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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Boo Hoo on Yahoo?

Posted by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:49 AM
  • 10 Replies

The debate: does a company gain or lose productivity when it allows employees to work from home?

And personally, this decision of Yahoo's shocked the heck out of me; there are so many people who have built their lives around the benefit of working from home...homes bought in distant locales, children vested in school districts, partners who took career paths because the other partner was able to work from home.

I think her decision stinks.  

What do you think?

 

 

http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/26/tech/yahoo-reaction/index.html?hpt=hp_bn5

(CNN) -- When Stephanie Van Pelt needed to care for her son after surgery, her company gave her the option to work from home.

"They didn't lose my productivity," Van Pelt posted on Google+. "They gained an intensely loyal, hard-working employee that was so pleased with not having to take (time) off."

Van Pelt was weighing in on the recent news that Yahoo is ending its work-from-home policy. The change, announced Monday by Yahoo human resources chief Jackie Reses, is expected to affect hundreds of employees. It is one of many changes CEO Marissa Mayer has made since being hired last July.

But Van Pelt doesn't work for Yahoo.

She doesn't work for Google, Twitter, or any high-profile tech company. Instead, Van Pelt represents how the changes at Yahoo have gotten the attention of workers everywhere, regardless of industry.

"This is just ridiculous," she continued. "Glad I have no desire to work for Yahoo!"

A 2011 study by Telework Research Network found that working remotely increased 73% from 2005 to 2011 in the United States.

Parenting is not at the heart of the issue, despite expectations Mayer would be more flexible after the recent birth of her first child. In the thousands of social media posts made about Mayer's decision since Monday, people have attempted to classify the policy as a statement about everything from feminism to incompetent management.

Yahoo to staff: No more working in PJs
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Marissa Mayer's maternity leave mayhem

On Tuesday Yahoo issued a short statement, saying "This isn't a broad industry view on working from home -- this is about what is right for Yahoo right now."

But two themes seem to anchor the discussion, and they center on debate about what it takes to create a truly innovate workplace -- something Yahoo needs -- and the role morale plays in productivity.

Opinion: CEO right -- Yahoo workers must show up

On innovation

Psychologist Eve Ash wrote for SmartCompany.com that, "The combined efforts of a group can provide quantum leaps in innovations."

Hired to essentially reinvent Yahoo, Mayer is clearly attempting to reignite the "spirit of collaboration." In an opinion piece for CNN, Raymond Fisman said Mayer has it exactly right: Personal interaction is still the most effective way of conveying a company's direction. The assertion that new ideas spring up through "chance encounters" is backed by academic research, he says.

David Hirsch, who uses @startupman on Twitter, agrees. As a managing partner of Metamorphic.vc and a father of two, he says for every restart or start-up, real-time collaboration and strategy needs to happen "every 5 minutes."

"As a parent who occasionally works from home -- I feel bad for all those impacted," posted JD Fairweather. "As a consultant who has seen the challenges of managing remote workers and the complications of rebuilding a company -- it's the right move."

"Yahoo needs employees who want to live breathe and evangelize Yahoo," wrote tech blogger Shawn Farner. "The company needs employees in Sunnyvale, walking the halls, eating lunch with colleagues, brainstorming on whiteboards, gathering around monitors -- basically, doing the things you'd see a small start-up doing in companies that emphasize collaboration and comradery."

A work-at-home mom defends Mayer

On productivity

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, quickly posted his opposition to Mayer's policy, saying a big part of successfully working with other people depends on, "trusting people to get their work done wherever they are, without supervision."

Donald Trump tweeted that Mayer is right to expect Yahoo employees to come to the workplace. "She is doing a great job!"

Lynn Dang, a former IBM employee posted to Facebook that the policy is silly and short-sighted for three reasons. First, unproductive staff will be unproductive anywhere. Second, Yahoo now risks losing top performers, and third the policy speaks of control and distrust unlikely to boost morale and engagement.

"I do think team building and interaction are useful but it doesn't have to be an all or nothing approach like this," Dang posted. "Especially in 2013. Especially for a tech company."

In an article on HLNTV.com, Sarah Evans, owner of Sevans Strategy, a public relations consultancy, wrote that each year, $1.4 trillion is lost in productivity regardless of where a worker's desk is physically located.

"Finding a better way to work should be a company's priority -- not telling people where they can do said work," Evans said.

 

by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:49 AM
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Replies (1-10):
furbabymum
by Gold Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:54 AM

 I can see her point. Personal interaction is dying in society now.

Radarma
by "OneDar" on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:58 AM

 

Quoting furbabymum:

 I can see her point. Personal interaction is dying in society now.

 I see her point too, just think it stinks. I would have liked a "from now on" policy instead, which might have allowed for those who have been remotely working for years to continue to do so, so as not to obliterate the way many families operate their daily lives/schedules.

Just seems so abrupt.

lizmarie1975
by Gold Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:01 PM
1 mom liked this

I work full time from home and I would be screwed if I had to start commuting on a regular basis. I began working from home when I lived closer to the city but when my husband and I were able to buy a house, our work from home status was so beneficial. It allowed us to mover further from NYC where housing options were cheaper and our children would be afforded a back yard, good public schools, etc.

I'm glad my company is flexible.

JoshRachelsMAMA
by JRM on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:03 PM
It's simple. If your boss wants you to come in to work, then that's what you have to do. In this economy, people can be easily replaced. People who show that they "live, breathe and evangelize" their new job is what they want and one way or the other - Yahoo will get it.

No one Is OWED a job.
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krysstizzle
by DeepThought on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:04 PM
2 moms liked this

Without derailing the post, there was a suvey done that showed employees that had flex time (including working from home part of the time or most of the time) had greater company loyalty and put in more hours/were more productive. An article on it is here

I have a combination of work from home/ go to the office time. I love it. 

JoshRachelsMAMA
by JRM on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:04 PM
The company has been sliding for years now. Perhaps they have reached "critical mass".

Quoting Radarma:

 


Quoting furbabymum:


 I can see her point. Personal interaction is dying in society now.


 I see her point too, just think it stinks. I would have liked a "from now on" policy instead, which might have allowed for those who have been remotely working for years to continue to do so, so as not to obliterate the way many families operate their daily lives/schedules.

Just seems so abrupt.

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:06 PM

I agree with Lynn Dang: all or nothing approaches are heavy handed and unnecessary.

TruthSeeker.
by Milami on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:06 PM

 My BIL just got a job and they encourage their employees to take one day a week and work from home. I think a few days a week would be a good compromise.

furbabymum
by Gold Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:06 PM

 I'm not sure what % of Yahoo employees work from home. I will say that those who do and who are not part of the new work dynamic Yahoo is striving for will be left in the dust. I would think they'd be the first employees laid off if needed and the last to get promoted.

Quoting Radarma:

 

Quoting furbabymum:

 I can see her point. Personal interaction is dying in society now.

 I see her point too, just think it stinks. I would have liked a "from now on" policy instead, which might have allowed for those who have been remotely working for years to continue to do so, so as not to obliterate the way many families operate their daily lives/schedules.

Just seems so abrupt.

 

lizmarie1975
by Gold Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:08 PM


I agree with this. I have been with my company for 18 years (I can't believe it's been that long). About 13 years ago, I had an opportunity to move to another global company and when I approached my boss and let them know if the offer, they countered with a similar offer. Even though it was a couple thousand LESS than what the other company was paying, I chose to stay. I had such great flexibility with my job and my bosses were great. Moving to a new company would mean starting over with vacation time and I wouldn't have the flexibility to work from home when I had a sick kid or needed to leave early or arrive a little late.

As long as I don't screw up my work from home deal, and my company doesn't go out of business...I plan on staying with them for a long time.

Quoting krysstizzle:

Without derailing the post, there was a suvey done that showed employees that had flex time (including working from home part of the time or most of the time) had greater company loyalty and put in more hours/were more productive. An article on it is here

I have a combination of work from home/ go to the office time. I love it. 



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