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Yahoo! Telecommuting: Productivity Expert Mary C. Kelly Defends Work-at-Home

DENVER, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As businesses debate anew the merits of telecommuting in the wake of the Yahoo! public relations controversy, Productivity Expert Mary C. Kelly, PhD, says the issue comes down to accountability and leadership.

"If managers and supervisors are doing their jobs by keeping their employees accountable, then telecommuting is a non-issue," said Kelly, an economist and leadership coach who presents keynote speeches and training sessions for financial services companies, associations, and conferences.

"Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer should set the expectations, give managers the authority to take action for non-productive employees, and reward the people who are producing great results," said Kelly, author of "360 Degrees of Leadership."

"Telecommuting is cost-effective and remarkably efficient if key components of accountability, trust, and performance are in place," said Kelly, an internationally acclaimed leadership expert and business communication expert.

"Telecommuting saves money for both employees and employers.  Employers don't have to provide office space, phones, desks, or utilities for employees who work from home," she said.

Employees don't have to spend money on work clothes, lunches out, or waste time and gas driving to and from work.

It should be the perfect situation, but both sides have to work to make telecommuting profitable. 

Managers of telecommuters need to make sure that the work is completed, and that telecommuters are as much a part of the work team as those who physically show up.

Employees need to guard against the out-of-sight-out-of-mind syndrome.  There may be a perception that working from home involves long naps and extensive gym time, so employees have to work to reassure managers with meeting deadlines, delivering results, and effectively communicating.

"Employees have to understand that working from home seems like a great option, especially for those caring for another person, but it is still a job," she said. "Part of doing a job well means being responsive to their supervisors or company requests for information (which was the catalyst for Yahoo) and fulfilling all requirements of that position."

Telecommuting also means employees still need to show up for meetings, answer client questions, perform site visits, and be present any time the boss asks.

Canceling a telecommuting arrangement could cause other problems.

"Reneging on a promise to hire people as telecommuters by adopting a blanket policy seems unfair, especially if the employee spent thousands of dollars to buy office equipment, or turned down other job offers that offered telecommuting," she said.

"People who have not been doing their jobs should be counseled, put on improvement plans, or released," she said. "Great workers will be wildly productive wherever they are.  Poor workers will not."

For information about Mary C. Kelly's keynote speeches or leadership consulting services, go to www.ProductiveLeaders.com.

About Mary C. Kelly

With over twenty years of leadership experience and a diverse background leading teams in the U.S. and abroad, Dr. Mary Kelly makes productivity and leadership a reality for all levels of an organization. She trained over 40,000 military personnel and led multi-cultural teams in 11 countries.

Dr. Kelly delivers tools that increase productivity and profits.

She is a renowned leadership coach, speaker and author, specializing in maximizing available resources. She has extensive experience in human resources, finance, insurance, organizational leadership, and project development.

She is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and spent over 20 years on active duty in intelligence and logistics. She has masters' degrees in history and economics, and a PhD in economics.

She is the author of 10 books, including "Master Your World" and "15 Ways to Grow Your Business in Every Economy."   

SOURCE Mary C. Kelly

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