On the heels of heavy backlash following Marissa Mayer discontinuing the telecommuting option enjoyed by many Yahoo! employees, this week "Piers Morgan Tonight" invited two women professionals to share their reaction and insight on the CEO's recent announcement.
As profiled in an "Only in America" segment in July, the 37-year-old Mayer took the top job at the tech giant and announced her pregnancy on the same day. With a baby boy born in late September, Meyer briefly worked from home, but has since returned to corporate headquarters.
According the Kara Swisher – the co-executive editor of All Things D who broke the story of the internal memo – in announcing her new policy this week the young executive has drawn the ire of many, despite having practical reasons:
"The concept of what she's saying is true: you want to be at the workplace to create collaboration and innovation. And Yahoo!'s been lagging for years," explains Swisher, who knew of the policy even before Yahoo!'s own staff. "The way she did it? It's a very hot-button issue. I think was a little bit – maybe inexperienced CEO – or a little too abrupt for people."
Serving to only add more fuel to the public fire, Mayer has built a private nursery adjacent to her office, where she and her personal nanny can easily care for her child.
"That bothered a lot of the people who suddenly had to now come to work, and not be involved in this 'work-from-home' thing," she tells Morgan. "One of the workers said I'm going to bring my baby-sitter and kids and put them in the cubicle next to me."
While admitting that the personal childcare environment Mayer created for herself could be interpreted as being hypocritical, Erica Bethe Levin maintains the value in face to face interaction:
"I am a proponent, I enjoy the collaborative work space, I like going into the office, I make my employees come to the office," says the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of CheekyChicago, an online lifestyle magazine. "I do believe that the community of a work space fosters creativity and ideas. I read that she [Mayer] said that some of the best ideas come from a lunchroom conversation or a water-cooler talk, and I somehow agree with that. I also think that sometimes when you're emotionally - when you're physically removed from your co-workers or from your team, you feel an emotional disconnect as well."
Watch the clip, and listen to this "Web Extra," as Swisher shares more insight into the story she broke, while Levin goes on to express her belief that Yahoo! hired Mayer to take the company "higher than it's been in a long time, and maybe this is her way of doing that."
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