Is there a future for working from home?


Cell phones, laptops, tablets and all our other wireless gear have made it easy for companies to let their employees work from home. But now Yahoo -- a telecommuting early adopter -- says it needs its employees to come back to the office. We debate the pros and cons of telecommuting in 2013.

Director of Media Relations with Telus, Shawn Hall

Earlier this week, one of the world's largest technology companies -- Yahoo! -- made a surprising move. It told its employees that as of June, none of them will be allowed to work from home. Several hundred Yahoo! employees now work from home full-time and many more telecommute a few days a week.

The decision comes at a time when many other large corporations are encouraging telecommuting. And it was greeted with cries of "epic fail" and warnings that it signals the beginning of the end of working from home. But Yahoo! CEO Marrisa Mayer said it is the "right move" for the company. And there are those who have rallied in her defence, calling it a "courageous and bold step."

Here in Canada, BC-based telecommunications company Telus is among the companies that have embraced telecommuting.

Shawn Hall is the company's Director of Media Relations. He also telecommutes himself. And he was in Vancouver.

Panel: Stacy Janicki / Robyn Bews

Everyone from Donald Trump to Richard Branson has weighed in on working from home -- Trump for the ban, and Branson against ... in case you're keeping score at home. Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and Newsweek also weighed in on Good Morning America.

Stacy Janicki also supports Yahoo's move. She is a Senior Partner and Director of Account Management, at the ad firm Carmichael Lynch. We reached her by Skype in Minneapolis.

And Robyn Bews is the director of WorkSHIFT Canada , an organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of flexible work, created by the Calgary Economic Development Corporation. Robyn Bews wrote an open letter to Marissa Mayer in which she says "chaining employees to the office is a health hazard akin to letting smokers back in." And she was in our Halifax studio.

Mommy Madness

And now, for one more look at working from home, we bring you this from the My series Mommy Madness.

This segment was produced by The Current's Dawna Dingwall and Vanessa Greco.

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Other segments from today's show:

The impact of basketball diplomacy on U.S. / North Korean relations

Why internet addiction is a controversial diagnosis

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