Are Yahoo and Marissa Mayer Wrong to Ban Working From Home?

A stroke of brilliance or a boneheaded move?

Yahoo Has It Wrong

Farhad Manjoo, Slate“Mayer is going to regret this decision. It’s myopic, unfriendly, and so boneheaded that I worry it’s the product of spending too much time at the office. (She did, after all, build a nursery next to her office to house her new baby). It’s not just that the policy completely elides the virtues of working from home. Numerous studies have found that people can be more productive when they’re allowed to work away from the office.”

Maureen Dowd, The New York Times“Maybe as Mayer rejuvenates “the grandfather” of Internet companies, as she calls Yahoo, she needs the energy and synergy of a start-up mentality. She seems to believe that enough employees are goofing off at home that she should bring them off the cloud and into the cubicle. But she should also be sympathetic to the very different situation of women—and men—struggling without luxurious layers of help.”

Joanne Bamberger, USA Today

“The message coming from these C-suite moms is less about empowerment and accountability than it is about guilt. Guilt for women wanting to work remotely in order to manage their lives and provide for their families. Guilt for not acting with more ambition. Guilt for daring to put their children and spouses on equal footing with their careers.”

Ellen Galinsky, The Daily Beast“What I expect Yahoo to learn is that telecommuting is not the problem—it is a solution. It is clear that wherever employees work—in the office, at home, or at remote locations, they need to be well managed and engaged in making the company a success.”

Yahoo Is Smart

Katie Roiphe, Slate

“Those up in arms about Mayer’s disrespect for “the work-life balance” should consider this possibility: ‘The work-life balance’ might be best served by keeping work at work. By trying to pursue that tiny sliver of a chance of keeping the office and the thousands of meaningless work details and memos and preoccupations out of your home.”

The Wall Street Journal

“The outcry surrounding a decision by Yahoo—led by new Chief Executive Marissa Mayer—to end work-from-home arrangements has shown just how strongly many companies and employees have embraced remote work, but it also underscores tensions between workers’ need for flexibility and their need for visibility. Companies tout working from home as a benefit that helps recruit and retain talent over the long term, but workers may be missing out on the personal contacts that get them promoted.”

Sally Peck, The Telegraph“Using a work-at-home model as a cure for the challenges working mothers face isn’t the solution; all it will guarantee is that the woman will be an imperfect mother and an imperfect worker, because she will not be able to devote herself 100 per cent to either role.”

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Rocco Pendola, The Street

“Do you really think Mayer did not, in some way, communicate with the A-players (or at least their direct managers) ahead of making this move? She’s using this “edict” to further streamline a bloated, self-entitled and largely ineffective segment of the workforce.”