New Yahoo Rule Sparks Work-at-Home Debate

Recent memo issued by ABC News' online partner ends employees' option to work from home.
5:52 | 02/27/13

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Transcript for New Yahoo Rule Sparks Work-at-Home Debate
We're going to turn to all of that growing national debate today, over whether we should be required to report to the office to go to work instead of working from home. It was sparked by a new memo from the h.R. Department at our online news partner, yahoo! Saying that employees would no longer be allowed to work from home. Take a look. It's the office memo turned heated watercooler discussions. Yahoo! Ceo, marissa mayer, banning in-home arrangements. One mommy blogger on babble.Com writing, working online is the wave of the future. If we get the job done, what do you care that we did it between 9:00 and 5:00 p.M. Richard branson tweeting, perplexed by yahoo! Stopping remote working. The work-from-home ban is a strategic move to get employees to collaborate. Telling them you can no longer work from home. And a lot of the best results are achieved when everybody's under one roof. Reporter: Someya hao insiders abrgree with the move. It may work for some. But it's a convenience cost to the team. In a statement overnight, yahoo! Told abc news, this isn't a broad city view on working from home. This is what is right for yahoo! Right now. And joining me now, two very different takes on the topic. Are tina brown, editor and chief of "news week" and the daily beast. And lisa hawkins. And I want to read to you from the mommy blogosphere that's gone insane out of this. It's out of touch with the very stretched lives of the working parents that don't have the benefit of a $300 million of a cash cushion and that kind of money can buy. And another one says, way to join the 21st century, yahoo! Not. And another one, directed to ms. Mayer, the ceo of the company. Apparently, I'm more valuable when I'm sitting in my car for two or more hours than working or other things that make me productive employee. Are you surprised. Not at all surprised. The workplace has changed a lot in the last 40 years, 50 years. We have different tools. Different philosophies. Family's different. And people are really bad that somebody wants to take some of that away from them. Now, it's not really work-from-home or not work-from-home. It's a question of do you have some control over your working hours? You have some control over your life. The option, absolutely off the table is what you object to? The idea that they -- instead of saying, we have people who may not be using this the best, who aren't as productive. Every job can't be a telecommuting job. Every person is not good at working that way. But it's time to look at it, job-by-job and person by person. Rather than send out a memo that says, I have a nursery I built next to my office. But you have to come into the office. You tweeted yesterday, cheers for marissa mayer for making the staff show up at the office. Yes. Yet, a lot of people a lot of people feel that didn't is best way to be the best employee. At daily beast, we have flexi this and that. I admire her for getting her arms around the culture of yahoo! Saying, we're turning this company around. I need to know everybody. I need to get in and create some energy. Otherwise, everything gets very loose and very loosey-goosey. She needs to know the employees and create that energy in her office, to decide if there's people who can work at home or not. There's something to be said about working in a vacuum. The a powerful energy for coming together, otherwise we'd be doing this show from your bedroom. Why aren't we? Why are aren't you in your pajamas. This directive wasn't just to working mothers or working dads. It was to every employee at yahoo! It touched off a nerve among working mothers. Because that's what started this revolution is t fact that it used to be, jobs were set up so that the worker knew that at home, there was someone taking care of home. They took care of work. Someone else took care of home. Over the years, that's changed. Every worker, now, statistically, is responsible at work and at home. And yet, the people right now -- this growing trend of working occasionally from home are working mothers. Working mothers are the ones who started this. Working mothers are the ones who use these tools the most. I don't think we've gotten anywhere unless we've stopped talking about working mothers and talk about this in terms of workers. I think the recession really hit, we've seen a transition from people having jobs to having gigs. People have a whole bunch of different things they're doing often. And that in a sense, has become the status quo. But we've been sitting there in meetings at the office and talking to somebody on the speakerphone. And you ask a question, and there's a silence. Why is there a silence? They're online, doing a video game or something. They're not listening. Well, I hope not. Tina brown, lisa belkin. We could debate all morning. Thank you for weighing in on this. Yahoo! Is our online partner. And abc news works closely with it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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