Superwoman and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has sparked off a touchy debate by her new rule that doesn’t permit employees to work from home. If not implicitly, Mayer has not-so-subtly implied that she thinks employees working from home are largely goofing off and that they’d be far more productive if they came to office everyday. God help those thousands of employees, if Mayer is planning a work ethic based on her own formidable standards. This is a woman who, after getting a computer science degree, specialised in artificial intelligence, and can take credit for Google’s famous, unembellished homepage. She’s clearly not working for money; Mayer already has $300 million in the bank and is in the Fortune list of top 20 tech people in the world. But it’s not her qualifications or illustrious career, rather the fact that she took a two-week maternity leave, which makes me think that Mayer’s actually Supergirl, masquerading as one of us lesser mortals. Naturally, she’s not going to see any reason why people need more flexibility in their work lives. But most of us are not like her who can effortlessly raise kids and head a listed company while giving quotes like: “I don’t need much sleep”.
The uncomfortable truth is: Mayer is right. Unless you really have a Zen approach and you’ve trained yourself to switch gears remarkably efficiently between household chores and making spreadsheets, working from home is more like a Utopian fantasy that never quite works out. Of course, I’m