My biz partner brought his newborn in for about 10 months - it was awesome. Given, we are a tiny company and they are Yahoo, but its not obvious to me that its impossible to work it out.
So I'm glad M. Meyer is doing so, I think that's kind of awesome. The kid will probably have a great time. Maybe there's a way to let others do it too.
Other companies provide a day care service, which I hope becomes a bigger trend. Goldman Sachs has one that employees have a certain number of days that they're entitled to.
I too am glad that Marissa is doing this. She, like every parent I know, is trying to find a work-life balance, and she is in the privileged position of being able to do it her own way.
The University of Houston has a day care that is operated by the Psychology Dept. It is very well regarded, and quite a nice perk for employees (except for its limited capacity). The center is housed in a separate building, so there are no uninvited disruptions, except the ones that are universal to every day care (injury / accident, etc.). It wouldn't be the sort of thing that a small shop could do, but a company the size of Yahoo! could put such a day care in (maybe they already have?), and potentially save the company and employees considerable time and money.
But I'm hard pressed to think of anything that would make me leave a company faster than having all of my coworkers brats running around all day.
A lot of people feel uncomfortable having stranger's children around them.
Between 10-18 months they start walking, start getting "opinionated", get a lot louder, stop napping continuously, and so on and would totally disrupt an office.
Now that I think about it more, the only situation where I would be okay with people bringing their kids to work whenever they wanted would be if everybody had private offices. If people's kids were locked in their offices with them 95% of the time, and I could close my door and keep them away the other 5% of the time, I wouldn't have any reason to be against it.
However if there were babies here I would kind of hate it. A lot. I would probably complain daily until either I get fired or they quit or they are forced to put their baby in a dumpster or wherever they put babies they dont' want to have around these days.
That was also my thought but I looked at the original article too . It seems that this is (currently) a perk that she made for herself (with her own money) and that the situation is unchanged for Yahoo employees.
"Yahoo ... offers the typical Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account, where staff can pay 'dependent care expenses, such as day care or after-school care, with pre-tax dollars.'"
Doesn't mean that it couldn't change for all employees, but I can imagine the costs would be significant.
Edit: I should state that I made an implicit assumption that this is a private/personal daycare facility near the Yahoo buildings.
I'm not clear on exactly where this nursery is. In the Yahoo office? A building next door? Private just for her kid or can anyone sign up?
However it's set up, this PR fallout seem obvious in hindsight (should be obvious in foresight too).
It doesn't make her look like a hypocrite, in other words, as much as it makes her look like an out-of-touch, clueless plutocrat.
If you choose to work from home and think you can take care of your kids at the same time, then bully for you.
But if you think that changing diapers, changing clothes, breast feeding, and cleaning up vomit for your kid and giving them activities to keep them from climbing the walls is easy, then I've got a bridge to sell you.
Ms. Mayer is at least trying to do this and run a company. She may be out of touch, but she's trying.
I would think that any employee saying that they can give a full workday working from home and watching young children at the time is not being truthful.
Sure, when they're older and don't need to be watched constantly, but if I turn my back for more than a minute I'll find our 1 year old playing with an electrical outlet or trying to eat something he shouldn't.
Maybe nurse-maids are about to make a comeback.
You can hire someone to do all of those other things, except breast-feeding; where your options are to feed or to pump. Employees who choose to breastfeed still receive the periodic disruptions in absence of the baby's immediate proximity.
Sure you can hire someone to delegate parenthood to. But that just underscores my point that working at home is nearly impossible if you need to care for your children by yourself.
Do either of these sound like a setup for a common area to you? Or do they sound like the CEO redecorating their office suite?
Also this article is trying to make her look bad because everyone is poo pooing that she is making everyone drive to work to turn around the company. I'll believe the daycare is only for her and her alone, while also denying anyone else the ability to use a Yahoo run daycare when I actually see it.
All he said was that it's odd that rank and file employees expect the same perks as the CEO. I think that's a very reasonable statement.
if the CEO get's a personal assistant would every other employee expect one?
It was specifically the "who is trying to pull said company from a deep shit that it is in" bit that turned it from reality to emotional. Meyer is at Yahoo because she saw that as being in her own personal best interests. She isn't there out of altruism.
Why do these angered plebs think it's reasonable to compare themselves to the CEO of the company, who paid with her own money to have privileges they can't afford anyways.
If this were a company awash with cash, then - yes, denying perks to others while granting herself one would've been a "dick move". Alas, this is not Mojang, but Yahoo and it wasn't a champagne bubble bath that she installed, but something that would let her spend more time at work.
- The US is the only industrialized nation not to mandate paid leave for mothers of newborns
- The US is one of only three nations — the other two being Papua New Guinea and Swaziland - that doesn't guarantee job-protected time off with some amount of income after the birth of a child
- New parents in the U.S. are guaranteed their jobs for 12 weeks after the arrival of a new baby, thanks to the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, but they do not have to be paid during that time and exemptions apply for small companies.
- Only two states in the country, California and New Jersey, offer six weeks of paid family leave to men and women who are caregivers. Unfortunately, the state leaves are not job-guaranteed
- Afghanistan provide new mothers with 12 weeks off with pay. The Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the poorest nations in the world, offers mothers 15 weeks off with full pay.
- UK provides 90% pay for 280 days, Russia 100% pay for 140 days, Spain & France & Netherlands 100% pay for 112 days, Germany 100% pay for 98 days, China 100% pay for 90 days
They do in the US: http://fmlaonline.com/fmla-pregnancy/
Before you reply with potential handwaving theoretical issues with it, bear in mind I am answering your point as written: They do indeed have the right to take leave without fear. It may be infringed, but it does exist and redress is available if infringement can be proved to a judge's satisfaction.
And the cost should be borne by single men.
Why should society give you anything at all? Why should my tax dollars go towards protecting you from crime, or paying your emergency room bills? And I mean you, specifically, not people in general -- if you don't want to contibute to make everyone's lot better, why should anyone give a crap about you, or for that matter your opinions?
And holy thoughtcrime Batman! Despite paying tens of thousands of dollars every year in taxes, all government services should be denied to me just because of my opinions?
Quit your whining. Maybe they should build a nursery for the single men, too.
Problem for me is, I actually don't think there's any moral imperative for Yahoo to make life easier for working parents or people who have some need to telecommute. It may make good business sense - Richard Branson certainly seems to think it does, but that's not a moral issue, it's a strategic one. If good employees who have options no longer wish to work for yahoo, they will leave.
I do think Yahoo managed this poorly from a PR perspective. I think it would have been wiser to announce Yahoo's plans to make the campus a perfect place to be, with everything a working parent could want. Play up the daycare, gym, dry cleaning. If they're not doing this, start a plan or two and make a big deal about it. I'm speaking cynically here, this is about managing the press. I'd rather it were sincere, of course, but this is PR we're talking about.
It's not any more or less of a moral imperative than having bathrooms. It's a concession to the structure of human society, and is arguably moral in that sense.
So the only real disagreement we have is where to draw the line. Do you really put the right to telecommute on the same moral level as having a place to pee or time off to go to the bathroom?
I think child care is more important than corporate America perceives it to be. It is the thing perpetuating the pay disparity between men and women in white collar jobs.
Remote work is great if there's good communication both ways. If not, it's throwing money into a bottomless pit.
I'm going to bet MM doesn't necessarily think WFH is bad at all, it was just an easy layoff.
On the other hand, it would have been nice if she petitioned the Yahoo! board to spend company resources to build a larger nursery, one that can be used by regular employees. That way, it would have come across as, "we are eliminating the work-from-home perk for everyone, but we understand that this is tough for employees with young children, so we built this nursery they can use free of charge." That would paint her as a no-bullshit CEO who is also attuned to the family-related needs of her employees.
Mayer builds Nursery for employees' children to compensate (in advance!) for loss of remote working.
If this is part of an overall strategy, Mayer looks like someone who only knows how to manage things on paper using spreadsheets. I'm sure she's trying to replicate many of the successful approaches she took at Google, but Google and Yahoo are not the same.
This nursery story just adds to my impression of her that she's tone-deaf to how her actions affect the organization.
Mayer is there to absorb and deflect criticism during Yahoo's readjustment period. For various reasons, people don't like to criticize her, and when they do, they aren't criticizing Yahoo. She'll continue to slash and burn for a couple of years, and then she'll be gone, leaving Yahoo with a sort-of-clean reputation.
But the rest of it sounds at least plausible, if not likely.
Further, the only thing that makes my claim "extraordinary" is that Mayer is someone who garnered elect status on HN shortly after her tenure at Yahoo began. A similar (though opposite) phenomena was the story yesterday about Mark Pincus, which generated a lot of heat for saying something positive about one of HN's "damned" personalities.