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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer
No more telecommuting for Yahoo workers effective this summer

Working from home is definitely not for everyone. For many people, working from home means more distractions and less productivity. For others, it means the ability to work your own hours and while still being an efficient employee. Yahoo has had a number of workers who work exclusively from home and CEO Marissa Mayer doesn't like that.

It surfaced late last week that Yahoo had told hundreds of workers that currently have work from home agreements in place that they have two options. One of those options is to stop working from home and begin coming into a Yahoo office effective in June. The other option for these work from home employees is to quit.

An e-mail marked proprietary and confidential has surfaced from Yahoo that says speed and quality are sacrificed when people work from home.

"To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together," the memo reads.

It remains unclear what exactly will happen to some of Yahoo's remote workers who don't live near a Yahoo office. AllThingsD reports that Yahoo staffers have written in complaining that they were initially hired under the assumption that they would be able to work remotely with more flexibility. Yahoo has now changed and has given these workers an ultimatum to come to the office or work somewhere else. Yahoo has offered no official comment on the move at this time.

Mayer recently said that the search deal with it and Bing was underperforming and it appears that she is doing everything possible to improve Yahoo's performance.

Sources: Business Insider, AllThingsD

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Weak management
By tayb on 2/25/2013 10:52:07 AM , Rating: 2
If Yahoo can't handle workers telecommuting that is a management issue. Telecommuting has major cost benefits for employers. Employees are likely to take a slightly reduced salary in exchange for not having to drive to work and they aren't at the office using up space and resources. It's a double positive as far as cost of labor goes.

It's no more difficult to be unproductive at home than it is at work. It's all about how the employees are managed. Give them projects with clear goals that are easy to measure. Make the deadlines more and more aggressive until you get push back or deadlines start being missed. Now you know what the employee is capable of and can move ahead accordingly. He/she doesn't need to physically be in the office for this.

There is such a cost benefit of telecommuting that I question the worthiness of any CEO who can't figure this out.

RE: Weak management
By FITCamaro on 2/25/2013 11:46:55 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah its really very simple. Give them work to do with a deadline to get it done. If they don't, fire them.

This is where Scrum methodology works so well. You only work in 2-3 week increments (generally) so you can't just put everything off to the last minute (with the last minute being months in the future).

RE: Weak management
By rs2 on 2/25/2013 10:07:26 PM , Rating: 2
Except that 'Scrum' and 'deadline' are incompatible. Scrum is about release forecasting using historical velocity data. Nothing about the methodology is geared towards helping ensure that an arbitrary deadline can be met. It's all geared towards ensuring that the forecase completion date is as accurate as possible.

RE: Weak management
By Ramstark on 2/25/2013 1:28:20 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have more points to add to you, but I think you are absolutely right.
Home Office is not for every worker, or activity, but when there is people tat can do work from home and they reduce costs, then MANAGERS should learn how to manage them.

There is nothing more irritating than a project leader answering to an update in project progress with an excuse like "I have a team of home workers that are always slacking off"

RE: Weak management
By tng on 2/25/2013 1:58:20 PM , Rating: 2
Home Office is not for every worker, or activity...
That is exactly it. There are days (very few) that I will work from home, and I feel kind of isolated from everything and that leads to distractions.

My co-workers and I tend to be a nosy lot and when we hear something over a cubicle wall we will offer advice or get advice offered. This also tends to lead to brainstorming sessions in front of a white board where designs often get finalized.

So yeah, depending on what you do, telecommuting can work, but I can see her point that there are some things you can just call in, so to speak.

RE: Weak management
By bsd228 on 2/25/2013 3:23:25 PM , Rating: 2
She and Yahoo are doing this because the status quo is not working for the company. Of their remote workers, there must be a significant number of dead weight types that are just collecting a paycheck. They will be eliminated. And next year, remote work will return because it does make sense.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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