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A Vermont-cast vote on WFH

Published: February 28, 2013

Author: Hillary Read

work from home
The view from the author’s home office. (Obviously not in Silicon Valley.)

I’m the only person at PPCA whose sole responsibility is marketing our brand. And even 3,000 miles away from our San Mateo headquarters — or maybe especially 3,000 miles away from our San Mateo headquarters — that’s awfully easy to do.
One of the reasons? Our flexibility, typified by our WFH policy (loosely: prove we can trust you to work well, and we’ll let you work where you want).
Others have weighed in earlier and more gracefully on both sides of Yahoo’s new work-from-office edict, but this is a personal issue for me, so — late or not — I’m chiming in.
I lived in the Bay Area for seven glorious years, closing out my 20s and ushering in my 30s and an era of Career Thinking and Serious Plans for the Future. After a couple of false starts, I landed with a company that made me happy and proud to go to work. (We do good work; we value our employees. Evangelism feels honest, which feels…awesome.)
And after seven years, it was time to go home. Too many cross-country flights for sicknesses and big family events; too many flights not taken for funerals, babies, etc. I missed my family. My family missed me. I had always sworn to come back. And lo, here was a company that would let me do it.
I’ve racked my brains for other folks I know who would be great in the field of digital marketing because I would love to get them on board, to show them how life in a burgeoning company can be. And when I think of folks, I don’t have to think of “folks in San Francisco/Mateo/Diego or Chicago”; we can consider smart, personable, capable people anywhere who would be assets to any company. (Note: two of our remote employees are working mothers, and they are two of our most experienced, a**-kicking colleagues.)
When I do talk to people about our company, it’s clear that our WFH policy adds a ton of heft to the pitch, like the fact that we mean it when we say that we’re flexible and treat our employees well. If you’re remote? No problem. If you live near an office but crave the occasional WFH Friday? You got it.
This is not a referendum on Yahoo’s direction; what works for us doesn’t work for everyone. But it does work for us (and for other great marketing agencies, like Clix). It’s a digital world, and if we can figure out how to work in it responsibly, so much the better for company and employee.
As for Yahoo, the guess is that if they buck the odds and right the ship, down the road (way down the road), its employees might get the WFH option again.
Or maybe that’s just a hope. It’s a better world when you get to choose the window to see it from.
– Hillary Read, Marketing Manager

25 E Washington Street
Suite 420

Chicago, IL 60602(650) 539-4124


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