Locals who get to work in their pajamas say “yahoo” to telecommuting and to Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, who has banned the practice of working remotely at the Internet company.
Here in TC, more and more telecommuters hook up to points around the globe, and do it because they want to live here while keeping their big city jobs and salaries.
“I chose to come back to Traverse City and work remotely,” says Erick Tengelitsch, who had worked in Charlotte for Wells Fargo and now works with teams in Charlotte and San Francisco.
Telecommuting, which had seemed a growing fact of working life, became the buzz again when Mayer announced she was reeling in all work-at-home employees back to the Yahoo! office. National media have since debated the merits and the future of telecommuting, leading some to go as far to say Mayer’s actions mean the concept is over.
“I hope not,” says Beth Roberts, who lives in northern Michigan and works as customer service manager for Squishables.com, based in New York City.
The Telework Research Network says telecommuting grew a whopping 73 percent between 2005 and 2011, thanks in large part to business being done over the web.
Most of the many readers who responded to a Ticker Facebook inquiry say they either love telecommuting -- or they want to find a position where they can.
Maureen Harty says she hears all the time how lucky she is, being able to work in her pajamas without a boss lurking over you and your workplace.
She says the benefits outweigh the downsides in her arrangement to work from here for the Ann Arbor office of ADP , where she customizes the company’s payroll software for clients worldwide.
“This was the only way I could get a job here,” Harty says.
Roberts says working remotely is not for everyone.
“It depends on the person,” Roberts adds, noting that the system is pretty good at weeding out those who can’t make it work for them.
“I have friends who’ve said, ‘I’m not disciplined enough to do that.”
Harty adds, “Frankly, it’s a very lonely position.”
Still, she doesn’t think the actions of Yahoo!’s Mayer will start a trend nor influence other companies “at all.”
For one thing, it continues to makes economic sense for companies in big cities to employ people in a more rural outpost. Not only do they save on the costs of office space, companies also enjoy lower, small town pay rates versus those in San Francisco or New York.
“Wells Fargo can’t afford to have everybody in San Francisco,” says Tengelitsch, adding that it takes about $30,000 more to find a good employee there than it does in Charlotte – and significantly less in Traverse City.