Marissa Mayer and the WFH policy

By now, everyone and his uncle have formed an opinion on Marissa Mayer’s controversial decision that forces remote employees to pack their laptop bags and report to the office. Her effective discontinuation of a hitherto popular Work-from-home policy (hereinafter referred to as WFH) has disgruntled quite a few employees and industry people. Views for and against, as well as some reasoned analyses, have gone flying around the internet.

I work in a company that allows WFH with the approval of the manager. For my part, I much prefer working in the office. When I am working at home, my five-year-old daughter clatters around in the background most of the time while I try to read two words on the laptop. She doesn’t quite grasp the concept of ‘working’ from home – the only portion of significance to her is ‘home’. She imagines a heavenly world where Mummy has surrendered all official responsibilities so she can cling to her and wring stories out of her one after another. I believe I get more work done in the office than at home.

Having said that, the WFH suits the rare occasion when you can work but you can’t make it to the office for whatever reason. I grasp the WFH straw whenever her school schedules parent-teacher meetings at around lunchtime, so that I don’t have to drive down thirty minutes just to sit in the office for a couple of hours.

I made good use of it in the early weeks of Feb when an attack of viral fever rendered me too weak to drive to office and sit in an AC haven. Instead, I heaved out the laptop and started pounding the keys immediately after packing my daughter off to school.

I guess certain people use the WFH to their advantage to goof off at home the same way they would goof off in the office. Like everything else, a few rotten apples spoil the bunch. So unfortunately, those genuine users of WFH bear the brunt of harsher policies and stricter governance.

A friend once told me about one of his colleagues who sent on email to his team with the subject line – ‘Working from today’. A few minutes later, he sent a follow up mail – ‘Working from home today’.

Looks like the folks at Yahoo won’t be seeing this kind of faux pas in their inboxes anymore!