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WFH…WFW… WTH?

February 26, 2013

Interesting – more flapup from senior, exorbitantly wealthy tech exec women

Mayer, …knocked Silicon Valley off its axis when the super mom and super CEO presided over a new order that says all Yahoos must work from their offices. Mayer works from her office, after all, the one complete with the nursery she paid to have built so she could spend more time with her newborn son while at Yahoo.

 I know some execs who are famous for “you work AT work” and “a waking hour is a working hour.” But talk about poor optics at Yahoo. I get it if you have to have a temporary ban on remote offices to rebuild culture.  I also get it if you’re really using the “no work from home” policy as a way to clear out the less loyal.

Now, quoting T Rex from “Meet the Robinsons” …”…master, I’m not sure this plan was thought through” 

  1. Eat your own dog food: What does it say if you’re running an INTERNET company, and the same technologies you’re telling customers to “buy MORE“, you’re telling your employees “eh, it really doesn’t work.”  
  2. The personal disposability of everyone but you:  Henry the 5th directed by Kenneth Branagh has a couple scenes showing the hard choices senior leaders make, and how the utility of the people who made a leader successful doesn’t always last. Not everyone loses their heads, but well – they’re the exec & you’re not. Sorry, nothing personal 
  3. Maybe they just ARE better and either don’t realize they’re truly gifted, or know it all too well.  Take Sandberg….Does she think a typical worker can will herself into power and prestige simply by leaning in?”
  4. Building a personal nursery: Do the rest of the Yahoos not get childcare as well? This is where I wonder if Cassidy had it right:

Maybe the uproar erupted because the women’s thinking touches on class inequality…  it might be hard for either woman to relate to the everyday struggles of workers who scramble for child care, drive themselves to work and meetings, make meals for themselves and their families

Maybe Mayer and Sandberg are doing everyone a favor.

 Controlling for performance, working from home reduced rates of promotion by 50%, according to a report published last week by professors at Stanford University

I chose to work from home 2 days a week when my sons were babies. When I accepted a job taking my entire family to a different city so I could begin a management career, a  male co-worker commented “I didn’t realize you had ambitions. I thought you just wanted to work and have a family life“.

Not exactly the image I was going for – but it explained why opportunity hadn’t readily come my way. I’m still working my way OUT of that 5 year hiatus in terms of my career (…. I still ask myself, will my kids care what title I left the corporate world with? Doubtful). After joining a group 80% located in the office I work from 97% of the time… I have to acknowledge presence can make a huge difference

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 27, 2013 9:05 am

    The biggest complaint that I’ve had on this is optics. If Mayer wants to turn Yahoo into a charge-hard company, then she has to focus the benefit of working on being in the office. Google obviously does it, so she learned from there. However, she then makes a point of “being with the family,” and there are going to be plenty of people wondering how hard she’s working in that nice office with a space to feed the kid. When your work becomes your home, it doesn’t do much more than if you were just home in the first place.

    She’s a well-grounded lady, by all accounts, and it’s her call to take the company in the direction she wants. She has to deal with the consequences as they arise, and this one certainly is getting a little more volume than she’d hoped, I bet.

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