Career Calling

February 28, 2013

Pros and Cons of Telecommuting

Many advocates of pro-family work policies have expressed outrage over Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to ban work from home options.  Mayer says she wants her employees to work in one location, which will let them interact more effectively.  There is also the issue of control.  Many employers want to see their employees doing the work.

I’m of two minds about this issue.  On the one hand, work from home options give parents time to run errands and care for children while they complete their professional tasks.  That’s a good thing for working parents.  The negative side is that there is no separation of workplace and the home, and some companies will find a way to take advantage of what is presented as “convenience” or “flexibility.”  One of my clients who works from home regularly puts in 10-12 hour days six days a week.  He will take calls late night and on the weekends.  In his case, work from home seems – at least to me – to be a very bad deal.

Of all industries, IT is most open to work from home relationships.  If employees don’t like the Yahoo CEO’s new work arrangements, they will look for new jobs and Yahoo will end up losing talent.  My concern is that all work from home options are not alike.  Some are really work more – work all the time – schedules.  That kind of work-life balance is not good for working parents or singles.

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