NYT: Why Gender Equality Stalled

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    Thought this was interesting and a blow to family rights


    I disagree completely.

    Here’s a response to that from the Harvard Business Review.


    I think she’s just running her company. I don’t think working from home or not working from home supports or rejects family rights. I really don’t see them as being in the same category. If work-from-home parents use the argument that they can watch their kids during the day if they work from home, then how effective are they being as employees? Or vice versa – how effective are they at watching/playing with their kids if they are supposed to be working?

    I have a close relative who works from home. She legitimately works all day – I know because I’ve been there, and honestly – she couldn’t watch any kids or do much else. She takes a lunch break, which seems pretty on par with office work. I have a feeling Ms. Mayer identified that those working at home were not as productive as those in the office, and she’s attempting to turn Yahoo around. Why can’t she be allowed to be a good CEO without getting reamed?


    I was also disappointed in her decision. I think having more choices is better for parents (mostly mothers). If a woman only has a limited number of hours when she can be productive — I’m sure you can imagine how caregiving duties and sleep can take up most of the hours in a day — it may be in her best interests to work during all of those hours and not spend 1 or 2 or 4 of them commuting. It may be her only chance to work at all, especially if she is in a remote area for some reason.

    If the people working from home are less productive, then maybe people should be paid more if they work at the office (or if they are more productive, wherever they are). Why take away the choice completely?


    Also, many I know who work from home have full time child care for their children, which should be the norm. After all, they are at work. But the flexibility to use a 30 min break (which in the office might be used as Facebook time or whatever) to collect the delivery groceries or start dinner is so valuable. But with technology like video conferencing, email, etc. I see no reason why this policy will help productivity. As someone said, unproductive workers will be so wherever they work. To me, the hit in morale (lack of trust, flexibility etc) will erase a lot of the productivity gains this decision might cause.


    Ms. Mayer is a TRAITOR to ALL working women!

    SW to MDSW to MD

    The article from hbr implies this was a data driven decision. If she has data that points towards certain individuals not being productive, that is a personnel issue.

    Perhaps a better strategy would have been to determine who was not effective in a work from home situation and make individuals ‘earn’ the privilege. Set performance goals in order to be able to work from home a certsin number of hours/week. It is micromanaging, but it works.


    SW I agree. Working from home can be pegged to work performance. I understand her need to have people in the office sometimes, but I think her inflexibility on this one will hurt the company morale.


    That HBR blog was so peppered with “I’ll bet she” and “the logical inference” and “I’m pretty confident this is data-driven”, that there’s hardly any substance to it! Pretty much all the articles I’m seeing are pure conjecture. From what I can tell, Yahoo is being *awfully* vague about why exactly they are doing this in this way, and without releasing hard numbers…I guess we’re all left to our own inferences.

    Furthermore, I take issue with the notion that this move is kinder than simply firing telecommuters. It is not. A mass layoff would have been much more honest. The current situation seems pretty passive-aggressive- most workers will likely be forced to quit (or their spouse will have to quit to accommodate a move). So now Yahoo can claim it was the worker’s “choice” to quit, and they don’t have to pay a severance package. Score! As SW pointed out, obviously there were ways to deal with this other than a unilateral ultimatum.

    Also, when your company’s policies clearly select for a homogeneous band of young, single workers who have no outside life and can afford to live in Sunnyvale…how much “collaborative opportunism” are you really going to get out of the equation?

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