Yahoo says get used to commuting again

According to the memo, company employees need "to be one" and that "starts with being physically together."

By Benzinga Feb 25, 2013 4:24PM
 Frustrated woman driving car copyright Jose Luis Pelaez Inc, Blend Images, Getty ImagesBy Tim Parker 

Work from home, virtual office, working off-site, no matter what name you give it, the flexibility of being able to stay home part (or all) of the time and still have a career is becoming more attractive for workers and employers alike.

Employees save on commuting costs, have more flexible work hours, and can more easily manage their home life.

Employers gain as well. Office space requirements are downsized, along with equipment needs, support services, employee cafeterias and more.

When Marissa Mayer, chief executive of Yahoo (YHOO) decreed that, starting in June, Yahoo! executives are banned from working from home, some of them became irritated and contacted Kara Swisher at All Things D.

Swisher broke the story, publishing an internal memo sent out by Yahoo head of human resources, Jackie Rees. 

"Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings," Rees added in the memo.

While most businesses require employees to show up at the company worksite on a daily basis, the technology sector is one in which working from home is almost standard operating procedure for many of the most successful companies.

Until this recent edict, Yahoo was one of those companies. Many Yahoo staff, claims Swisher, joined the company partly because of its flexible work policies and some of those say they will actually have to move in order to be close enough to commute to a Yahoo work site.

Numerous sources told Swisher that the mandate isn’t just for employees who were working from home full-time. It also applies to those who had arrangements that allowed them to work from home one or two days a week.

This anti-flexibility move seems counterintuitive for a leading edge technology company. There may be an ulterior motive. Business Insider quotes a source close to Mayer who says she might be making this move because "she knows that some remote workers won't want to start coming into the office and so they will quit. That helps Yahoo, which needs to cut costs."

In addition BI notes that, although work from home arrangements are a growing trend, they are not common with Yahoo!’s Silicon Valley competitors like Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB).

Initial employee disgruntlement aside, will Mayer's "come back to the office"move, part of her overall plan to remake Yahoo!, work? Forbes thinks so, noting: "…ending the practice of working from home shows that she wants to do more than build great technology; she wants to build a great culture too."

As of Monday afternoon, Yahoo is trading at $20.87, down slightly from Friday's close.

More from Benzinga
Feb 25, 2013 6:00PM

Maybe with some employees this would work...But way too many take advantage of home based;

Unless you own the company..


I know others that will work longer hours sometimes, because of flexibility..

But in the many business, she's correct...Face time is of much importance..

Been there, done it:  Years ago.

Feb 25, 2013 9:48PM

Marissa Mayer: The Pontius Pilate of Silicon Valley.

She does not "put forward" a policy. She "decrees" it. It's her "edict", literally carved in stone.

Who dares to go against her ?

Feb 25, 2013 8:59PM
"Employers gain as well." Baloney, working at home is not the answer to creativity and productivity even if you're in technology.  She's doing the right thing and if her employees don't like it they can take a hike.
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