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.


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.


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.

Get Arguable with Jeff Jacoby in your inbox:
Our conservative columnist offers a weekly take on everything from politics to pet peeves.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

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


Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com