In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 8, 2013/ 26 Adar 5773

Yahoo! I don't have to telecommute

By Reg Henry

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Traditionalists will be glad to know that this column is being written in the office, surrounded by a great heap of untidy papers that threaten to re-enact a landslide. Frequent trips to the water cooler are involved in the creative process and many meetings because, well, this is America, home of the meeting attendees.

Not for me the work-at-home lifestyle, which offers none of these amenities. No, my bosses want me to be physically present here at the word factory, the better to inspire my colleagues with my personal dynamism. Of course, they haven't actually told me that because they don't want to offend my wonderful sense of humility.

But now a corporate cat has been thrown among the pigeons and feathers have been ruffled. Yahoo Inc.'s CEO, Marissa Mayer, 37, recently ordered staff working from home to report to their offices starting in June, igniting a national debate about whether home or office was the best place for worker productivity.

Working at home is on the rise and admittedly there's some evidence that it is more productive for some people if not for me. It is certainly a boon to those workers -- women especially -- who wish to balance child care with a career. Mayer has it easier. She paid for a nursery to be built next to her office after the birth last year of her first child.

CEOs can make their own rules, of course, and Yahoo staffers who have the misfortune not to be CEOs are being told that working side by side with others encourages collaboration and improves work speed and quality. However, as much as I like working in the office, this is not been my experience, at least the speed part.

The meetings are the problem. Having to attend meetings all the time allows very little opportunity to write anything. While this would seem to be an unproductive use of my time, it is obviously a blessing to the readers.

Office meetings do serve another important purpose. They allow me to show the bosses that I am well briefed on the issues. That is why I try not to say anything. There's always a chance that they will think still waters run deep. Sometimes the impression I make is so impressive that colleagues will say to each other: "Is Reg in quiet dynamic mode or is he asleep?" A computer screen for an online meeting can't convey the sheer drama of these moments in all their snoring glory.

Working side by side with colleagues does lead to collaboration. Sometimes our collaborations result in sending out for wedding soup (a Pittsburgh speciality much better than the bitter divorce soup) or a cake for someone's birthday. We eat so much cake around here you would think Marie Antoinette was one of the editors.

Also, we have chats about subjects that have nothing to do with anything and that obviously makes the day go faster, at least until the next scheduled meeting.

I couldn't work at home anyway. I don't have a dog (my beloved Sooner ran out of dog years last year). Being home all day without a dog is one of the loneliest feelings a person can experience. I don't know how any boss can expect a dog-deprived miserable person to be productive. Maybe Mayer should require only staffers without dogs to go back to the office.

To be sure, some people thrive working at home, dogs or not. But being a non-self-starter, I'd need an automatic bed ejector to throw me into the study at a certain hour, say 10 a.m., if I were working at home.

The danger is that I would wear pajamas so much I'd risk turning into a full-time blogger. As for an untidy work desk, Mrs. Reg would never allow that at home -- and the thought of increased efficiency due to a clutter-free desk would promptly send me back to bed. But somehow I doubt that the average Yahoo staffer is like me.

If Mayer reads this, I hope she is cheered by the many advantages of office work attendance outlined here. I find it encouraging that an Internet-related company is making old-fashioned ways seem fashionable again. For a long time, all we heard was how computers had eliminated the tyranny of time and place in an interconnected world.

Now, thanks to Yahoo, the world has shrunk back to cubicles next to each other with workers shouting over the partitions. "Hey, Greg, shall we send out for wedding soup or order a cake for Susan's birthday?"

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Reg Henry is a columnist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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