Now that everyone has calmed down about Yahoo pulling their ‘Work From Home’ program and making those Yahoos working from home come back to the barn – I wanted to comment.
“I LOVE Work From Home.”
You can quote me on this. I know, I know – all you big business, strategic HR types have come out and given us WFHers a real ear full. Good for you strategic HR pros! It only took you the last 10 years and a Great Recession to figure out you better get on the business side of things and jump off the sinking employee boat! Well played. Screw work-life balance – nobody wants to support those kinds of crazy programs! We’re HR Business partners – not HR Employee partners.
I love WFH – my wife works from home. And what they say about WFH employees is exactly correct – she faces communications challenges every single day. She doesn’t get the respect or appreciation that non-WFH employees get. Getting people to understand the amount of work you do, is almost impossible. Everyone wants to change positions with her, believing It is easy. Everyday is a struggle, but at the same time a blessing.
You see – my wife is a stay at home mother. She is raising 3 smart and well adjusted boys to go out into the world. Boys don’t communicate very well – it’s a challenge she faces everyday. Children have a hard appreciating all that their mother does for them, and her husband doesn’t appreciate her enough. It’s hard – financially. We don’t have brand new cars. We don’t have a 2nd lake house. We don’t go on Disney Cruise vacations. We are saving for 3 college educations, while at the same time attempting to give our kids all ‘those things we never had’. Our WFH arrangement is the best decision we have ever made.
I’m envious many days of my wife’s WFH job. While it’s a job I could not do successfully – she gets to see some of the most wonderful moments of my kids lives. Things I will never get to see. She has a relationship with my children, I’ll never have. She has sacrificed most of her career and professionalism to raise 3 young men. We are winning.
I hear you – a Stay At Home Mom is not the same as the WFH Yahoos. You’re right – instead of Yahoo paying for my wife to “WFH”, I’m paying her. I’m not asking a corporation to pay my wife a full-time salary to raise my family. The fact of the matter is organizations who are failing, like Yahoo, can’t sustain paying employees to work at home and raise their family. Raising your family isn’t a part-time job, so who’s getting the short end of the stick – Yahoo or your kids? “Well, I don’t have a family and I was a WFH Yahoo Employee.” Good for you – but it begs the question – if you didn’t have to be at home to raise a family or take care of a loved one, etc. why were you working from home to begin with?
Regardless – I love my Work From Home arrangement – I wish more people would find a way to do it.
This discussion needs to expand beyond the issue of childcare. Let’s face it, gender aside, the office job was designed for an individual with another individual at home. Not only is life-work balance a challenge for working mothers; it is a challenge for anyone who is single, and for DINK couples unless they can pay staff.
I’ve been sucked into my fair share of mommy wars debates. I’ve seen the light. Singles and mommies and career women and fathers need to join the conversation about the reality that maintaining any kind of a household without someone full time in the home cannot work means one cannot rigidly carve out 10 or more hours a day physically away from the home and mentally totally devoted to work alone.
Once we both respect mothers-parents and recognize the broader implications, the only defenders of the status quo will not retain the power to pull the rest of us into burnout and dysfunction territory.
Thanks for the post, Tim.
You make a really good point about the fact that raising kids (and managing a household) is a full-time job. There isn’t really a way to do both it and a career 100%.
Yahoo is a turnaround company, and so it has to make some tough choices about work-life balance and what to demand of it’s employees right now.
I also agree with single folks/those with no families getting back to the office! Honestly it will be better for their careers as networking is key…
Thanks for sharing, and keep writing.