I just read “Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s ban on telecommuting sparks a firestorm” and was actually a little amused. I think it’s wonderful to accommodate workers’ schedules and workplaces where it makes sense, whether that is telecommuting or offering four-day week schedules versus the regular Monday through Friday routine.
When telecommuting first became very popular in the ’90s, I thought it was a great answer for many employees. But at the same time, I also thought this will not work for everyone. Some employees have the wherewithal to work independently, and be even more efficient out of their own homes or personal office locations. But not everyone has this discipline. They might like to think they do, but in reality it may just not be in their makeup.
At the end of the day, I also think employees may have forgotten that they work for a company. A company that must meet payroll, provide competitive benefits, produce a profit that meets key stakeholders’ expectations, stay in compliance to remain in business, and hopefully sustain profitability to provide foreseeable continued employment.
It’s the company’s decision on whether to offer telecommuting schedules or ask employees to work at the company office. And let’s face it; Ms. Mayer has a big challenge in front of her. Any new CEO would make changes at some level. The powers above at Yahoo didn’t hire her to keep the status quo. As much as I love the telecommuting concept, team building and creativity that arise from employees’ daily interactions are simply not able to flourish as successfully when employees aren’t working face to face.
Perhaps the memo wasn’t written as well as it could have been, or the message could have been communicated better. But let’s let Yahoo conduct business as it needs to – to regain its competitive position and keep growing jobs for all of its great employees.