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Mar 4, 201312:56 PMForward HR

with Diane Hamilton and Nilesh Patel

Telecommuting boo-hoos at Yahoo!

(page 2 of 2)

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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Jun 4, 2013 12:50 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

It makes me laugh when some people freak out about one (albeit huge) company axes their telecommuting opportunities. There are still a ton of job postings daily on Indeed, SkipTheDrive, and CareerBuilder which is indicative that telecommuting is alive and well.

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About This Blog

 Diane Hamilton, PCC, SPHR, is the owner and founder of Calibra, a coaching and consulting firm focused on maximizing leadership potential. Nilesh Patel is the principal attorney of the Mahadev Law Group, LLC, which focuses on human resources and employment law issues for organizations. He can be reached at Both bloggers are members of Wisconsin SHRM, which is dedicated to being the state leader in HR management and the premier source for HR expertise and resources. More information can be found at You can follow the WI SHRM blog at



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