New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg: 'Telecommuting is one of the dumber ideas' -

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg: ‘Telecommuting is one of the dumber ideas’


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has added his voice to the debate on working from home.

“I’ve always said telecommuting is one of the dumber ideas I’ve ever heard,” the mayor said on his radio show Friday.

“Having a chat line is not the same as standing at the water cooler,” he said. “And standing at the water cooler is where you get a lot of ideas and information and it’s a euphemism for a lot of interpersonal dialogue.”

Bloomberg was weighing in on a discussion inspired by an internal HR memo at Yahoo that outlined new rules that will soon go into effect at the company. The memo showed up on the website

To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.

Yahoo later issued a public statement on its new policy: “This isn’t a broad industry view on working from home. This is about what is right for Yahoo right now.”


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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg: ‘Telecommuting is one of the dumber ideas’

  1. While Yahoo’s policy shift arises from a state of emergency, Bloomberg’s comments are consistent with his reputation for frowning on women going on maternity leave, which suggests a significant lack of concern for family life and an absence of paternal concern for his employees. The younger generation, seeing how their parents’ ‘career first’ lives have affected the quality of their upbringing and even their parents’ marriages, are more conscious of the need to balance work and family life. CEOs need to deliver fair returns to Wall Street, and employees have a duty to support it. However, it is best done in a spirit of ‘give and take’, supporting each other – not using each other. Sometimes the best motivation we can provide employees is showing genuine concern for them – and their families. Neither telecommuting nor working in the office should be branded as anti or pro one objective or another. It’s ultimately how each one works in those settings, and a mix of both is probably best if companies are to be sensitive to the needs of employees with children or with elderly people in their care, while retaining its need to effectively collaborate as a team.

  2. And Michael Bloomberg is one of the dumber mayors I’ve ever heard. So I guess it all works out in the end.