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Yahoo Recently Cancelled Work-From-Home Policy For Its Employees — Good Idea or Not?

Will reversing the trend of letting more employees work from home improve productivity or just contribute to more traffic and pollution problems?

Yahoo made news recently when it decided to pull work-from-home privileges from its employees. According to a story by USA Today, beginning in June, Yahoo workers will need to go into the office to take care of their daily workloads.

The news of a reversal in policy by this tech giant came as an unpleasant surprise to many of the 10 percent U.S. workers who work from home at least one day a week. Patch editors all work remotely. 

According to the USA Today story, working remotely gives many who do so an affordable opportunity to work and raise children at the same time. Working remotely has been encouraged, in many instances, as a way to help cut down on pollution and traffic issues. With today’s high cost of gas and child care services, those who have become accustomed to it might not like the idea of any move to reverse the trend.

"It's the only thing that has made our lives remotely possible and affordable and sort of possible to raise kids," Lopa Pal, 36, an employee with the Greenbelt Alliance told USA Today." She went on to say that when she asked to work from home two days a week, her employer said he didn’t care if she worked from a beach in Tahiti, as long as she got the work done.

Yahoo reportedly said bringing workers into the office would make for greater collaboration and fun.

What do you think? Is it time to reverse the trend and bring employees back into offices? Do you think such a move would improve productively or just exacerbate traffic and pollution problems caused by busy commutes?

Edward February 28, 2013 at 07:32 PM
The remote worker program while acceptable within most F500's is looked upon as a perk versus a rule of thumb. Each request to work remotely should be handled on a case by case and very temporary basis e.g. during the flu season if you want to ensure business continuity limiting contact of employees with anyone that comes down with the flu is considered smart business. My viewpoint is as long as the predefined remote worker policies and met top performers earn the right to present an argument about working remotely when kids are sick, grand parents need a sitter, they are expecting a delivery etc. Low performers never get to work remotely.
Greg March 01, 2013 at 01:13 PM
Working from home only works where employees have a timeline and a set of deliverables. I work at a company has been experimenting with this for the last two years and from what I can see, its just paid vacation for the vast majority of those who are doing it.
Mr. B March 01, 2013 at 01:22 PM
It takes a disciplined person to work from home. There are lots of distractions: kids, laundry, lawn needing mowing, tossing a ball with the dog, sunny day by the pool, etc.
Chris P March 01, 2013 at 02:01 PM
My company has people who work from home several days a week. There are also some, including myself, who work remotely all the time. It depends on the job and the individual. My company has sites around the country and in foreign countries. There are tools available that allow video conferencing as well conference bridges that really helps when working remotely.
Good Grief Y'all March 02, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Good idea or not, depends on the business and the company structure. For the telecommuters, have them come into the office a day or part of a day once a week or a couple times a month, but not on Mondays or Fridays. This wouldn't require an individual cube - use a conference room or common area for a meeting or workshop. That might be the best of both worlds.


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