Working moms everywhere are no doubt aware of the dustup this week over Yahoo’s new policy banning working from home. In an age where telecommuting is the rule rather than the exception in many companies, this move shocked and horrified business leaders. At my company, gyro’s Rick Segal even wrote an article in Forbes on why this is a bad move. Just look at the SERP for “yahoo work from home” and you’ll see why this is a disaster.
As a working mom myself, this issue hits home. I’ve worked from home for over 5 years now, for 2 different companies. I currently work for a company that’s based in a different state from where I live. It’s no big deal. My coworkers know I’m just a phone call, email, IM, Skype, or FaceTime away from them, and report that it’s not very different from me being in the office. From a work standpoint, I’m as productive as anyone else – if not more so. At home, I have a quiet environment in which to work, free from the distractions that come with an office.
I start my day when my kids leave for school at 7:30, and am usually done shortly after they get home at around 4pm. It’s a conscious move on my part to spend my most productive hours when no one is home to distract me from the task at hand. At the same time, I get many of the same benefits as stay-at-home moms – I’m here to see my kids off in the morning, and am here to greet them when they get home.
That’s not to say I never have calls or meetings when they’re here – I do. And that’s not to say I’m never in the office – I was there most of this week! But the flexibility is what counts.
I have to believe that Yahoo is going to lose good employees over this decision. After all, the digital space is uniquely suited to working from anywhere, any time. That’s the way work is these days – are we ever really not working? Why hamstring people by telling them they have to haul their butts into an office every day?
I’m thankful to work for an employer that embraces working from home.
As a working mom, Marissa Mayer should be ashamed of herself.