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Yahoo CEO banned work from home then built a nursery for her newborn next to her office

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

This hardly qualifies as news anymore, since it's been a hot discussion topic on the interwebs for several months now, but wanted to see what the Mothering community feels about this subject.

 

As some or most of you may know, Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo has recently passed the very controversial decision to ban work from home for all Yahoo employees. You can read about this news in the following articles:

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/19/marissa-mayer-work-from-home_n_3117352.html

 

From this article:
In Mayer's widely talk about memo she wrote: “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices." This decision caused an uproar, both within the company and from the public. Mayer was especially criticized when it was revealed that she had a nursery built in her office, a luxury that most working parents cannot afford.

 

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2013/03/26/marissa-mayers-misstep-and-the-unstoppable-rise-of-telecommuting/

 

From this article:

Marissa Mayer’s pronunciamento banning home-based work at Yahoo reflects a great dilemma facing companies and our country over the coming decade. Forget for a minute the amazing hubris of a rich, glamorous CEO, with a nursery specially built next to her office, ordering less well-compensated parents to trudge back to the office, leaving their less important offspring in daycare or in the hands of nannies.

 

The real issue is how we deal with three concerns: the promotion of families; humane methods to reduce greenhouse gases; and, finally, how to expand the geography of work and opportunity.

 

For parents, particularly women, telecommuting provides a golden opportunity to balance the challenges of child-raising with those of work. Working at home, full or part-time, shrinks the number of hours wasted commuting and allows greater flexibility that is often critical to maintaining a family. In a country with a deteriorating fertility rate, and ever greater strains on those trying to raise children, telecommuting offers, at least for some, a way to remain in the labor force without cheating the next generation.

 

http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/28/how-yahoo-ceo-marissa-mayer-is-building-a-nursery-by-her-office-and-dissing-working-moms/

 

From this article:

It’s amazing how quickly Mayer’s image has tarnished. Last year, she was Yahoo’s golden girl, a pregnant woman cheered on by legions of working moms as she took the helm of the struggling tech titan. Now, she’s the tough-as-nails, whip-cracking, anti-family crusader.

 

The transformation wasn’t entirely unexpected, however. Mayer famously announced that she intended to take a brief maternity leave, prompting patronizing virtual pats on the back. “There, there,” we wizened mothers told her. “Having a baby will rock your world. There’s no way you’ll be back as soon as you think.” But there she was at her desk, two weeks post-partum.

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/marissa-mayer-who-just-banned-working-from-home-paid-to-have-a-nursery-built-at-her-office-2013-2

 

From this article:

Mayer – who had a baby last fall – is a working mother, but she's able to bring her kid to work. 

That's because when Mayer had her son last fall, she paid to have a nursery built in her office.

Not all Yahoo haves that kind of money or clout.

post #2 of 12

Well for one, I cannot imagine heading back to work 2 weeks postpartum--nursery in my office or not! 

post #3 of 12
Oh eeeew. Yahoo must be a sucky place to work and a terrible website to boot. Collaboration is possible whether your face-to-face or not.

Google and Apple have it right and are some of the best companies to work for in the field. I contracted for Apple and yes, the work was hard and we worked all the time-- but I heard about a new mom (I worked with occasionally) and how she got 6 months PAID leave from Apple and I believe only came back part time after that. I was working for an agrncy that would not allow me to work from home or part time. So I quit. We are not better off financially but I'm sure better off mentally and emotionally.

I wish companies were more aware of the hardships families face. Especially in the workplace.
post #4 of 12
It is well known that yahoo overhired - many people "working from home" had actually taken 2nd jobs and were consulting/contracting on the side. The system was being grossly abused. Not that I'm entirely supportive of it, but its one clear way to send a signal that the days of double-dipping are over. Marissa is a data junkie - she analyzed VPN logins and other data sources to determine who the culprits were before passing the ban. I suspect rockstar people who need to work from home will get some sort of special dispensation....
post #5 of 12

Quote:
a luxury that most working parents cannot afford.

 

It may be a luxury most working parents can't afford, but most people aren't CEOs of big companies. I'm sure she can afford all kinds of stuff that I can't. 

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I suspect rockstar people who need to work from home will get some sort of special dispensation....

You're absolutely right. I actually just met someone who works at Yahoo the other day and he said exactly the same thing. Really smart people, indispensable to the company, were able to continue to work remotely. 

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by tillymonster View Post

Oh eeeew. Yahoo must be a sucky place to work and a terrible website to boot. Collaboration is possible whether your face-to-face or not.

Google and Apple have it right and are some of the best companies to work for in the field. I contracted for Apple and yes, the work was hard and we worked all the time-- but I heard about a new mom (I worked with occasionally) and how she got 6 months PAID leave from Apple and I believe only came back part time after that. I was working for an agrncy that would not allow me to work from home or part time. So I quit. We are not better off financially but I'm sure better off mentally and emotionally.

I wish companies were more aware of the hardships families face. Especially in the workplace.

 

So how do Google and Apple do it? Do they allow their people to work from home?

post #8 of 12

I am also a parent working for a tech company, and I've known people who work best from home, and people who cannot work as productively at home.  It's true, contractors sometimes double dip, and it's the same as stealing.  To say this is a move against working families is only looking at the situation through the filter of working parents.  There are many other things to consider.  From what I could tell the situation had gotten out of control at Yahoo, and they needed a fresh start.  I wouldn't be surprised if those who could prove themselves as good remote workers were gradually given some leniency.  I think Mayer's goal was to bring the company toward a more sustainable future.  Yahoo isn't what it used to be.  I'm sure it wasn't an easy choice.
 

post #9 of 12

That's great that she installed a nursery.  She should make this possible for all employees.  The Continuum Concept for modern life and work!

post #10 of 12

I think its totally reasonable to say that working in the office is the expected norm.  People who have proved their worth can earn the opportunity to, I'm sure.

 

And any mom who wants to go back to work two weeks post partum is totally entitled to spend her money however she wants.  Well, so is anyone else, but especially a CEO mom, holy cow that must be tiring.  There isn't a salary big enough to talk me into that job with a newborn.   Working with kids is a pretty big expense for most families, I can see how the investment in a nursery would be worth it if you were a CEO, and never home.  

 

Kudos to her for spending her money where it matters.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthia Mosher View Post

So how do Google and Apple do it? Do they allow their people to work from home?

They allow working from home. I know this because I did it, for Apple atleast. And I could have continued after my scheduled maternaty leave was up had they been accommodating-- I was working through a contracted agency. I wonder what it'd have been like if I worked directly for Apple.

Google I've heard is an AMAZING place to work. So I assume they care about work/life balance. They give free massages every month for crying out loud. wink1.gif
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post

 

It may be a luxury most working parents can't afford, but most people aren't CEOs of big companies. I'm sure she can afford all kinds of stuff that I can't. 

whether you could afford it or not, it would not be ALLOWED, i have no doubt. unless you were the CEO or another top person.

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