Change in Yahoo’s Telecommuting Policy Causes Backlash

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Yahoo’s new CEO Marissa Mayer recently grabbed headlines when she announced that as of June, all telecommuters will have to start working in the office. The backlash was immediate and caused some to worry that their companies were going to pull the plug on working from home.

Mayer’s argument is that working from home stifles creativity and sacrifices speed and quality.

We recently asked if you agreed that working from home is a bad idea. You told us:

  • It depends on the worker and his/her position. (73%)
  • No, it’s better for morale if workers have flexibility. (14%)
  • Yes, workers are more productive in the workplace. (8%)
  • Yes, workers are more creative when they can interact with colleagues. (5%)

But various studies have shown that telecommuters can, in fact, be very productive.

Safety professionals should keep in mind that telecommuters have the same right to be healthy and safe on the job as those who work in the company’s facility. Although working from home is hardly as dangerous as working in, say, a factory or construction site, there are still hazards, from slip-and-fall hazards to ergonomics issues.

And don’t forget that a telecommuter who gets hurt while working from home may be entitled to workers’ comp.

So it’s in your best interests to keep telecommuters safe. Use this telecommuter office safety checklist and Home Workplace Safety Guide to ensure that a telecommuter’s work space is safe and free from hazards, such as unstable shelves or poorly designed workspaces.