Marissa Mayer is making headlines again. Rather than championing the cause of working mothers like herself, the CEO of Yahoo! has made life that much harder for her own employees trying to strike a balance between home and work.
According to an article in the Huffington Post, Yahoo! released a memo that essentially discouraging remote working for its employees.
"Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home," said the memo from HR director Jackie Rees, whose orders presumably came straight from the top. "We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together."
Not necessarily. Back in the pre-internet days, when women 'working from home' meant starching their husbands' shirts, what happened in the office had to stay in the office. Today we have gadgets galore and the means to get the work done, in many cases, without the need to be physically present. Sure, team and client meetings are crucial. But they don't happen every day, and in many cases productivity is stalled by distractions that may not occur when the employee works in a virtual bubble.
Also back in the pre-internet days, the working week was confined to neat hours, spent punching in and punching out. Not so today. Is it realistic or fair to deny remote working when the boundaries are blurred between work and life, and there are no longer enough hours in a day to have a reasonably functional or sacred family life?
As the article states, flexibility in working accommodations have been proven to boost morale, productivity and mental health. Surely someone ought to let Mayer in on that little secret... So much for progressive female. By taking the most scant maternity leave, she created a very 'macho' precedent for fellow female executives. Her stance on remote working is turning her into a dinosaur. She may be a mother; she may be working, yet Mayer seems out of touch with the modern family and its needs.
Heaven forbid the child of an employee falls sick suddenly. Heaven forbid a personal emergency should arise for any of its staff. Under Mayer's outmoded and inflexible vision, Yahoo! risks becoming a place many parents won't want to work. Part of being valued depends on being trusted to get your work done. It depends on being treated like a grown up who has the sense and discretion to decide where and how it gets done. (We at YMC wouldn't have it any other way!)
Is remote working a help or a hindrance to business today?
While I consider myself gifted with a decent sense of humour, I fail to see the funny side of many pranks. Take the elaborate ruse of a bunch of teachers in Windsor, who set up their eighth grade students, only to let them down hard.
Teachers at Roseland Public School promised their pupils an end-of-year trip to Disney World in Florida, according to an article in the Huffington Post. But it wasn't just lip service. The faculty involved compiled "fake field trip permission forms and Disney World pamphlets" as well as a "multimedia presentation of the Disney World resort."
They pulled the proverbial wool over, then they pulled it off again. Guess what, kids? There never was going to be a Disney World. But you can go to a bowling alley. In Windsor. Hysterical?
Well, apparently the kids' stunned and heartbroken reaction was so hilarious, the teachers had to capture it on an iPad.
Two of the eighth graders were so upset, their mother Bonnie Stewart came home to find them already sulking in bed.
"We were all angry,” said one of the pupils, Mona Makai, who claims the kids in her class felt "foolish to the rest of the school."
While Roseland spokesperson admitted "some extremely poor judgment was used," the teachers involved have not yet been reprimanded for their actions.
I truly fail to see the funny in this prank, so enlighten me if you can. As the article points out, the timing was especially cruel in its irony, with the extra-curricular activities currently cut due to the ongoing feud between teachers and the Ontario government over Bill 115.
In what probably seemed like a good (albeit warped) idea at the time, a New York mom deemed it hip to hire a bunch of strippers to mark her son's sweet sixteen! What wasn't such a good idea was forgetting that boys of this age will thoroughly document the festivities on social media. Judy Viger now finds herself arrested and charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
So much for hipster mom. According to an article in Gawker, the strippers performed lap dances on underage guests, some as young as 13, at a private room in Spare Time Bowling Center in South Glens Falls, New York.
Imagine you're one of the teen's moms, led to believe your son was among an allegedly eighty-strong attending a bowling party. Naive, perhaps... Then you accidentally glimpse a picture of a scantily clad woman gyrating in your son's lap. Wow.
"The charges stem from an allegation that she endangered not only the welfare of her own child, but the welfare of the 14- and 15-year-old children that were at the birthday party as well," said Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy.
Interestingly, the company of lap dancers, Tops in Bottoms, gets off without charges for cooperating in the investigation. If convicted, Viger could land in a year in jail.
Should the company should bear some brunt of responsibility for 'serving' minors, or is the mom solely accountable for booking their services?