First, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer allowed her employees to work from home. Then, she decided to call them all back. Apparently, remote workers (predominantly women with children) are less productive than on-site workers: it is a question of self-discipline, independence, and ability to maintain a balanced and healthy social life. However, Mayer might be driven by a stereotypical view of remote work that privileges office work for some reasons pertaining to control and socializing. With this decision, Mayer has alienated a lot of employees who do not identify any longer with Yahoo!. A bad move.
Telecommuting benefits employers, and not only employees. It can reduce costs and motivate people who have a hard time combining their identity as workers with their personal lives. There is therefore the need to encourage flexible work. However, as working culture is still predominantly a culture of the office, there is the need of accompanying change. First, is flexible work good for you? In case it is, time management is the first and most important step. The blog Time Management Ninja is an example of a good practical intro to those who need to check on their organizational skills. And other tricks can make your life easier. Flexible work should be encouraged as an alternative to office work, by giving employees some freedom to choose which model is good for themselves, and hence for the company.