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Editorial: Super-mom can’t speak for all moms

This image released by NBC shows Yahoo CEO MarissMayer NBC News' 'Today' show Wednesday Feb. 20 2013 New York introduce

This image released by NBC shows Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on NBC News' "Today" show, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 in New York to introduce the website's redesign. Yahoo is renovating the main entry into its website in an effort to get people to visit more frequently and linger for longer periods of time. The long-awaited makeover of Yahoo.com's home page is the most notable change to the website since the Internet company hired Marissa Mayer as its CEO seven months ago. The new look will start to gradually roll out in the U.S early Wednesday. (AP Photo/NBC Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire)

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Updated: April 1, 2013 11:49AM



Yahoo’s super-mom CEO is right to ban all working from home.

The Internet giant needs a major pick-me-up, and a new all-hands-on-deck edict is just the answer, despite the furor it’s creating.

“Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people and impromptu team meetings,” Yahoo informed its employees last week. “Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”

Yes, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is definitely right.

Take that all you loafers and slackers! Take that all you night owls, early risers and other parents juggling kids and work. All of you will do a better job reigniting Yahoo if, and only if, you’re in the office.

Unless, that is, Mayer is wrong.

The verdict is out on the benefits of work-from-home. But it’s not out on Mayer.

The new mom took just two weeks maternity leave last year before building a nursery next to her office. She is just about the last person who should be telling the working moms below her how to manage their work-home lives.

There is no clear answer on the value of working from home. It can help companies recruit and keep good employees, and studies suggest that home workers tend to be quite productive — a plus — but also less innovative. It’s also clear that face-to-face contact can speed up decision-making and help build a collaborative culture.

But what if you need to be home by 5 p.m. for the kids and skipping the commute means you can start work at 6 a.m.?

Perhaps stay-at-home slackers are a big problem for Yahoo and an across-the-board edict is the best and only option.

We doubt it. But on this we’re clear: Working parents need options, and an executive suite with an adjoining nursery is not one most can get.



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