BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
3:15 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Yahoo's 'No Working From Home' Policy: What Do You Think?

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer in 2008.
Credit tixx / Flickr
BPR 2/28/13: Nancy Koehn on Marissa Mayer's ban on working from home.

Earlier this week, Yahoo! CEO and former Innovation Hub guest Marissa Mayer debuted a bold new company policy: no more working from home. Instead of telecommuting, sending emails, or participating in conference calls, Mayer ordered employees back into the office, citing the importance of face to face communication. 

Though just 20 percent of the American workforce telecommutes one day per month, Mayer's policy has elicited a strong reaction. Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn joined Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on Boston Public Radio to talk about brouhaha over the telecommuting ban, and whether her tactic may foster a company culture that is more cohesive and more productive. 

Huffington Post columnist Lisa Belkin  hoped that as a female CEO with a family, Mayer would be sympathetic to employees whose personal lives benefited from flexible work schedules. 

"Rather than championing a blending of life and work, [Mayer] is calling for an enforced and antiquated division," Belkin wrote. "She is telling workers — many of whom were hired with the assurance that they could work remotely — that they'd best get their bottoms into their office chairs, or else." 

Virgin founder Richard Branson  said employees are often more productive when you give them freedom and flexibility. 

"We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they at their desk or in their kitchen," Branson wrote. "Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will."

Now that the debate has started, we want to hear what you have to say — did Mayer make the right call? Is it too difficult to get work done at home? Or are telecommuting and the living room office the way of the future?

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