It was just months ago that Marissa Mayer banned her employees at Yahoo from working from home on the claim that telecommuting is bad for productivity. However, she may have redeemed herself in the eyes of many of her employees, especially those who are pregnant, by announcing this morning that maternity leave is being extended by eight weeks. Mayer announced the change on Tuesday morning.
Yahoo’s expectant mothers should now have a little extra bounce in their step. The paid maternity leave for new moms is 16 weeks and 8 weeks for new fathers. There are also 8 weeks available of paid leave for parents who choose to adopt and foster children, or who have a baby via a surrogate. Another bonus for new parents is that Yahoo will also offer employees $500 to help purchase new items for the baby; this benefit was already in practice at Google so perhaps that’s where Mayer found her inspiration.
Although Yahoo recently took quite a bit of heat for the controversial decision to forbid employees from working remotely, they are offering many compromises, such as eight weeks of vacation for any employee who has been with the company for more than five years. That should give long-term employees the chance they need to rest and recharge before returning to their busy, in-office work weeks in Silicon Valley.
In regards to the decision to remove working from home as an option for her employees, Mayer stands by her choice. She believes that group brainstorming and idea sharing are more important to Yahoo’s success than individual employee productivity.
A spokesperson for the company reiterates that Yahoo is working towards being “the absolute best place to work.” Other benefits that Yahoo has recently provided for its employees is free food at work, company smartphones and newer computers. Although most of these changes were made in the name of improved productivity, Yahoo may be trying to compensate for the negative response they received for the ban on telecommuting.
They company is also offering gift packages to employees who are new pet owners.