What Did Yahoo Do for Telecommuting?

March 21, 2013 — 1,126 views  

Telecommuting or working from home has been a growing trend in the past 5 years.  From large companies to small businesses, allowing workers to work from home or remotely provides not only  a benefit to workers, but provides the company the ability to control office space and rising expenses for supplies, furniture, etc…

Yahoo’s CEO, Marisa Mayers recently axed Yahoo’s telecommuting policy and plans to bring back employees into the historical office environment. This has recently brought forth debate between pro and anti telecommuting human resource experts.

With all the debate on for or against telecommuting, there seems to be a hanging agenda of points to address in why Mayers did what she did and what her motives were. 

Mayers reportedly found that there were some employees working as little as possible and leaving their shifts early.  Her plans to improve cultural issues starts with bringing employees back into the office to improve moral.  This wasn’t all Mayers doing.  According to Quora, the Q&A website, supposed anonymous Yahoo workers were actually in favor of the ban on telecommuting, stating the abuse of the flexible schedule.

What does this do to future and current telecommuting policies?

Telecommuting is here to stay, and it’s getting better:

Future workforce is currently being taught to provide quality work through remote settings.  Let’s walk through this with some simple logic.  Colleges are going online to reduce costs and are improving their offerings, along with providing even more courses by simply saving money on building and classroom space.  What this means is that even though businesses may not have honed their individual telecommuting policy, workers will already have the knowledge and experience to make transitions from traditional offices to telecommuting better, faster and easier.

Recruiting talent may require companies to offer a telecommuting option:

Millennials and next gen recruits are coming into a workforce looking for a non-traditional setting.  Businesses today want talent, and overall, a larger productivity output for the dollar spent.  What this entails is companies luring in recruits with remote work benefits. 

Better policies and better tracking means better output:

Mayers took Yahoo-ers back into the office because some found it easy to enjoy afternoons on the golf course or at the park.  If better policies, requirements and tracking were in place you would find that workers would have larger output.  Let’s face it, if you knew that you were being held accountable like you were in the office, you would most likely get more done without that cubical mole that pops over the wall every ten minutes.  Unrelated office distractions simply make up the most loss of productivity and without these, your output simply would increase.

Mayers didn’t pull telecommuting to send a message, she did it because her specific situation required her to reduce output loss, improve moral that was declining and ultimately refocus the efforts of a company that was losing its market grip.

Ben Halverson is an author for Business Mangement Resource as well as other business management websites.