Yahoo's Mayer: Bashed for her telecommuting policy
The CEO gave employees an ultimatum: Work in the office -- or quit. Now she's coming under fire for an 'awful' call.
When Yahoo (YHOO) last year tapped Marissa Mayer as its new chief executive, many thought the 37-year-old (who was a mom-to-be at the time) would prove a champion of working parents. But with Mayer's recent ultimatum that telecommuters need to either come into the office or quit, some of her one-time fans are turning on her.
Many comments on Twitter reflect disappointment with her stance: Her policy is "awful for ALL workers" and "[t]his woman is RIDICULOUS!" are among the tweets sent by irate consumers, some of whom had expressed previous support for her.
Mayer's new policy was leaked on Friday, when The Wall Street Journal published a memo that it said was disclosed by "a plethora of very irked Yahoo employees."
Sent by the company's human resources chief, the memo said, "We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together." It added, "Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home."
The reason for the policy change was that Yahoo found many of its telecommuters weren't productive, according to Business Insider. Many of them were depicted as hiding out, with Yahoo apparently unaware that some still worked for the company, the story adds. These hidden telecommuters reportedly worked in divisions ranging from marketing to engineering.
Regardless of Yahoo's situation with its telecommuters, Mayer's new policy is striking many one-time fans as, well, backwards.
More Americans are working from home than ever before, with a Census Bureau report from last year finding that 13.4 million people work from home. That represents a jump of 41% in a decade.
Many technology companies are big supporters of telecommuting, according to Fortune. Among those are Cisco Systems (CSCO), with 90% of its workforce counted as "regular" telecommuters, and Intel (INTC), with 81% of its employees counted as often working from home.
It's no coincidence that many tech companies support telecommuting: San Francisco, home to the tech industry, is one of the worst U.S. cities for traffic.
At least one rival is taking advantage of Mayer's gaffe, reports the Journal.
WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg wrote a pitch for working at his telecommuting-friendly company in the comments section of the article. He wrote, "For anyone who enjoys working from wherever they like in the world, and is interested in WordPress, Automattic is 100% committed to being distributed. 130 of our 150 people are outside of San Francisco."
I'm extremely productive when I work from home. laundry, cooking, personal errands, car servicing, I can get it all done in one day.
Guys , Are you all blind if not stupid and all together???
Who is this woman? A child prodigy?NO
A good mentor,NO! She is a snob!
Having media talked high about her a year ago doesn'tmean she is something special for Yahoo or
for any company as CEO
She is just a SPY sent from GOOGLE to sneak around and then help Google tobuy this company out or to come up with merger,
Poor Jerry Young
I say she made the right call. My employer instituted Telecommuting as an option on Fridays only two years ago. Overall I suspect productivity on Fridays dropped by 80%. Most employees were simply taking the day off rather than working from home.
Then Thursdays became the new Friday. People in the office for am hours only but not much getting done.
Telecommuting is a real privilege, not a right. Treat it as such or you will lose it as the Yahoo employees discovered.
Do As I Say... Not As I Do,
It appears that Marissa Mayer, who herself ostensibly benefitted from 'telecommuting' while pregnant, is out of touch with the realities of many home office workers who have parallel responsibilities as parents of young children. As a very highly paid CEO Ms Mayer can well afford to be at the high rise corner office and pay for full-time assistance with child care and ancilliary duties at her home in the suburbs. Due to cost and commuting isues this is certainly not a luxury that a majority of workers can take advantage of. Her shortsightedness on this issue is glaring and inconsistent with the technology and 'connectiveness' that Yahoo supposedly brings to the internet table.
Peace to all ~
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