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Thread: Marissa Mayer says no more telecommuting for Yahoo employees

  1. #51
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    I have been reading about Yahoo, and apparently there was a huge problem with people "working" from home who weren't working. People weren't logging in, people were slacking off, and the ones left at the office were not happy because things weren't getting done.

    In my experience, there may be company policies about working from home but when it comes to individuals and their managers, there is flexibility for trusted employees. My company has a "no working from home" policy but it has never been a problem for me or people in my group to do so when needed. It's all about establishing trust and proving that you are really working.
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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freddieflounder101 View Post
    I have been reading about Yahoo, and apparently there was a huge problem with people "working" from home who weren't working. People weren't logging in, people were slacking off, and the ones left at the office were not happy because things weren't getting done.

    In my experience, there may be company policies about working from home but when it comes to individuals and their managers, there is flexibility for trusted employees. My company has a "no working from home" policy but it has never been a problem for me or people in my group to do so when needed. It's all about establishing trust and proving that you are really working.
    Yeah i read this too. I guess I don't understand why they don't hold people accountable. It would seem necessary to me to hold all your employees accountable for their responsibilities, no matter where they are, in the office or at their homes.

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    Before kids, my husband worked from home a lot due to various reasons. at a previous job. He always did his work and he routine worked overtime to get projects in before their deadline and coordinate with different time zones (like Europe). Then one day he came home and said they were no longer allowing working from home because his manger had allowed their assistant to work remotely for a week so she didn't have to take holiday time. In Vegas. I'm all for allowing people to work remotely but allowing someone to work from Vegas (when they are there on a fun holiday) seems like a bad idea. To be fair, she probably did as much work there as she did in the office. After she was fired they found drawers full of things she was supposed to file/pay etc. Anyway, he was irate that he was put in the same group as her. I hold the company at fault for not tracking employee's work and not dealing with it in a timely fashion. If you can't tell what your employees are doing, what is the point of having them.

    For deadline work and real family emergencies this is how it works with us. If you have something due Friday and you need to take Wednesday off because your kid has a fever, it still needs to get done. If on Wednesday something happens where you would take more time off and where expecting you to work would be difficult (funeral across country, hospitalization) efforts are made to transfer the project to someone else. However, since that messes up their time frame for their other work they prefer not to do it unless necessary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    For those of us who have project-based jobs, taking the day off is sometimes NOT an option. If I was a single parent and my child happened to get sick on the day or two before a filing, or on the day I've scheduled a multi-party conference call, there's no way I could just call in sick. This kind of work sometimes needs to be done on a particular day.
    This is what I was thinking too. I get 6 sick days a year and I very rarely use them all; not because my child and I never fall ill, but because I generally have calls I can't easily reschedule, deadlines I really can't miss, et cetera. When T was hospitalizedwhen he was around 18 months old with pneumonia, I scheduled a week of vacation time so I could stay home with him (he was REALLY sick even when he went home - he had to be on O2 for several days at home). When I got back, my boss actually requested that if he got sick like that again, could I please work from home at least part time because having me be totally off threw everything out of whack. At the time, that request kind of p*ssed me off, like "Dude, I have priorities, and when my kid has to be on O2, work ain't one of them." But I guess the point is that sometimes you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    ETA: Melissa - In the case of a true emergency, of course I would take off and I would expect they would let me. Just last month I had to leave work in the middle of the day to go to the hospital, and then subsequently missed a business trip the next day, and no one said boo to me about it. But I don't consider "My kid has a sore throat" to be a true emergency although it does mean that I can't take him to day care. My kid can lay on the couch and look at a book or watch a movie when he has a sore throat while I take a conference call or work on a project from my laptop. In those cases, it is more beneficial to both me and the company (I think) that I be able to work from home rather than put everything on hold for a day.
    Last edited by Alissa_Sal; 03-06-2013 at 01:12 PM.
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    I had a feeling. . .
    Seth Fiegerman

    Yahoo and new CEO Marissa Mayer have come under heavy criticism for their decision to crack down on employees working from home. The move has often been characterized as an outright "ban" on working remotely that would require every Yahoo employee to report to the office no matter what. But according to a new report, the vast majority of Yahoo employees still have the option to telecommute.

    The New York Times reports hearing from sources inside the company that Yahoo's policy change is specifically targeted at 200 employees who work from home full-time in an effort to boost morale for the rest of the staff. Some of these employees reportedly "did little work" for Yahoo and even started up their own companies on the side.

    Some Yahoo employees were concerned initially about how the policy change would affect their own ability to work from home on occasion, but according to the Times, managers have reassured employees that they can work remotely when necessary. ?Be here when you can," one manager reportedly told an employee. "Use your best judgment. But if you have to stay home for the cable guy or because your kid is sick, do it.?

    Yahoo, for its part, responded to all the criticism over its decision with a brief statement last week: "This isn't a broad industry view on working from home," it said. "This is about what is right for Yahoo right now."

    Best Buy recently followed Yahoo's example and eliminated a flexible work program that gave its corporate employees the option to work when and where they wanted ? though, like Yahoo, these employees still have the option to work remotely sometimes if their manager approves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KimPossible View Post
    Yeah i read this too. I guess I don't understand why they don't hold people accountable. It would seem necessary to me to hold all your employees accountable for their responsibilities, no matter where they are, in the office or at their homes.
    Exactly, this is a management issue. Their managers need to be held accountable to actually MANAGE their employees.

    My company has a no work from home policy and there is no flexibility in it. Yet I am a Director with a laptop and a blackberry and I rarely stop working, even when sick and especially when I have a sick child. So what happens is that I take a PTO day (we don't have sick time so depending on how often you or your children are sick you actually start cutting into your "vacation" time), and yet I still work. Now I obviously don't work as much as I would if I was in the office, but when I'm home sick in bed or taking care of sick kids, I am still checking and responding to emails all day and often much more than that, yet still using PTO. I'll note that this is, in some cases, an expectation I put on myself more than a requirement. I am sometimes working on things that are not urgent, yet I don't like seeing work pile up while I'm out. Seems ridiculous to me, though, that I be working and yet still using PTO for the full day. There should be some middle ground...some flexibility, for middle/upper management at least.

    Marissa's decision set the "Work Life Balance" movement back several steps. Best Buy has already followed and I'm curious who else will. Companies like mine will never move in that direction if they see (or perceive) that it's not working for large employers like Yahoo and Best Buy. I do wish that they could have managed the abusers instead of setting policies around abusers, which I'm rarely a fan of.
    Last edited by SID081108; 03-06-2013 at 02:59 PM.
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    Were I working while in bed sick and not being paid or having to ignore a childs needs/send them to school sick while I work I would question my families work life balance, anyway. We would have had that imbalance if we both worked after having children, and that didn't work with us, so we changed our work situation. To a degree, every family has that ability. Of course certain jobs will never be able to telecommute, like waitresses or nurses.......there are lots of jobs that people choose that have limited flexibility built in, and they adapt their back up care/family help or spouses job to that job.

    Reading more about this makes me more supportive of her decision. It sounds like I pictured it. Target the sector where the problems are and be flexible with proven performers. I am always a fan of that set up.

    Again, we work in a home with a full time work out of the office employee and I used to work from home (or, my now husbands home 2 hours away) frequently so obviously I am a fan of telecommuting. For us, not having that flexibility would not have worked with the home/life balance that was important to us with three kids, so he specifically found another job when he job changed that allowed telecommuting. I'm a huge fan of working from home (though it does have some downside). WHEN it is working for the company. When it isn't, change happens. Its just obvious. Marissa has no different responsibility to anyone because of her gender ~ she answers to her shareholders and it is her butt that gets fired when she/Yahoo is not performing.

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  8. #58
    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Did someone say something about sending their kids to school sick because of their job? I missed it if they did. I hope you aren't referring to me sending Cecilia back to daycare. She is in fantastic shape, great mood, not acting sick at all. No gunk in her eyes or anything. I kept Aodhan home on Monday because I felt he could use the day. He actually had no symptoms that were 'against the rules'. I just felt he was sleeping so terribly it would have been a miserable day at school. Anyway, it may have been said somewhere else, so if thats the case then nevermind my overly-defensive response

    I know you feel like she may be being very flexible but I don't think she is. She is taking away the ability for anyone to work remote full time because some people aren't being productive. And you can't tell me there is no better way to weed out non productive remote employees. If someone is doing a job where you can't measure deliverables or productivity...then they shouldn't be doing it away from their company's eye and yes, you should be in the office. If you can measure those things....then why aren't they doing it and why should those who aren't being problematic have something very life changing taken away from them?

    Honestly i think a lot of two income families face the thought of working while sick. Maybe some people would give up their entire career over that but I know a lot of people who wouldn't.

    I don't know, what you said sounds dangerously close to 'people should have a non-working parent because everyone could do it if they wanted to'. I mean, you threw the 'didn't work for us' in there...but the whole comment was in reference to the stresses that dual income families often face...and was then followed by 'every family has the ability' Its been my experience for that a lot of those families have to temporarily face problems like that

    I'll go back to what i said before. I think that attitude really hurts women, because the woman is going to be the one more likely to sacrifice their career. I know you feel that that is a personal choice, and if thats what she decides to do then that's her business, but i think just because a family decides that is best for them doesn't necessarily mean that is what the mother truly wanted. If she's been raised in a society where its been hammered into her that its her duty and obligation, its not necessarily easy to objectively look at the situation and say "hey, i dont' really have to do this" And given the fact that women are still behind men professionally I think we should be keeping options open that dont' force women to consider this when its possible. I get that its not possible for every job everywhere, but to take it away in situations where you could actually choose to manage it better and keep it available for people who are capable of performing in that situation does seem like a step backwards to me and i can't help but view that way.


    ETA: and i just want to say juggling a full time job and a family is stressful no matter what. I agree, if someone can't handle the stress then they shouldn't be doing both...but just because it IS a special kind of stressful doesn't mean that no one should want to do it or can't do it well.
    Last edited by KimPossible; 03-06-2013 at 07:45 PM.

  9. #59
    Prolific Poster Danifo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimPossible View Post
    Did someone say something about sending their kids to school sick because of their job? I missed it if they did. I hope you aren't referring to me sending Cecilia back to daycare. She is in fantastic shape, great mood, not acting sick at all. No gunk in her eyes or anything. I kept Aodhan home on Monday because I felt he could use the day. He actually had no symptoms that were 'against the rules'. I just felt he was sleeping so terribly it would have been a miserable day at school. Anyway, it may have been said somewhere else, so if thats the case then nevermind my overly-defensive response
    I said I've sent them. I've never sent them on days when I've known they've been really sick. I have sent them when they don't seem right though(like a high normal temperature that turns into a fever by 2pm). To be fair, I have also kept them home when they've been sick in the night or because they were sent home from daycare the previous day due to fever (have to be 24 hours fever free) and felt there was nothing wrong with them on that day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimPossible View Post
    Did someone say something about sending their kids to school sick because of their job? I missed it if they did. I hope you aren't referring to me sending Cecilia back to daycare. She is in fantastic shape, great mood, not acting sick at all. No gunk in her eyes or anything. I kept Aodhan home on Monday because I felt he could use the day. He actually had no symptoms that were 'against the rules'. I just felt he was sleeping so terribly it would have been a miserable day at school. Anyway, it may have been said somewhere else, so if thats the case then nevermind my overly-defensive response

    I know you feel like she may be being very flexible but I don't think she is. She is taking away the ability for anyone to work remote full time because some people aren't being productive. And you can't tell me there is no better way to weed out non productive remote employees. If someone is doing a job where you can't measure deliverables or productivity...then they shouldn't be doing it away from their company's eye and yes, you should be in the office. If you can measure those things....then why aren't they doing it and why should those who aren't being problematic have something very life changing taken away from them?

    Honestly i think a lot of two income families face the thought of working while sick. Maybe some people would give up their entire career over that but I know a lot of people who wouldn't.

    I don't know, what you said sounds dangerously close to 'people should have a non-working parent because everyone could do it if they wanted to'. I mean, you threw the 'didn't work for us' in there...but the whole comment was in reference to the stresses that dual income families often face...and was then followed by 'every family has the ability' Its been my experience for that a lot of those families have to temporarily face problems like that

    I'll go back to what i said before. I think that attitude really hurts women, because the woman is going to be the one more likely to sacrifice their career. I know you feel that that is a personal choice, and if thats what she decides to do then that's her business, but i think just because a family decides that is best for them doesn't necessarily mean that is what the mother truly wanted. If she's been raised in a society where its been hammered into her that its her duty and obligation, its not necessarily easy to objectively look at the situation and say "hey, i dont' really have to do this" And given the fact that women are still behind men professionally I think we should be keeping options open that dont' force women to consider this when its possible. I get that its not possible for every job everywhere, but to take it away in situations where you could actually choose to manage it better and keep it available for people who are capable of performing in that situation does seem like a step backwards to me and i can't help but view that way.


    ETA: and i just want to say juggling a full time job and a family is stressful no matter what. I agree, if someone can't handle the stress then they shouldn't be doing both...but just because it IS a special kind of stressful doesn't mean that no one should want to do it or can't do it well.

    Kim and Danifo, ~ NO i was not talking about you, I was talking about the piece that I quoted in my last piece,

    And as long as her fever isn't too high, I can usually dose her with Tylenol long enough to make it into the office for a few hours before the school nurse calls demanding that I pick her up.
    .

    And Kim, if I bungled this I apologize. No, I am not advocating that every family have a SAHP. I'm simply advocating that we hold Marissa, the CEO of an unrelated company, less culpable for our own personal work/life balances for our own families than we ourselves are.

    If we are willing to accept jobs with zero flexibility, why will employers offer flexibility?

    If we are willing to work for free while sick or while we have sick child or a child in the hospital or eat into vacation time (as middle to upper management even?????), why won't CEO's come to expect that of us as women and mothers?

    If we are all willing to accept jobs which (as some are saying, NOT all on this thread) give us not enough time for our sick kids that is FINE. That is the individuals choice, however.......to blame Marissa for setting this "cause" back several steps when we ourselves are doing nothing to advocate for our own "cause" as it relates to our families....well, its very unfair, IMO.

    Why hold a stranger to be accountable for our own decisions or our own role in accepting non family friendly positions? Its a double standard. And if we continue to punish successful women by yoking them with the weight of all of our individual bad decisions or failures to negotiate or failures to advocate......well.....are WE responsible for helping or hurting women who threaten to break the glass ceiling?

    Yahoo is offering child care and flexibility in working from home in all but 200 positions. That is a lot more than some people are saying they get from their companies.

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