Jeez, Internet, stop freaking out over over Yahoo’s announcement that they’re ending their work-at-home policy and asking everyone to work in the office. Here’s why:
1. It’s reasonable to change a policy that’s not working, and this one wasn’t working. Look, I love teleworking policies when they’re done right, but the media is full of reports that Yahoo employees had been abusing their policy for years. One Business Insider article reports a source told them that Yahoo has a huge number of people in multiple divisions who work remotely full-time and aren’t at all productive. In some cases, they’re so unproductive that “nobody knew they were still at Yahoo.”
CEO Marissa Mayer was brought in to turn a struggling company around. If a policy isn’t working for the company, it’s reasonable that she’d tackle it. And she presumably knows far more about the situation there than the many hysterical not-employed-by-Yahoo people on the Internet who feel qualified to judge.
2. Yahoo’s new policy doesn’t even prohibit teleworking. Despite all the Internet’s hand-wringing, the new policy allows the occasional teleworking day as needed, just not as a full-time arrangement.
3. This isn’t going to end telework as you know it. Companies are going to continue to do what they find benefits them. If teleworking helps their staff be more productive and helps them attract and retain high performers, they’re not going to end that just because Yahoo changed a policy. What’s more, Business Insider’s source notes that the type of arrangements that Yahoo is ending have never been common at other Silicon Valley companies like Google or Facebook anyway.
4. The Internet’s focus on Marissa Mayer in this story is sexist and gross. Much of the commentary is focusing on the decision coming from Mayer: She’s a woman! She betrayed working moms! Um, what about all the working dad CEOs, who I guess aren’t expected to be able to understand? (Plus, no responsible company lets you work at home full-time without having separate child care anyway, so this really isn’t about working parents at all and is just a bizarre non sequitur because look, the CEO has ovaries!)
And it’s not exactly a feminist viewpoint to assess Mayer’s decisions as a woman first and a CEO second. So thanks for that, Internet.