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Regus CEO Slams Yahoo’s Telecommuting Ban

LOS ANGELES – The largest alternative office provider in the world is taking aim at Yahoo’s CEO for her controversial decision to ban telecommuting at the high-tech firm.

Regus CEO Mark Dixon says Marissa Mayer is “absolutely wrong” about her push to move telecommuters back to the office.

“She has got it absolutely wrong. Most of her competitors are our customers and they are embracing flexible working. Maybe when you are in a turnaround situation getting people together is not a bad thing, but there is a whole range of software out there which helps people communicate. It was a very strange business move,” Dixon said, according to the London Evening Standard.

“It is important that you get people together but you don’t need them together every day. One of our biggest customers is Google but you won’t find a company that spends more on getting people together as a team.”

Obviously, Regus has a vested interest in telecommuting, virtual offices, coworking, executive office suites and all other forms of alternative office space. Regus aims to have 2,000 business centers carrying its brand name by the end of 2014, adding 350 this year alone on its way toward the goal.

But Regus is not the only industry watcher to take this view. Dan Tully, executive vice president of Conduit Systems, an IT management services firm, continues promoting the value of telecommuting.

“Even in the wake of Yahoo’s decision, the majority of the country is moving toward a remote/telecommuting model, not away from it,” Tully says. “Make no mistake, mobile workforce management is on the rise.”

Tully said the tools and technology are available to implement successful telework programs. If an organization requires visual confirmation that an employee is at his or her desk between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., he adds, then perhaps what is needed more is a lesson in modern management.

“We don’t just help clients manage their mobile workforce, we practice what we preach. One of our senior engineers used to provide on-site support for a client located hours from his home,” Tully says. “By allowing him to work remotely, we eliminated his stressful commute and provided him more flexibility to address family responsibilities. Telecommuting is not a workplace culture issue. It’s a quality of life issue.”