Marissa Mayer making moves during Women's History Month

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Joan Lunden

Family / / March 05, 2013

There has been a lot of talk about Yahoo's Marissa Mayer putting the brakes on her employees telecommuting and just today we heard that now Best Buy might be following suit.  This story has caused much discussion & controversy among bloggers, twitterers, and main stream news outlets and Elise in my office offered to share her view with us on this hot button topic.  Enjoy! 

Is Marissa Mayer turning back the hands of time?
by Elise Silvestri

I find it ironic that March is Women's History Month and a big news story this week is the windstorm being caused by Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo. Beginning in June, all Yahoo employees will be required to work in the Yahoo office or leave the company. She is doing away with flex time or working from home.  So if you're a mom, dad or a caregiver to a loved one and you have been telecommuting, you will be required to quit your job. Yikes!

Personally, I like working in my office next to my co-workers and perhaps coming up with a terrific idea when together. But I also know that, if I need it, I have the flexibility to work virtually... something I didn't have 20 years ago.  And that flexibility doesn't just help workers. I truly believe that employers get more out of their employees now than ever before!

When I was a young single-working mother, people didn't work from home at all.   I remember the sadness I felt the day I missed my daughter's Halloween parade in first grade.  The entire school walked around the block in their costumes and all the parents (except me) took pictures and had a great time.  In looking back, I could have worked from home that day but it was frowned upon in 1991. 

Ten years later, when my son reached first grade,  working virtually was a more accepted solution for many employees. The working culture had moved forward, aided by the explosion of computing and internet technology.  So that year, I got to attend my son's first grade Halloween parade.  I watched him walk around the school wearing his costume, laughing with his classmates, and smiling at me. The whole thing took less than an hour but that memory will be emblazoned in my mind forever. I was a happier and more grateful employee that day.

So now we have Marissa Mayer coming in with this sweeping edict...what should we think?  I guess she's not a woman who believes in compromise.  While I understand that there is something to be said for spontaneous brainstorms when people are in the same place, there are also many advantages FOR MARISSA and YAHOO if they have happy, less stressed out employees who feel they are managing and balancing their lives. (Getting a free lunch and a phone is nice but it doesn't replace peace in one's life.)

Unfortunately for Marissa, I think her plan will backfire and... she stands to lose something Yahoo desperately needs right now- devoted, productive and perhaps, the best employees around.

Elise amanda baby
Elise with baby Amanda who is now 26 years old and works as a Sales Representative at Media6Degrees
Categories: Family, Joan's Blog
About The Author
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Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.

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