You probably have heard by now about the controversial decision by Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, to ban telework and require employees to come into the office five days a week. The company memo explains the reason behind the new policy is to focus more on “communication and collaboration” which Mayer believes is more difficult to accomplish when working remotely. There has been a widespread response to Yahoo’s telework ban, with arguments ranging from the lack of flexibility for working parents to the current role of 21st century technology during the weekday.
While nothing can truly replace the dynamics and exchanges of face-to-face interactions, the new policy was surprising given the 75% increase in teleworkers over the past six years due to technology improvements and policy changes. The benefits of teleworking have been widely discussed, and here at ATP, we support and promote alternative work schedules that give employees flexible and stress-free options when it comes to commuting. As mentioned in this New York Times editorial, employee productivity improves when workers are able to “choose when and where they are working”. In addition, reducing the number of days traveling to and from work, especially for employees who live further away, can help save on transportation costs and remove cars from the road during rush hour.
With the right training, guidelines, and technology, telework can be a huge benefit to companies and their employees. Of course, as mentioned earlier, in-person meetings and discussions are important to communication and the exchange of ideas that you can’t always get when working remotely. However, most employees don’t necessarily need to be in the office all five days a week for those kinds of interactions to occur. Allowing employees to work from home just a couple days a week can greatly improve productivity and employee satisfaction, while still encouraging innovation and company advancement.
What do you think of Yahoo’s decision to ban telework? Is your company reconsidering its own telework policy, or does it not affect it at all? Let us know – we would love to hear from you!