Opinion

Letters | A shock to telecommuters’ system

All-or-nothing approach doesn’t work

Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer issued an ultimatum to staff who work from home: Return to your desks by June 1 or leave the company.

AP/File

Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer issued an ultimatum to staff who work from home: Return to your desks by June 1 or leave the company.

RE “NO going back for those working at home” (Page A1, Feb. 27): On the subject of Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s chief executive, ordering all telecommuters to be present in the office by June 1, I think there are two sides to this coin.

I am now retired, but at my last high-tech job as a support analyst we spent a lot of time on the phone and using e-mail. Initially we all sat in our cubicles. On tough cases we often collaborated. During spare time and lunch hour we would gather and discuss technical and home life issues, as any group of employees is wont to do. We were a fairly tight-knit team.

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As a so-called gift to the staff, our supervisor set up a system where 20 to 25 percent of us could work from home on a given day. We made two-person teams of identical expertise and made sure both on a team were not out at the same time. This improved productivity and morale, and staff saved gas.

When the corporation saw how effective this was, it implemented a telecommuter system, but made everyone work three to four days from home. The idea was to have fewer staff in the building so that the company could stop renting some real estate.

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As a result, camaraderie dissolved, and new employees never got to know fellow staff members.

I understand that for single parents telecommuting works to their advantage, but a compromise needs to be made.

Marcel Kates

Pepperell

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