotely. She hated it and felt constantly out of the loop. She ended up moving back to Chicago so that she could be in her office. Great for some, yes. All? No.
Yes this is a good play by play of what happens when a company might put a ban on telecommuting. Of course its great that if this happens someone isn't necessarily forced into one option only. I don't see what that has to do with if the decision is a good one or not though.I'd never argue that no one should work remotely, or that everyone should. Again, I don't WANT to move to DC or SF where the cost of living is even higher than in my area. So I treasure the fact that we can do it. BUT, if his company determined that it was not working for them, I recognize that we would have a decision to make. Frankly, my husband LOVES his job and we would move and he would go into an office and that would be okay with all of us. I think that many Yahoo employees will feel the same way. Those that don't can go somewhere else. That is the beauty of choice.
Last edited by KimPossible; 03-01-2013 at 02:06 PM.
My entire team is a remote team, none of us work at HQ. A couple of us do the unconventional schedule thing. Make ourselves readily available pretty much all the time, will work whatever hours seem to make sense to get the job done. Another guy, he is more of a 8 hour a day, 8:30 - 5:00 guy. He'll put in some extra hours when it feels really needed and always pulls his weight but has decided this works for him and gives him what he wants in life. He actually doesn't even own a cell phone.
Thats the great thing about it...it gives you more options. You get to determine what works best for your life. Several of us here say its better. In my job, i'm going to need to bust my butt no matter what on a regular basis. Gone are my days of staying in the office til 2am to finish a project, not seeing my kids at all on days when the work is just too much, having to explain to my husband that i can't be home for dinner for the third or fourth night in a row.
People having more options and finding what works best for their own families is better for society as a whole. If I really thought that Yahoo couldn't make it work with remote employees....i wouldn't care so much. I just don't believe that to be the case so find it a shame and bad for society that a big, albeit suffering, name would send out a message that it doesn't work. A big name that, by the nature of its identity and industry, has to be in touch with modern day lifestyles. Just doesn't make sense to me.
Yeah. At the end of the day I guess I've really said all I can say on this one and my mind isn't open to being changed, so I guess I've come to the end of what I can say I do think that its BS that a woman is held to a different standard, and that judgments are being made about how or why she succeeded (for instance, I don't think that her maternity is anyones business, and I'm not willing to relegate her success to this "mans world" business.) I think that she got to where she is by being smart, tenacious, innovative and hard working. I think that its sad that that isn't enough, because she has a vagina. She is also held to a standard of being some world changer. I'd say that just doing her job is hard enough, and I will personally hold her to the same standards I would a man, because to not would be sexist of me. Personally I think that all the faux outrage and meaning seeking in this is more than a little silly, unless of course one works for Yahoo or is personally affected by this.
I love this article.
Cigars and Policy Changes: in support of Marissa Mayer and Jackie Reses
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes a policy change is just a policy change. And to attribute larger societal meaning is misguided and, well, you know, not smart.
Ending telecommuting at Yahoo! isn’t a new skirmish in the “mommy war” as USA Today proclaims.
Ending telecommuting at Yahoo! isn’t a frontal attack on GenX and GenY as countless bloggers are screaming.
Ending telecommuting at Yahoo! isn’t a stake in the heart of workplace flexibility as SHRM believes.
Ending telecommuting at Yahoo! is a bold decision by a bold CEO trying to turn her business around.
I’m a business leader. I get it.
I get it that when you’re turning around a business you frequently have to make decisions that are unpopular.
I get it that when you make decisions to support your strategic plan others will assign meaning that was never meant.
I get it that you may have to make decisions that will change the culture in big ways.
I get the panic stress you feel when you decide to that cultural change is required and that decision will potentially put good people at risk.
I’m a business leader. I get it.
Turning around a business isn’t for sissies of either sex. Ask Carly Fiorina and Mark Hurd and Meg Whitman.
The current brouhaha over Yahoo!’s decision to bring the field back home and end telecommuting is out of control. The HR community, in particular, is totally wound around the crankshaft over this decision. The cries of “foul!” are everywhere in the Twitterverse, the Blogosphere, old media and new media, radio and television.
And I understand the concern, although some of the hysteria is a little hard to take. Workflex, as SHRM and the Families and Work Institute call it, is a boon for working mothers and fathers, a requirement – we’re told – for hiring and retaining GenX and GenY, and a central plank in improving engagement. Their data is solid. I get it.
Except when it isn’t working. Except when management has lost line of sight into employee productivity. Except when the culture of work and communication has gotten inefficient and lost its discipline and rigor. Except when out of sight truly is out of mind.
I give Mayer and Reses big time credit for stepping up to the plate and swinging for the fences. I saw the memo. It said that the time for focusing on speed, communication, collaboration and quality is at hand. And in the CEO’s judgment, that means being physically together in hallways, work spaces and cafeterias.
They’re turning a business around, people! And that’s intense work. It requires all hands on deck. I think Mayer and Reses want – and need – to harness the talent in Yahoo! in ways that keep the focus and intensity high. In an environment where leaders can be hands-on and where communication isn’t delayed one second by distance and physical separation.
Say what you will about the value of engaging your workforce by allowing flexible work arrangements, but doing things the way you’ve always done them and expecting a different outcome is, well, you know, not smart. And no one ever called Mayer that.
Saving a business isn’t about comfort and preferences. It’s about rolling up sleeves and doing whatever it takes to emerge triumphant. And if that means some long-term, previously engaged colleagues decide that the new requirements don’t fit their lifestyle, then they’ll make other plans. That’s tough, for sure. But it’s how things work sometimes. Everyone has choices to make and consequences to manage. I think Mayer is making tough choices and I think she’s prepared for the consequences.
Is this a referendum on workflex? No
Is this an assault on working parents? No
Is Mayer betraying her gender and her generation? No
Will this change the talent management landscape overnight and around the world? No
Is this one CEO and CHRO working together to change a culture’s priorities and save a business? Yes
I get it. So should you.
Last edited by Potter75; 03-01-2013 at 02:24 PM.
Okay i want to keep posting on this topic but...i have to go back to work so this is the last one for now
But thats what I'm doing when i'm with my kids. Being with them. I took Nathalie to dance...i wasn't working. In my alternative world, i would have been at the office while she was in aftercare.I also do not think it is necessarily more healthy for society to work all the time. When DH is with our kids, I want him to actually be here not busy still working.
As for if its healthy to be working all the time? Maybe not, but its been that way long before telecommuting became possible. Like i said if i didn't put it 50 hours at home, i'd still be pressured to do it at the office instead.
Thats all I'm saying, is that there are pros and cons to it, much like there is to being in an office. Some people will prefer one over the other. Some people will be happier and consequently their family will too in one situation or the other. Our society should value and respect our desires to balance work and family. Unnecessarily taking away options for people to do that is not a positive for society.Are their benefits from working from home? sure. Are their drawbacks? yes. I do not believe one way is clearly more beneficial than the other and stopping the practice does not make Yahoo a bad company. I personally think there is great benefit (when I worked before kids and for DH now and other people I know well who work from home.) to be able to come home at the end of the day at the office and leave work at work. Again, I do not think working from home is always bad, but I do not think it is wrong or bad of a company to not offer this option.
And RE the bold specifically...like i said, i have a remote employee on my team who does just that. Leaving your work at 5pm everyday is not mutually exclusive with telecommuting. You can make it what you want it to be.
Okay, be back later!
Last edited by KimPossible; 03-01-2013 at 02:26 PM.
I don't think this is a poor decision because she is a woman. I think it is a poor decision in general. People who telecommute generally like it. Even having flexibility at work is a huge thing that I had at my old job that I don't have here. I was way more willing at my old job to give a little extra to them than I am now because of that lack of flexability. In situations I've seen where people have lost flexibility at their same job, they get pretty cranky. I would think changing telecommuting would be worse. People have set up their lives based on that (kid activities, where they live). I think they will have a lot of unhappy employees.
If my husband could work from home all the time,it would save him 2-3 hours/day commuting. If he did all the time though, we would have to change where we live to a place with a office with a door. I could not work from home.
This kind of reminds me about working on a project with an old doctor and him complaining about the young medical students not wanting to work long hours and them wanting to have a life outside work. When one parent stays home (traditionally the mom) the other parent has the flexibility to focus on their career. However, now even that one working parent wants to spend time with their kids. 30 years ago, not so much.
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I just wanted to say too that I don't think anyone is arguing that everyone should work from home or work on their blackberries all day and all night. Personally, that is an environment that works very well for me and thusfar (have been doing it for about 6 years) I haven't really dealt with burnout because, again, the flexibility that I get in return allows me to make a schedule that works for me and I love that. But if it doesn't work for someone else, that's fine too. We don't all have to be the same. I just think that when feasible, it's better that companies offer the choice. Obviously it won't be feasible in many jobs. But in jobs where it is feasible and was previously offered, I think it's a bad move to take it away. Some of us love it enough to gratefully work longer hours for less pay just to have the choice, so keeping that choice for those of us who feel that way seems like a win win to me.
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