Ya-hoo to Working From Home

March 6, 2013 at 7:52 am Leave a comment

imagesIt’s been a little more than a week now since Yahoo’s new CEO, 37-year old recent Mom Marrissa Mayer, called everyone back to the office.  In one of the most poorly written memos I’ve ever seen, the HR Director explained that there are so many good things going on in the office that executives want to make sure that everyone gets to take part (If you’re going to deliver bad news, don’t implicitly treat your employees like idiots by sugar coating it).

Yahoo’s decision has reignited a debate that all offices should be having, but that has largely been settled.  Don’t fool yourself, if you’re going to have a credit union that gets the best employees possible, you are going to have to allow people to work from home.  The only question you should be asking yourself is who is going to be eligible, under what conditions, and how are you going to manage their work output.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of workers who work from home at least one day a week increased from 7% of the workforce in 1997 to 9.5% 2010.  Furthermore, at least one quarter of home based workers were in management.  And, in another surprising tidbit, males make up slightly more than half of those working from home.  In addition, the U.S. is well behind the trend internationally, with developing countries such as India helping employees beat the traffic by working from home.

In addition to the statistical trends, a cultural shift has taken place.  Women are firmly established in the workplace and their husbands are taking on more of the traditionally women-dominated parenting responsibilities.  Is office interaction such a vital part of your credit union’s business structure that you are going to make your employees choose between working at your credit union or finding another job?  Yahoo might be able to get away with its choice in the short-term, but I will bet you right now that they end up quickly modifying the policy or losing good employees to more flexible workplaces.

Hopefully, your credit union has already thought about the best procedures to integrate working from home into your HR policies.  But, if you haven’t, one emerging trend to consider was highlighted in last Sunday’s New York Times, where employees are allowed to work from home but expected to work in the office for a certain number of hours each week.  That’s what my wife does and it works well for both her employer and our family.  On that note, get to work.

Entry filed under: General, HR. Tags: , , .

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Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., General Counsel, New York Credit Union Association.

The views Henry expresses are Henry’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association.

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