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When a Company Says No More Telecommuting – It Happen to Me

no more telecommutingMarissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo announced this past week that Yahoo workers working remote will need to report to planet Yahoo to work – in other words, No More Telecommuting!

Oh Marissa, I really really like liked you. I know you only took 2 weeks maternity leave, but truth be told – I was working from the hospital bed the last 3 babies I had.  You are the CEO of a huge corporation and a woman. You are young, strong and smart — but this call you made in regards to no more remote workers at Yahoo, yeah about that.

While I have VERY strong opinions about remote working, apparently I am not the only one! In regards to this hot topic – I have seen more blog posts than ever siding with the opinion that Marissa has made a bad decision with this call. While I can stand my ground when my opinion differs from those of others, it is nice to know that others feel so passionately about this subject as well.

Telecommuting is a personal thing to me. It’s something I’ve done many times over the last several years and has allowed me to have a career as well as be a mother. While I sometimes feel bad for not doing this or that with my kids – I am able to be here when they need me – where as when I was in an office, that wasn’t the case without sucking up any vacation or sick time available.

Last year I left my job at a corporation that I had worked at for 10 years. I loved my job and had worked my way to be a Director. The team that I was working with and the projects we were knocking out aligned with my strengths. The cherry on top of the cake? I did the majority of it all from the comforts of my own home.  I went into the office for 2 days each week. Those days, I was drug through meetings – most that I didn’t need to be in, but couldn’t get excused from.

The other 3 days a week, I worked 10+ hours a day from my home office. I regularly traveled over the weekend, and being able to be at home those extra days helped me feel more grounded and like I wasn’t totally abandoning my family.

Then new management stepped in. Right away the distaste for telecommuting was apparent. It just took a few months before word trickled down that “since it’s not fair that everyone can’t work from home – no one can work from home.” Uhm…. I had to travel, but other people didn’t. I had to work 60+ hours a week, other people didn’t. Not everyone had offices. The list could go on.

Not working from home ? The idea sucked hard, but what was even worse was having to inform my team of hard working employees that the man said no more working form home. I felt like I was failing as a leader. They worked their tails off. While I couldn’t give them money, I could give them work-life balance.

At the end of the day, I wrote up a list of pros and cons. The cons outweighed the pros – I resigned. Blogging and side consulting work took off at the same time as my departure. I always find it sad when a company views things so black and white. Even if there was an “underlying problem” with certain telecommuters – as suggested by some in regards to the Yahoo situation – it’s a management issue if they cannot control their employees.

Having a company that doesn’t telecommute is one thing. Having a company that offers telecommuting and then yanks the rug out from underneath it’s employees? Yeah, that’s what I like to refer to as creating a hostile work environment.

The last 18 months I have worked for myself in the comforts of my own home. My only complaint? No one makes me change out of these yoga pants. I should write a self employment manual with a dress code – maybe I should include a rule that doesn’t allow for my daily “messy bun” hair-do as well.

What Are Your Thoughts On Telecommuting?

In other news: No telecommuting for Yahoos, but Marissa Mayer is said to be building a nursery next to her office

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