Why Marissa Mayer’s Work-at-Home Ban Upsets Workers

The response of workers everywhere to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s demand that employees give up their work-at-home perk has been overwhelmingly negative.  It’s easy to see why.  A recent poll on workplace flexibility initiatives conducted just prior to Yahoo’s announcement by The Melior Group, a Philadelphia-based market research and consulting firm, shows 45% of workers consider work-at-home the most valuable workplace flexibility initiative;  only the freedom to have flexible work hours was rated higher – and not by much (48%).  Increased maternity/paternity leave was most important to only 4% of respondents, phased retirement for older workers to only 3%.

At issue for many employees who prefer to work at home is the implied lack of trust on the part of their employer that being required to work from the office at all times suggests.   Those who favor the work-at-home option acknowledge the presence of distractions when working at home, but find in-office distractions to be just as bad.  Still others feel their work-at-home environment encourages creativity and efficiency in a way their in-office environment can’t.

Conspicuously absent from this conversation are the opinions of CEOs and other executives of companies both large and small.  It’s likely many agree with Ms. Mayer’s position, but are waiting to see the impact on Yahoo over the next few months before making any such changes.


As a manager, what do you think?  Let us know!  

Note: The Melior Group’s Lighting Poll on workplace flexibility is based on the responses of 125 individuals.