News Column

Yahoo's Telecommute Policy Change Sparks Online Outrage

February 26, 2013

Kristen Jordan Shamus


Work from home? Not for long if you're among Yahoo's 14,500 employees.

In a company memo leaked to All Things D, the company's human resources manager Jackie Reses announced the kibosh on telecommuting starting in June, causing an uproar among those who've come to rely on the flexible work arrangements.

It's all part of changes in Yahoo under CEO Marissa Marissa Mayer, who made headlines last summer when she was chosen to head up the struggling tech company when she was five months pregnant. After she delivered her son in the fall, Mayer cut her maternity leave short, but took advantage of the company's work-from-home policy.

The move has fired up bloggers and even finance columnists, who say Mayer sends the wrong message by taking a step backward in workplace flexibility. Here are some links:

-- Forbes: Memo To Yahoo's Marissa Mayer: Leaders Admit When They're Wrong

-- Forbes: 4 Reasons Marissa Mayer's No-At-Home-Work Policy Is an Epic Fail

-- Bloomberg: Yahoo's Risky Work-From-Home Memo

-- Wired: Marissa Mayer's No-Working-From-Home Rule Is Stupid -- Or It Could Save Yahoo

In the company memo, Reses notes that in-office collaboration is essential to boosting the Yahoo's bottom line.

"To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side," Reses wrote. "That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo, and that starts with physically being together."

Source: (c)2013 the Detroit Free Press Distributed by MCT Information Services

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