Yahoo surprises with work and home news - WFLA News Channel 8

Yahoo surprises with work and home news

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Workers and tech watchers were buzzing Wednesday on reports that Yahoo will no longer allow employees to work from home, starting this summer.  "It's certainly not what you would expect," said Alan Balfour, associate professor of management at the University of South Florida in Tampa. "It's in the opposite direction of the emerging basic human resources of most large companies."

Balfour said Yahoo, with its own struggles, likely won't become a trendsetter on this issue. He also questions the real reason behind the move and whether there are business reasons outside of a desire to have workers work together.  "To withdraw it on the grounds that ‘my goodness, we need to work hand in hand and close by,' sounds a little fishy to me," Balfour said.

The system works for some companies – including Tampa-based TekMethods, an information technology asset management company.  "I don't think any one geography would have had a sufficient talent pool," said TekMethods founder and chief executive officer Lori Sechio. "So a virtual office model was really the only way to go if I was going to attract the best and brightest. And it's worked out very, very well."

Sechio and her 24 employees all work from home, allowing her to hire from across the country and allowing workers to balance work and personal life with travel to meet with clients.  "They've all said the same things, ‘Oh, sometimes I'll throw a load of wash in the washing machine, I'll wait for the cable guy.' So what!" she said. "They're doing a great job for the company and for the clients that we serve – that's what's really important."  Sechio, who sits on a statewide information technology task force, says she thinks the "virtual office" model could actually help business grow in Florida by attracting new talent.

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