Looks like the big headline this week comes from Yahoo, where new CEO Marissa Mayer decided that to save the sinking ship she’s now in charge of, she’s putting her foot down on employees working from home. Is this a slap in the face to loyal employees or a desperate shot in the dark at rebooting the once powerful giant? The debate goes on.
I’ve always been a fan of the “working from home” scenario. Maybe it’s because I’ve done freelance work for the last 10 years of my life while also maintaining a steady career at the daily 9-5. I know how to juggle my time and get the job done. When I’m free of distractions, I can do more. The quiet of my living room—okay maybe with trance blaring to drown out my cat’s constant meowing—helps me concentrate better. Am I a rare breed?
Employers of many companies allow their staff to work from home—always have, always…will? I guess the real issues here are:
1) Is working from home a right or a perk?
It’s definitely a perk, or a benefit. It implies that your company trusts you to get things done, whether or not you’re physically in the office. Those at Yahoo who think being able to work from home is their right, they have a choice. Deal with it, or exit stage left. Pursue greener passages that allow you to do what you so rightfully think you should be able to do. Good luck with that. For those who abuse the “perk”, well then you deserve to have it taken away.
2) If your boss can’t see you in front of a computer, are you actually working?
This goes back to that whole trust thing. It’s one thing if you are working at your computer in your pajamas at home, or another if you’ve taken a laptop down to the beach to work on your tan while you work on your projects. If the job gets done, who cares where it’s done from? If all you do is send a couple emails from your phone into the office that day, that’s a little dodgy.
In the end Marissa’s move is shining a spotlight on a matter that many would really like to remain in the shadows. It’s a grey area. But the attention being given to this decision is somehow getting a lot more attention than it really needs. Maybe it was the right decision for her company. Who’s to say it’s the right decision for all companies? Apples and oranges.
One thing’s for sure, the outcome of this will get just as much attention as the act itself. Should all of us lovers of home working be worried? The debate goes on…