I can’t help but weigh in on Marissa Mayer’s decision to ban telecommuting at Yahoo. There is so much hypocrisy and irony here that I think I’m still stunned she made this decision.
Apparently Mayer took a very short (2 week) maternity leave, which shows her to be the hard charging executive she obviously aspires to be. But she has a nursery (and I would assume full time help) IN HER OFFICE to keep the baby close to her while she charges hard down that executive path. Hypocrisy, thy name is Marissa.

And the irony that a company like Yahoo that is part of the generation of companies that have made telecommuting possible and virtual offices run smoother is just breathtaking.

As the CEO she has the right to make any decision she wants – no matter how stupid. But I keep thinking that she is making this decision to feel like she can better fit into the “old boys network” of her investors and the people she seeks to impress on Wall Street. I’m picturing Marissa in one of those 1980s power suits with the giant bows saying “I’m tougher than all you people” and charging forward with a “my way or the highway” mentality.jcollins_gl_13mar12_getty_426x639 Maybe that’s sexist of me but in today’s day and age any woman or man who makes a sweeping decision like this is a little out of touch with the reality of the people who work for them.

In my last corporate job, I was lucky enough to be able to work from home one day a week when I didn’t have any pressing meetings in the office. Those were the most productive days of my month. Hands down. Those days also gave me the confidence to be able to home office when I launched my consulting business – the smartest thing I did in my whole career.

When I worked corporately – and now with my own business – I find myself working far more hours that I did on days when I went to an office. In essence I rarely – if ever – turn off completely. Now that Mayer has laid down the gauntlet with regard to telecommuting, why wouldn’t her formerly telecommuting employees draw the line and turn off at 5 p.m. every day and all weekend long? Perhaps this short-sighted “solution” of hers will backfire.

Yahoo hasn’t become mostly irrelevant because of telecommuting employees but because they have sat idly by while Google and others have aggressively taken over the web ad market.

Maybe everyone is making a big deal out of this because Mayer is a woman. Or maybe it’s just because it’s a stupid decision that sets smart thinking back 20 years.