At first, I was saddened by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's ham-handed memo announcing that Yahoo was no longer allowing employees to work from home. Sigh, a big step backward for the flexible workforce that includes so many people with cancer, working moms, and countless others who don’t fit into the one-size-fits-all model that Mayer so easily discounts. But the swift onslaught of criticism among thought leaders in business, media and academia was heartening. As Angali Sareen wrote in her Huffington Post Blog, "The outcry against Mayer's decision seems to finally indicate that our culture may be changing."
And maybe soon, as someone who has telecommuted for nearly 8 years, I can stop having to explain to people how telecommuting really works. It takes discipline, great communication with your manager and team, and trust and dedication on both sides of the equation (And, yes, I do still have to arrange for childcare!). But the results, such as our thriving Cancer and Careers organization, prove that employees can be both productive, and yes, innovative in diverse locations and workspaces.
For practical advice on how to set up a successful flexible work plan, click here.