Working from home: Is it really better for business?

Many are criticizing Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer for eliminating employees’ ability to telecommute, but this author argues she’s doing what’s best for the business.

Yahoo employees were pleased with the new iPhones and free food from the new boss-a Google-esque touch—but depending on the speaker, this “bold,” “outrageous” or “1950s” decree eliminating the ability to work from home has stirred up comment, incredulity and outrage from coast to coast.

Beneath the visceral reactions, I see three important issues:

1. Telecommuting is progressing from a questionable practice toward an unquestioned entitlement.

2. The option to telecommute seems increasingly based on personal need rather than business imperative.

3. Many successful organizations reject telecommuting as a productivity tool, and Mayer thrived in one at Google.

A trend toward a new conventional wisdom?

For the record, I am a longtime flexible-schedule consultant and advocate. I cut my teeth managing my first flexible workplace 40 years ago in Silicon Valley.

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