Avatar of admin


Female Yahoo! CEO Kills Work from Home Option? Why Americans Need a More Flexible Workplace

February 25, 2013 in Blogs

By Irin Carmon, Salon


I don’t have children, although someday I hope to, but I am a big fan of efficiency and changing from pajamas into pajamas. In other words, I am a fan of working from home, which is why I was dismayed to see that Yahoo!’s new-ish CEO, Marissa Mayer, has signed off on eliminating it as an option for her employees. This is about more than lifestyle or employee cohesion (or pajama pants). It’s a deeply political move.

All Things D’s Kara Swisher, who first reported on the memo and its protest-too-much assertions that this is about “fun,” also notes that the new policy doesn’t just extend to a few hundred customer service employees, but to “any staffers who might have arrangements to work from home just one or two days a week, too.” That includes waiting for service and repair visits, and, presumably, other home responsibilities. In the name of morale and becoming “the absolute best place to work,” Yahoo! is setting back the progress and flexibility that some employees have been able to enjoy. That not only belies contemporary realities and preferences — including the fact that productivity is about a lot more than putting in hours — but its impact falls disproportionately on women.

As Nancy Folbre, an economist and editor of “For Love and Money: Care Provision in the United States,” told Salon last year, “Once upon a time, we lived in a world where men engaged in paid work and women stayed home and took care of the children, the elderly, the sick, and the disabled.” That’s not the world we live in now: Even in households with more than one adult, some form of paid work is rarely a “choice,” and someone still has to do the care work, usually on top of everything else. That someone is usually a woman, which is why state and city-level policies for paid sick days and family leave — the bare minimum of flexibility — are feminist issues.

The policy change under Mayer comes just as her fellow Google alumna, and current Facebook chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg is about to publish …read more

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.