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Okay, Marissa Mayer: The gloves are off.
We cheered when you were named Yahoo's new CEO -- just as you were expecting your first baby -- and we supported you even when you took a mere two-week maternity leave, despite the outcry from women everywhere about what kind of example that would set for the rest of us.
But thanks to your latest move as head honcho -- instituting a company-wide ban on working from home, as HuffPost Parents' Lisa Belkin reports -- you've officially lost us. Seriously, lady?
The official (leaked) memo about the move says this:
"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. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together."
And to quote Belkin: "No. It doesn't."
As someone who has worked from home, I can say that yes, there are times when being in the office is helpful. Being able to pop your head into your boss's office for a quick answer to a question; or looking at the same computer screen as your coworker to solve a problem or discuss an idea can both be easier than emailing back and forth. But I also have an hour-long commute each way, and when I work from home I effectively get an extra two hours of work done each day. Hello, productivity!
Look, it's great for Mayer to make these I-work-so-much-harder-than-you-do decisions for herself. That's how she got to be CEO, I imagine. She only wants to take a two-week maternity leave? So be it. Working from home doesn't personally work for her? Fine. But this one-size-fits-all attitude seems strange (not to mention outdated) in the 21st century. Isn't that why we have Blackberries, laptops and Skype?
And let's be honest, the people this work-from-home ban is going to hurt most are women -- moms, really -- and so this move stings all the more considering that it comes from a new mom. It's not that we expected Mayer to be a champion of working women just because she happens to be one herself, but this seems downright anti-women.
If she's so intent on the belief that work needs to be done in the office, we're wondering if that means she supports the "no-working-from-home" idea when it comes time to shut down the computer, turn off the Blackberry and leave for the day. Because, remember, "speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home"!
So, sorry Marissa. We still like you (sort of) but right now we think you're kind of a yahoo.
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