Yahoo's new policy will encourage innovation, some workers say
Requiring workers to go to the office may hurt morale, others argue
Working from home increased by 73% between 2005 and 2011, according to a study
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 has made since being hired last July.
But Van Pelt doesn’t work for Yahoo.
She doesn’t work for Google, Twitter, or any high-profile tech company. Instead, Van Pelt represents how the changes at Yahoo have gotten the attention of workers everywhere, regardless of industry.
“This is just ridiculous,” she continued. “Glad I have no desire to work for Yahoo!”
A 2011 study by Telework Research Network found that working remotely increased 73% from 2005 to 2011 in the United States.
Parenting is not at the heart of the issue, despite expectations Mayer would be more flexible after the recent birth of her first child. In the thousands of social media posts made about Mayer’s decision since Monday, people have attempted to classify the policy as a statement about everything from feminism to incompetent management.
But two themes seem to anchor the discussion, and they center on debate about what it takes to create a truly innovate workplace – something Yahoo needs – and the role morale plays in productivity.