There’s been a lot of buzz around Marissa Mayer, the new CEO of Yahoo! & her recent ban on telecommuting. People are in uproar, aka OMG HOW COULD SHE DOOOO THIS TO US?! like it’s some personal vendetta against every single working mother in America. Like she has it out for every parent that knows the struggle to get out the door by 7:30am with Dora Lunchbox in hand & hopefully make it to the 9am status meeting without spit-up on her slacks.
Newsflash: She’s doing it because she’s the new CEO & she’s been hired for lots of money (roughly 23.5 million per year) to reboot a flat company.
I’ve worked at a company with zero benefits. I’ve worked at a company that still prefers paper files to email. I’ve worked at a company with great benefits & telecomuters. I’ve worked from home for a tech company. I’ve worked at the disneyland of tech companies. & in all places, I have learned that communications (even in a tech company) run better when people are face-to-face. It is human nature. What do you prefer – a text conversation or a cup of coffee with a friend?
Maybe Ms. Mayer has seen the work-at-home experience that I have experienced in my own career – toddlers banging on doors while mom huddles in the closet, wishing the nanny would find a way to stop the wailing. Coworkers not available because they’re waiting on the cable man or gasp! on a conference call for their second job that the first job doesn’t even know about. Double-dipping at it’s finest! It is frustrating & counter-productive when abused. Maybe she feels that there is no way to properly control the work-at-home culture. Maybe she’s just flexing her muscles. Personally, I think she’s implementing a genius tactic to get rid of the dead weight at Yahoo! Don’t want to come in? Feel you’re entitled to stay home? Cool. Someone else wants your job in the office. That’s the nature of this economy & business.
Could it have been done a little more gently, by perhaps keeping a moderated flex time? Sure. But in this economy, I doubt Yahoo! will struggle to find quality folks who are eager to be there & reboot the company.
What do you think? Smart move to nix dead weight or horrible morale-sinker for an already low company?
Do you think the uproar would have happened if this had been a man? Or even an older woman who did not just have a baby?