5 Reasons Why Yahoo!’s Ban on Telecommuting is Actually a Good Thing

iStock_000016313914XSmallYahoo!’s young, powerful CEO, Marissa Mayer, has been creating quite a controversy since recently taking over the reigns at the internet corporation—from announcing she was pregnant the same day Yahoo! publicized her hiring, to making divisive changes to their telecommuting policy.

Yet, despite all of the bad press Yahoo! has been getting as a result of Mayer’s controversial decision-making, there are some valuable insights that can be learned. In fact, I want to share 5 of the biggest reasons why Yahoo!’s ban on telecommuting is a good thing…

Reason #1: It Sheds Light on the Importance of Company Culture

Why does this matter? If you’ve ever worked at an organization that is negative or just a bad fit for your personality and values, you know why. If you haven’t—consider yourself VERY lucky!

Culture plays a huge role in job satisfaction.

While I believe it’s a company’s choice to allow telecommuting or not, radically changing the policy (or any policy for that matter) is just plain bad for morale. Employees are left feeling blind-sided, angry and disposable.

…which leads me to Number 2…

Reason #2: It’s Evident the Change is Unpopular

In a social era such as ours, what are employees to do when they are unhappy and disgruntled? Why, take to Twitter of course!

And take to Twitter they did—along with hundreds of other people who heard about the Yahoo! policy changes and felt them unfair.

A quick search on Twitter shows Marissa Mayer trending, and the associated tweets are less than supportive. If the telecommuting topic was not important to people or really didn’t impact their lives, there would be no big to-do about the policy change.

When enough people get behind a cause or fight against a policy they disagree with, it gets noticed. Pay attention to the news in coming days. This controversy may have sparked a discussion regarding telecommuting that military spouses can benefit from!


Reason #3: Powerful Opposition Sends a Message to Companies

The backlash that is all over social media shows that our culture is changing. Despite a competitive job market, people are voicing their concerns over a benefit that is important to them.

Remember that social media (where many people vent their frustration candidly) is comprised of individuals and companies.

Smart companies will look to this feedback and make some changes to their own policies.

Reason #4: It Reminds Us There are Never Guarantees (Not Even for Non-MilSpouses)

Though it would be nice if we could always count on having a job, it just isn’t the reality.

We know this fact more than most—but I think it’s important for us to remember that even our civilian counterparts face uncertainty. I find that keeping things like this in perspective can prevent us from getting resentful or bitter.

Reason #5: It’s a Great Time to Find Telecommuter-Friendly Companies

Other companies, especially Yahoo!’s competitors, have seized this opportunity to showcase their opposition to the ban, and therefore position themselves as friendly, employee-centric places to work.

As a consumer, I tend to favor the organizations that take care of their workers. As an employee, I want to work for the place that cares about my needs.

CAREER RECON TIP: Find tweets from companies that express opposition Yahoo!’s change in policy. Research the company, tweet back to them and get to know them. You never know if they may favor telecommuters.

Only time will reveal what this all means for telecommuting. For the time being, do your recon! It will pay off.


  1. Great article. Thanks for sharing. I’m a freelancer and I feel any PR for the work at home industry is good, especially if other companies feel they need to discriminate against it.

  2. I work from home, but I have to say I do not understand why everyone is so up in arms over the Yahoo! decision. Growing up in the Silicon Valley, I know most people that telecommute to tech companies are 1 to 2 days a week telecommuters, and the majority live within a fairly reasonable commute of a main or satellite office. There are few who live so far away that they will be unable to follow the new policy. Also, it is much better that these have to make changes or, sorry to say, lose their job than to have all 11 thousand Yahoo! employees out of work. Yahoo! was/is failing and has been for years. their per employee productivity and revenue generated was 1/3 that of industry leader Google. Something had to be done or the company was not going be around much longer. I applaud Mayer for making the hard decision and taking the heat from people who don’t really know about Yahoo!. Think about it for a minute, being the CEO don’t you think she might have an one or two more insights into the company then all the people criticizing her. While I value companies that care for their employees needs, it does no one any good if you sacrifice the business in the process.


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