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So at this point almost everyone has chimed in on Yahoo’s decision to ban all employees from working from home. The edict will come into effect starting June and is expected to impact a large percentage of Yahoo’s workforce.

Telecommute 1

There have been many opinions on this ranging from kudos to condemnation. There has even been speculation that the new rule might be illegal under the ADA.

Personally I would never choose to work from home. From a networking standpoint there are certain interactions you can only have by coming into the office. Frankly, if one wants to continue to move up in the organization then 1. If your manager needs to see you in the office to know you’re working then one of two things is true: a. The work you do isn’t all that value added or b. Your manager doesn’t do his/her job very well – every manager should understand his/her employee’s work well enough to evaluate it on its merits and not by butt-in-seat time.face time – for all of its pointlessness in many respects 1 – is a must.

With that said, for those employees who have reached the points in their careers where they aren’t looking to move into bigger roles (and/or have otherwise perfectly valid reasons for wanting to work from home) I completely understand and respect their desires to not come into the office – and the outrage many at Yahoo must feel at having that option taken from them.

The thing is… Yahoo is a business and Marissa Mayer is the CEO of that 2. Disability and/or other hardship cases are perfectly valid reasons an employee could elect or need to work from home, and it will be interesting to see how Yahoo actually handles these execptions when the time comes.business. It’s her call on if employees (setting aside any ADA issues 2) can work from home or not.

As has been documented in the many links above, there are business reasons for why Mayer instituted the ban. 

Marissa Mayer 2

People will argue about the validity of those reasons until they are blue in the face – fine.

And make no mistake… there will be some retention issues at Yahoo as a result of this decision – some of the employees that will leave as a result of the move will be welcome departures… but in other instances Yahoo will lose some very, very good employees.

And it’s Mayer’s call. She’s the 5th CEO in five years, and if she doesn’t turn the company around soon then the board will be looking for its 6th CEO.

The CEO job is a lonely one as is, and Mayer has a very big spotlight on her because of the company’s brand, her Google pedigree, and her gender. So I don’t blame her for trusting her instincts (and the data that supported them), making a call that many of her predecessors may have known needed to be made (but didn’t have the courage or conviction to act on).

Let’s let Marissa Mayer do her thing. If it turns out to be the wrong decision then Yahoo’s next CEO will surely reverse it… and conversely if it’s the right play let’s all give her the credit she deserves.

What do you think?

Share your thoughts below.

Best,

Rory

If you have questions about something you’ve read here (or simply want to connect) you can reach me at any of the following addresses: 

SomethingDifferentHR@gmail.com OR rorytrotter86@gmail.com

@RoryCTrotterJr

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