TODAY

TODAY   |  February 27, 2013

Working moms pan Yahoo CEO’s telecommute ban

After the leak of an internal memo telling Yahoo employees they will no longer be allowed to work from home, CEO Marissa Mayer is receiving intense criticism, particularly from fellow working mothers. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren reports.

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>>> with a question in the wake of yahoo 's decision to ban employees from working from home . will other companies follow suit?

>> reporter: gets her kids off to school before she heads to work at home .

>> i think this applies to all working families but especially for working mothers, when children come into the equation. at some point, you have to decide what you want to do.

>> reporter: for years, her high-tech company has allowed her the flexibility to work from home .

>> my company is telling me they trust me, they believe in me and they know at the end of the day i'm going to do my job and get the job done.

>> reporter: but working from home is no longer an option for employees at yahoo ! in a memo leaked last week, yahoo ! announced starting in june everyone would have to work in company offices or resign, saying speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home .

>> it's estimated that more than 60% of american companies now offer some type of telecommuting or flex work plan. as you can imagine, reaction has been sharp among those worried that their companies could now make them go back to an office, too.

>> companies are worried about the loss of control that occurs when employees start telecommuting. they don't know what he or she is doing. they don't get as tied to the company. many companies have problem with his telecommuting.

>> reporter: many had expected yahoo ! ceo and new mom marissa mayer to run things differently. last week she talked to savannah about her two roles.

>> i've been a mom now for 4 1/2 months and ceo for seven months. i would say that i wouldn't have missed a minute of either experience.

>> reporter: mayer made headlines when she took just two weeks maternity leave and her la latest move is drawing criticism from those who say she's out of touch with the needs of other working moms, especially since mayer reportedly built herself a nursery next to her office on the yahoo ! campus. yahoo ! issued a statement saying, we don't discuss internal matters. this isn't a broad industry view on working from home . this is about what is right for yahoo ! right now. mayer , former google exec, has implemented other changes like free food and iphone 5s for yahoo ! employees, not unlike other companies in silicon valley , where retaining talent comes with a lot of perks. experts say yahoo !'s new policy stands out in an area built on technology.

>> especially since we live in such a hyper connected world where people can plug in at any time and anywhere and get work done. so my initial reaction, obviously, i was a bit shocked.

>> reporter: a surprise shared by many, in an american workforceful of people like melissa, who are now worried about the impact of the yahoo ! decision.

>> i really feel she just took us backwards. this seems awfully ant equaequated, especially for a ceo at the hem of a technology company. it seems backwards.

>> reporter: kristen dahlgren, nbc news, los angeles .

>>> can people be just as productive when they work from home as they would be if they were working in the office? go to today.com, weigh in on that. we'll have the results for you tomorrow morning here on the