When Stephanie Van Pelt needed to care for her son after surgery, her company gave her the option to work from home. "They didn´t lose my productivity," Van Pelt posted on Google+. "They gained an intensely loyal, hard-working employee that was so pleased with not having to take (time) off." Van Pelt was weighing in on the recent news that Yahoo is ending its work-from-home policy. The change, announced Monday by Yahoo human resources chief Jackie Reses, is expected to affect hundreds of employees. It is one of many changes CEO Marissa Mayer
HR steps in it again! Before reverting to the brick-and-mortar dark ages replete with long, EXPENSIVE commutes, fancy clothing and meals out, etc., I would require of HR proof of the failings of telecommuting.
Assuming this is top-down and not HR only, a sad day for the tremendous strides made in production and savings!
This is where the free market comes in. Let´s see how things work out for Yahoo. Worker satisfaction and stress, as well as management bias and need to control their workers are at play. Yahoo´s competitors are watching.
From my experience with both on-site and at-home engineering design, a mix of 1-3 days per week on-site (depending on the project stage) and the remainder at-home worked best for me. More time on-site for peer interaction during the initial and final phases of the project, with at-home less-distracted (fewer meetings and casual chit-chat) working better in the middle "grinding it out" phase.
This makes total sense to me. The ones who are serious about their jobs and concerned about the survival of the company will be literally working together to save it, and the slackers and crybabies will have to go. Then, when it´s back on more solid footing, go back to more flexible working arrangements. Circling the wagons, you know.
I´m sorry if it hurts some people who need/want to be at home for some reason, but the survival of the business has to be the priority right now.
Studies were performed decades ago, before the work-at-home craze, which proved that employees were 30% more efficient, and much happier, working from home at least 3 days a week. My company was slow to the party, but now it´s quite common to do this. As a side benefit, and a huge cost-savings, corporations are able to down-size their office buildings, or do away with them entirely. Rent/lease costs are a huge annual expense. The Yahoo babe really messed up on this one.
My own experience is that only a very few jobs are suitable for work from home. Most are not. Currently we have an employee that works from an off site facility. Not his home but an actual facility owned by the company. It has severely impacted getting work from him.
Those that work from home are giving me output equivalent to less than the output of the part time employees that are here.
Work at home represents a loss of control by upper management of the worker drones. Who knows what they are doing in the privacy of their homes? Are they even dressed in suitable business attire? Placing the workers physically in the workplace puts them squrely under the direct eye, thumb and control of management. This tends to foster a work or die attitude that maximizes production. s/o
When i worked for a SF firm, on occassion I would work from home in the East Bay instead of enduring the commute, parking costs, $10 lattes, expensive meals etc. I took advantage of it one maybe two times a month and was a priviledge given to me.
I got more work done at home than I did at work.
I also was required to tell my payroll department when I wasn;t working in the City. This way they could avoid having to pay SF local payroll taxes from my checks. They did this with everyone, meticulously.
I can´t help but think perhaps Y! had a deal struck when their offices moved to SF. A lot of revenue I am sure was being lost with a large WFH workforce. Also, all the money the City would be losing on people not going out to lunch (Sales tax) and Parking Tickets (revenue), or BART tickets...etc. All of this was money outside of SF´s pockets.
If Mayer was interested in saving money, why move everyone to one of the most expensive Cities to do Business in the US?
I´ve done both and I did my best work in an office with my boss in the room next door. It´s about innovation. It´s hard to create new things while sitting in your pajamas talking to your coworkers over G chat. There is something about getting up, getting dressed and driving to the office. We need to interact with people. We need to not be so casual. I get what she´s doing.
I´ve worked from home. It only works when the kids are NOT there, so those moms who claim they need it because it makes child care easier are not giving their full to the company. You need discipline to work from home, and you need a work-like environment, not the kitchen table while the kids do school work.
I think Yahoo is well within its rights to require its workers to show up at work. Presumably, they aren´t doing it just to be mean. There must be some basis for thinking workers are more productive in the office than at home (duh!). If the company isn´t profitable, the CEO will be out, so she has a strong motivation to increase productivity. (I personally think working at home can be a scam)
Fifteen or so years ago, we recognized the need for a work from home policy. Our office manager and secretary was single and had two children who like most children get sick from time to time. Call forwarding was the answer to the problem. She answered with the company name and conducted business as usual and the boss was available by radio phone or cell phone at any time. Business went on as if she were in the office. This is not a stretch by any imagination; one only requires honorable employees. Think about it; she even saved gas not having to drive to work.
While I am not presently working, I am going to school. I live 45 miles away from my college in rural Montana and I have 2 pre-school kids.
My school is 45 miles away and at least half, if not more of my classes are on-line. After 2 years, I will transfer to a 4 year school 250 miles away and complete my business/accounting degree completely on-line. This is the only way that I could ever hope to get a degree at all.
Full time daycare for 2 kids in my area is a minimum of $600 per month. Gas is $20 per round trip. So, let me get this straight. If I don´t shell out a minimum of a grand a month for me to warm a seat at a job 5 days a week, and I am not willing to have that particular daily struggle with kids, then I´m not a good employee/student? I´m naturally going to be less productive? Really?
I have a GPA of 3.58, BTW. I think I am pretty productive.
I´m with #4. Yahoo is in trouble and could go under. There´s been bad management in the past. The new broom has to make changes quickly to save the company, and poring over the details of who past management let work at home because they were more productive there, and who past management let work at home because the management was incompetent or rewarding friends, is lost effort. If super workers decide to leave because of this it will be Yahoo´s loss - one they are willing to take to get a reboot.
The angst and anger this action has provoked from non-Yahoo employees is all part of the pain of jobs in the US being downsized, and workers losing clout due to the tanked economy.
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