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Marissa Mayer’s Job Is to Be CEO—Not to Make Life Easier for Working Moms

March 4, 2013

Marissa MayerDid that get your attention?  That was the recent conclusion of one contributor to The Atlantic.  To get everyone up to speed, Mayer’s is the CEO of struggling Yahoo that recently caused uproar in Silicon Valley by putting the kibosh on telecommuting for all employees.

That’s easy for her to do, since she built a nursery for her baby next to her plush CEO office.  Wonder how management would react if all Yahoo’ers started bringing their children to work?

Part of her rationale is that there is a lot of time wasted by their employees working at home and working on their own start-ups. While that may be true for some, that seems to me a lack of management and clear deliverables.

I understand her need to shake things up at Yahoo – but what I suspect will happen, is that the best people will be pissed off and will find work elsewhere, leaving Yahoo with the very slackers that is causing this shift in policy.

However, this is not going to be a serious article on the benefits of telecommuting – I’m sure I had our regular readers worried!  Although, I could dust off my 100 page dissertation on “Parenting and Workplace Performance” and publish that – but wouldn’t want to lose half our followers.

What I do love about our venture, is precisely the ability to work from home.  From time to time, Spinner and I are asked about offices – but have discovered there is no need for the overhead.  We’re either out at clients, supplier, contractors, etc., offices when needed.  We’ve been known to conduct radio interviews from the car and we make very good use of the local coffee shop for breakfast meetings and for lunch meetings at the Lucky Monk (if we’re not trying to impress you and/or I have a craving for their truffle fries) or Shaw’s (if we are trying to impress you and/or Spinner needs a seafood salad.)

That pretty much leaves solo work and having an office would be counter-productive and an expense that isn’t required.

Now I will admit to a few downsides to working from home – chatty people who believe that you’re not really working.  I have a handyman who does good work, but I must pretend that I’m on a 6 hour conference call the entire time he is here, by wearing my headset and making some comment into them whenever he’s in earshot.

Just this morning, I had an 8am Skype meeting, and as Spinner will attest, I’m not beyond putting on a nice top and leaving my PJ bottoms on out of camera view.

However, midway through this particular call, I needed to get something that was just out of reach – how was I going to slither away and not be caught in my PJ’s?  The only bright side was that I wasn’t wearing my leopard print bottoms.  I’m not sure whether the person on the other end of my video noticed, but I think from now on I’ll at least switch to yoga pants on the bottom.

But the upside is great – I’m here when the boys get home from school and able to spend that time with them before dinner and the start of their homework – why is there so much homework these days?  Even when they’re cranky and don’t want to talk to me – I know it’s still usually good for us to be cranky together.

It’s also much easier to take a nap when you work from home.  Companies usually frown upon sleeping at your desk in the corporate world.  But it’s been proven that a little 20-minute cat-nap is a great productivity booster (and so much more comfy when you work in your PJ bottoms!)

I’ve also was one of the many this season to come down with the multitude of viruses were circulating. As a business owner, work doesn’t stop when you’re sick, but I was able to keep working without infecting the masses during my moments of lucidity. Although, I will advise against sending out 1099’s when sick and hallucinating from cough syrup – sending them out right the first time is so much easier than the hoops the IRS makes you jump through to fix the 1 that needs to be corrected.

So for the sake of all my fellow PJ wearing, working mom’s, let’s hope the edict at Yahoo is not the start of a trend.

Have a Smashing Day!

PS We’re looking to hire Independent Sales Rep – Contact us if you’re interested at kelly@smashingonline.com.  We might even throw in a set of leopard PJ bottoms.

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