Singled Out

A couple weeks ago we touched on Yahoo!’s new (can’t) work from home policy. A number of the complaints about the policy stemmed from stay-at-home moms or dads; but what about the single folks out there? Do swingin’ singles deserve the same considerations as parents when it comes to paid time-off or work-from-home?

It’s my belief that it is inherently unfair to assign a somewhat second-class citizen coding to the childless. And yet, as the Washington Post expounds, isn’t it harder to deny the parent with a young child work-from-home abilities than the young, single person who has a long commute or attends grad school classes? Are those reasons as good? After all, no one is requiring anyone to get an advanced degree, and it’s much easier for the young and free to pick up and move closer, right? Human resources professionals face a difficult task of determining whom to allow work-from-home allowances, in essence deciding whose work-life balance is more important.

The truth of the matter is that the single will likely carry more burden for a perceived thinking that they simply have less concrete responsibility outside of work. Is that necessarily the case? No. There are a number of reasons someone without a family may request work-from-home, and not all of them may be avoidable. In the end, however, human resources managers will likely have to make tough decisions

So while the new Yahoo! work-from-home policy may be unpopular, for human resources managers, it may help eliminate some sticky situations arising from who gets work-life balance priority. It levels the playing field, albeit by taking away a privilege for everyone. Is it fair? Again maybe not, but neither is prioritizing one employee’s work-life balance over another’s.

Give us a shout, human resources managers. Do you give work-like balance and work-from-home to parents? Would a work-from-home ban eliminate some of these issues? 

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by limaoscarjuliet