Mar 4, 201312:56 PMForward HR
with Diane Hamilton and Nilesh Patel
Telecommuting boo-hoos at Yahoo!
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It should be noted that Yahoo is not removing all workplace flexibility by revoking the telecommuting option. The company memo mentioned that employees should use their best judgment to take care of emergencies. “Professional hours” (taking time off to take care of personal matters but still getting the work done) are likely going to continue and would need to be available for busy exempt employees. Further, the telecommuting ban may have to bend if an employee requires a reasonable accommodation in light of a disability.
However, the company may pay a price in the short term. It may lose some candidates and some personnel who do not agree with the policy. But it could prove to be a short-term loss. Employees who want to see the company succeed will understand the reasons for the change and will appreciate reaching goals more quickly. Perhaps the employees who leave will be ones the company needed to shed, and this change will encourage them to find a more suitable environment. The risk, of course, is that the best employees will leave while those who cannot leave will stay. Further, those who stay by default may continue to produce poorly, they may drain morale, and Yahoo could experience an increase in employee discipline issues.
If the productivity and workplace culture problems are resolved, Yahoo should allow telecommuting in the future. Telecommuting provides clear advantages and benefits for employees and can boost productivity, recruiting, and retention for the company. However, the present does not appear to be the right time for the company, and Yahoo might as well start the process over.
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