Mayer: Telecommuting Policy Not For Everyone — Not Even Everyone at Yahoo

By Devon Glenn 

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, whose strict telecommuting policy was believed by many to be — for lack of a better phrase — ruining it for everyone, has clarified that her company’s internal policies were not intended to be a statement on how all offices should be run, not even her own.

In February, Mayer’s image as the newly minted CEO of Yahoo took a turn for the worse when a leaked memo appeared on AllThingsD that outlined a new policy for bringing remote workers back into the office.

An early report estimated that several hundred Yahoo employees, mostly salespeople, would feel the effects, which sources later added would also extend to those who had arranged to work from home part-time.

While Yahoo staffers grumbled about the change, even outsiders complained that the male-dominated tech industry would be doomed if even its most famous female CEO, who is also a new mother, refused to maintain a flexible work policy for her employees. At the time, the company declined to comment on “internal matters.”

Mayer finally explained her decision to bring certain remote workers back into the office to attendees of yesterday’s Great Place to Work conference at the Hyatt Regency Century City in Los Angeles. According to Fortune, the policy will only impact around 200 out of Yahoo’s 12,000 employees.

Although the CEO acknowledged that “People are more productive when they’re alone,” she defended her decision with the reasoning that “they’re more collaborative and innovative when they’re together. Some of the best ideas come from pulling two different ideas together.”

Mayer added that her decision “was wrongly perceived as an industry narrative” and repeated the company’s statement that Yahoo’s previous policy on telecommuting is “not what’s right for Yahoo right now.”