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(SFGate)   Yahoo bans working from home just as the CEO builds a private nursery in her office   (sfgate.com) divider line 176
    More: Followup, CEO  
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4118 clicks; posted to Business » on 26 Feb 2013 at 1:25 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-26 12:37:28 PM
Wait...Do you mean to tell me that a millionaire CEO is a bald-faced hypocrite? One who reserves special rights for themselves that they don't see fit to grant to their employees?

Color me shocked. What's this world coming to?
 
2013-02-26 12:48:54 PM
Ftfa "I wonder what would happen if my wife brought our kids and nanny to work and set em up in the cube next door?"

Rich peoples problems?
 
2013-02-26 12:52:21 PM
Moving forward in my career, I will not consider a job that does not allow me the option to work from home.  The job I've got is great, I can work from home, an airplane, the beach, does not matter, as long as I am producing...I would say I work from home 2-3 days per month, personally I like going into the office, but occasionally I like working in my boxers.

My BIL took the option to work from home 3-4 days per week in lieu of a small pay raise.  He drives a 6 cyl Wrangler 60 miles each way for work.  The money saved on gas alone is worth more than the raise that was offered to him.

I think not allowing employees to work from home is short sided.  As for me, I am no less or more motivated whether I am at home or in my office.  Yeah, it takes discipline to work from home effectively.  I like the flexibility for when I am getting sick and know that I really should not be in the office, but am still capable of working.
 
2013-02-26 12:56:29 PM
NPR's report on this yesterday was pretty interesting and boiled down to "Mayer wants to recreate the dynamic Google experience at Yahoo."
 
2013-02-26 01:01:39 PM
Yeah... because everyone will become more productive after they drive 40-100mins into the office, search for parking, just so they can be counted for attendance.

People usually can't take vacations anymore. Raises are almost non-existent. Benefits get worse every year. Pensions are a modern-myth. Many employers barely match 401ks. Going to work nowadays is a grind. A grind with almost nothing to show for it. The only people that really benefit anymore at the Marissa Mayers of the world. When people realize all that, morale drops. Instead of just paying better and offering better benefits, management goes with the only option that won't take a nickel out of their pocket... they allow people to work from home. Truth is, if you want to increase productivity via increasing morale instead of treating employees better, allowing people to work from home is a substitute many people will accept.

Here's the thing most of these companies (like Yahoo) don't get... if you want to return to the good-ole days where everyone filed in at 8am and stuck around until 8pm working tirelessly to improve your bottom line while sacrificing any semblance of a real life, then don't be upset when your workers also want to return to the good-ole days when you gave raises, allowed people to take vacation, and offered pensions. Until then, eabod. I'm working from home.
 
2013-02-26 01:02:59 PM

Endive Wombat: Moving forward in my career, I will not consider a job that does not allow me the option to work from home.


Well, la-de-da! Wait until you get downsized, and are begging for anything you can find, whether it's in a grey, fluorescent-drenched cube, or not. I'll bet your nostrils will descend just as fast as your testicles move in the other direction.

Maybe the view from your ivory tower doesn't permit you to see that a lot of people simply don't have the luxury of dictating their specific working conditions, but trust me...That's the case.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-02-26 01:07:40 PM

Endive Wombat: I think not allowing employees to work from home is short sided.  As for me, I am no less or more motivated whether I am at home or in my office.  Yeah, it takes discipline to work from home effectively.  I like the flexibility for when I am getting sick and know that I really should not be in the office, but am still capable of working.


I think it was more of a downsizing thing.  Getting people to quit is cheaper than layoffs.
 
2013-02-26 01:14:57 PM

MaxxLarge: Endive Wombat: Moving forward in my career, I will not consider a job that does not allow me the option to work from home.

Well, la-de-da! Wait until you get downsized, and are begging for anything you can find, whether it's in a grey, fluorescent-drenched cube, or not. I'll bet your nostrils will descend just as fast as your testicles move in the other direction.

Maybe the view from your ivory tower doesn't permit you to see that a lot of people simply don't have the luxury of dictating their specific working conditions, but trust me...That's the case.


Yeah, I am in sales...either I produce or do not.
 
2013-02-26 01:18:12 PM
While she is a hypocrite indeed, I still dont understand what all this hatred is about her stopping people from working at home. It is a pretty damn reasonable business decision.

Still, shiat like this doesnt help.
 
2013-02-26 01:18:26 PM
I work from home %100. It sucks. I am so tired of looking at the walls of my house by 5 PM I need to go to the pub.

On a serious note, this woman needs to be fired. She has no clue how tech people think and work.
 
2013-02-26 01:30:36 PM
Other CEOs get jets, private secretaries and mahogany desks. So having a nursery is bad because...?
 
2013-02-26 01:34:53 PM
There are probably a bunch of unproductive people working at home or just plain hiding, as stated in the link in the article.  Basically, they said some people have been at Yahoo for so long and working from home 100% of the time, Yahoo has forgotten that those employees are on the payroll.  I guess it could happen?  Don't they have managers they have to report to?

That said, I probably wouldn't take a job that didn't let me work from home at least a couple times a month.  Also, I can be just as unproductive in the office as I am at home.
 
2013-02-26 01:36:39 PM
My theory is she wants everyone in the office so she can easily make up a master list of people to fire.  Basically all the rats are getting put in cubicles to fight it out to keep their jobs.

/my rule is Monday and Friday are 'meeting' days, so you have to be in the office on those days and all meetings should occur on those days
//those are the days when people are the least productive anyway, so might as well let them veg in the various meetings that spring up
/well that and even as a work from home supporter, I realize sometimes working from home is a stealthy way to get a three day weekend
 
2013-02-26 01:37:47 PM

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: NPR's report on this yesterday was pretty interesting and boiled down to "Mayer wants to recreate the dynamic Google experience at Yahoo."


Or, she's creating a rolling headcount reduction, forcing engineers to quit instead of laying them off.

Worked in Major League.

// Someone should give her a nice juicy sh*tburger.
 
2013-02-26 01:37:50 PM
I'm failing to see the relation/ reason to be outraged.

queue a farker telling my why I'm here to begin with.
 
2013-02-26 01:39:39 PM
It's one of the more pants-on-head decisions I've seen from a CEO lately.
 
2013-02-26 01:40:06 PM
The thing that kills any discussion of telecommuting in my office can be summed up in one word: "jealousy".  There are a few vocal employees (mostly older women) who have to be here and they raise hell anytime those of us who can transport our work home start making the case for it.

Grumble, grumble.
 
2013-02-26 01:40:56 PM
Working from home = bad
Living at work = good

Welcome to corporate America, where incremental and uncompensated productivity improvements are beaten out of you.

/work from home one day a week
/my most productive day by an order of magnitude
 
2013-02-26 01:41:21 PM
I can't work from home - Mrs. Henry is there - and her "nag-zone" goes right to our property limits.
 
2013-02-26 01:41:43 PM

cman: While she is a hypocrite indeed, I still dont understand what all this hatred is about her stopping people from working at home. It is a pretty damn reasonable business decision.

Still, shiat like this doesnt help.


Citation needed.

If everyone worked from home, you could save a bunch on office space (that's leasing and also maintenance), and by not paying for huge version of various systems (phone, networking, etc - you could probably get by with an e-mail server [assuming you don't buy accounts from a third party], a DC for file storage and, if needed, an application server at a minimum).

// plus your employees save time and gas - but that doesn't help the business, so who cares
// only tax cutz (which put more money in the pockets of workers) help employees, right?
// it can also make your company an attractive place to work - but who needs to try and attract talent in this climate, right?
 
2013-02-26 01:42:18 PM

whatsupchuck: Working from home = bad
Living at work = good

Welcome to corporate America, where incremental and uncompensated productivity improvements are beaten out of you.

/work from home one day a week
/my most productive day by an order of magnitude


I think it is quite funny that people are implying that not being able to work from home is in the same league as corporal punishment.

There are those in China who would love to correct you.
 
2013-02-26 01:43:21 PM

Cubansaltyballs: Yeah... because everyone will become more productive after they drive 40-100mins into the office, search for parking, just so they can be counted for attendance.

People usually can't take vacations anymore. Raises are almost non-existent. Benefits get worse every year. Pensions are a modern-myth. Many employers barely match 401ks. Going to work nowadays is a grind. A grind with almost nothing to show for it. The only people that really benefit anymore at the Marissa Mayers of the world. When people realize all that, morale drops. Instead of just paying better and offering better benefits, management goes with the only option that won't take a nickel out of their pocket... they allow people to work from home. Truth is, if you want to increase productivity via increasing morale instead of treating employees better, allowing people to work from home is a substitute many people will accept.

Here's the thing most of these companies (like Yahoo) don't get... if you want to return to the good-ole days where everyone filed in at 8am and stuck around until 8pm working tirelessly to improve your bottom line while sacrificing any semblance of a real life, then don't be upset when your workers also want to return to the good-ole days when you gave raises, allowed people to take vacation, and offered pensions. Until then, eabod. I'm working from home.


Maybe you're in the wrong industry.  The only things you said true are about benefits getting worse a pensions.

I've received 2 raises and a bonus in working for my firm for a year and a half.  The company matches up to 3% of my 401k and I have no problem taking vacations.

Have you seen how much health insurance costs?  Hint: it's on your w2 this year.  That's why benefits are getting cut back.
 
2013-02-26 01:44:05 PM
It always comes down to the few bad apples that ruin it for everyone else. Sure there are people that don't "produce" what they should while working from home. There are also those that show up for work every day and still bring work home with them. Then there are others that show up at the office and coast. If you want to weed out the bad employees, Miss. Human Resources, do your job of thoroughly assessing employees on a regular basis, toughen up and fire the ones that don't deserve to be there. And reward the ones that deserve it.
 
2013-02-26 01:46:30 PM

sammyk: On a serious note, this woman needs to be fired. She has no clue how tech people think and work.


Coming from a company that didn't allow WFH and had some very productive devs.  To a contractor who's client has a great deal of WFH people I think she does.

The client is a Fortune 500 that produces some of the shiattiest software on the market that everyone here complains about.   Seriously getting people in the same room to discuss and make decisions helps A LOT.

I see, in my client, a lot of the issues listed in the article linked to in this one.  People that just fall off the map, lack of communication, constant missed deadlines (if one can even get set).   Some people can WFH pretty effectively, but having dozens or hundreds of those people is just asking for trouble.

That article even states she's willing to return the good benefits (which I bet would include on site daycare) when people are back in the office.
 
2013-02-26 01:48:45 PM
As someone who was recently laid off, in part I believe due to the fact I was given enough rope to hang myself by working from home so often, this is heavy on my mind lately.  I can be very productive given a good project to work on, however being bounced around and not having a clear goal or project stream comes back to bite you when you don't have the face time in the office.

I recently accepted an offer working back with a mid/level startup with a great office culture/work environment, turning down some other offers at larger well established companies.  I really want to be able to work from home periodically, however having an office you actually want to come into and interact is huge for me now.  I don't think the drive to work from home should be centered mainly around just not wanting to be in the office.  If any good is to come from policies like this, maybe more companies will work on making the in-office experience a bit better rather than just forcing employees to sit in front of a screen 30min+ from home.
 
2013-02-26 01:50:54 PM

cman: I think it is quite funny that people are implying that not being able to work from home is in the same league as corporal punishment.

There are those in China who would love to correct you.


One-size-fits-all corporate policies like this are nothing more than lazy management.  Treating all of your employees like a monolithic block of spoiled children is probably closer to the Chinese model than you realize.
 
2013-02-26 01:52:44 PM

cman: While she is a hypocrite indeed, I still dont understand what all this hatred is about her stopping people from working at home. It is a pretty damn reasonable business decision.

Still, shiat like this doesnt help.


How do you figure?
 
2013-02-26 01:53:20 PM

Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: cman: While she is a hypocrite indeed, I still dont understand what all this hatred is about her stopping people from working at home. It is a pretty damn reasonable business decision.

Still, shiat like this doesnt help.

How do you figure?


Having your workers show up at work isnt a reasonable business decision?
 
2013-02-26 01:53:22 PM
I'd suckle at her teat
 
2013-02-26 01:54:16 PM

Contents Under Pressure: Other CEOs get jets, private secretaries and mahogany desks. So having a nursery is bad because...?


Does Ms. Meyer not get those perks as well?
 
2013-02-26 01:57:54 PM

Cubansaltyballs: Yeah... because everyone will become more productive after they drive 40-100mins into the office, search for parking, just so they can be counted for attendance.

People usually can't take vacations anymore. Raises are almost non-existent. Benefits get worse every year. Pensions are a modern-myth. Many employers barely match 401ks. Going to work nowadays is a grind. A grind with almost nothing to show for it. The only people that really benefit anymore at the Marissa Mayers of the world. When people realize all that, morale drops. Instead of just paying better and offering better benefits, management goes with the only option that won't take a nickel out of their pocket... they allow people to work from home. Truth is, if you want to increase productivity via increasing morale instead of treating employees better, allowing people to work from home is a substitute many people will accept.

Here's the thing most of these companies (like Yahoo) don't get... if you want to return to the good-ole days where everyone filed in at 8am and stuck around until 8pm working tirelessly to improve your bottom line while sacrificing any semblance of a real life, then don't be upset when your workers also want to return to the good-ole days when you gave raises, allowed people to take vacation, and offered pensions. Until then, eabod. I'm working from home.


nailed it.
 
2013-02-26 01:58:47 PM

cman: While she is a hypocrite indeed, I still dont understand what all this hatred is about her stopping people from working at home. It is a pretty damn reasonable business decision.

Still, shiat like this doesnt help.


you're basically take a pay cut. Now you have to pay for gas, wear and tear on the car and you're spending more time "working" (since your commute is basically part of working.) Also, its bad for morale because its basically accusing all your employees of being shiftless children who are incapable of doing their jobs with a babysitter breathing down their necks
 
2013-02-26 01:58:52 PM
Not all Yahoo haves bees havin' that kind of money or clout.

FTFY
 
2013-02-26 01:59:31 PM
Why has nobody mentioned the fact that the CEO of Yahoo looks like she's 25 years old?
 
2013-02-26 02:00:24 PM

cman: While she is a hypocrite indeed


MaxxLarge: Do you mean to tell me that a millionaire CEO is a bald-faced hypocrite?


There is a way for her not to be a hypocrite -- and that's for her to provide on-site daycare for any working moms.  I don't see anything in TFA about that though.
 
2013-02-26 02:00:28 PM

dave2198: Why has nobody mentioned the fact that the CEO of Yahoo looks like she's 25 years old?


Because she doesn't, or you are just drunk
 
2013-02-26 02:00:32 PM

Cubansaltyballs: People usually can't take vacations anymore. Raises are almost non-existent. Benefits get worse every year. Pensions are a modern-myth. Many employers barely match 401ks. Going to work nowadays is a grind. A grind with almost nothing to show for it.


I work in light manufacturing for a large employer. Well, I work for a temp agency contracted to the large employer. 2 1/2 years, 40 hours a week, no paid time off. Supposed to get my full hire package any day now. Any. Day. Now.
 
2013-02-26 02:01:49 PM

Disaster Transport: It always comes down to the few bad apples that ruin it for everyone else. Sure there are people that don't "produce" what they should while working from home. There are also those that show up for work every day and still bring work home with them. Then there are others that show up at the office and coast. If you want to weed out the bad employees, Miss. Human Resources, do your job of thoroughly assessing employees on a regular basis, toughen up and fire the ones that don't deserve to be there. And reward the ones that deserve it.


Yes, basically the "no working from home" basically means: we have no idea what our employees are doing most of the time, and can't be bothered to have a proper management system, so the solution we come up is put them in the office on the assumption they have less distractions and might get so bored they just do more than the minimum work to get by as a way to alleviate their boredom.

Of course for that to work, everything has to be banned in the office, otherwise the same people that don't work at home will be doing personal email, facebook, skype, minesweeper, farking or whatever else, which then means virtually all web access has to be whitelisted to approved sites which then stops people that need the internet to do their jobs from getting anything done as they have to spend hours getting access to a website in the hopes it describes a way to solve their problem, and if it doesn't they have to go through the process again for the next website in the google results...
 
2013-02-26 02:01:50 PM
My company tried to pull the same thing six months ago.  VP declared "No working from home," and even added "Hey, I know people who commute three hours one way to get into the office.  Why shouldn't you?"

We worker-drone types were pissed until our direct managers contacted us and said "Screw that.  We'll take the heat."

Amazingly, now the VP doesn't whine if he finds out someone is working from home.
 
2013-02-26 02:04:36 PM
She looks like a biatch.
 
2013-02-26 02:04:40 PM

cman: dave2198: Why has nobody mentioned the fact that the CEO of Yahoo looks like she's 25 years old?

Because she doesn't, or you are just drunk


twimg0-a.akamaihd.net

Really?
 
2013-02-26 02:04:46 PM

ha-ha-guy: well that and even as a work from home supporter, I realize sometimes working from home is a stealthy way to get a three day weekend


You are right.  But is it a bad thing if your employee is producing at least what is required?  What if they are knocking it out of the park?  There are certain jobs that do not absolutely require a full 40 hours in your cube every week...Off the top of my head - Sales and coding.  So what if your employee is in Vegas rather at their home in Cleveland?  So long as the work gets done, it should not matter.
 
2013-02-26 02:07:00 PM
A decade ago it would have just been assumed that when you have an office job, you go to the office every day.

Now we have a company tightening up a lax work-from-home policy and there's no less than 3 critical stories about it on the Business tab, acting like it's a human rights violation or something.

Attitudes are changing.
 
2013-02-26 02:07:03 PM

cman: Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: cman: While she is a hypocrite indeed, I still dont understand what all this hatred is about her stopping people from working at home. It is a pretty damn reasonable business decision.

Still, shiat like this doesnt help.

How do you figure?

Having your workers show up at work isnt a reasonable business decision?


Depends. You want to wait a couple of hours for me to find my way into the office while our payments system is down, or do you want me to be able to log in immediately and fix it in a matter of minutes?

This isn't hypothetical; so if during an emergency you trust me to log in and get the business running again, why would you not trust me to work remotely in non-emergency conditions?

Fortunately, my employer is more reasonable than you, so I work from home occasionally.
 
2013-02-26 02:18:06 PM

cman: While she is a hypocrite indeed, I still dont understand what all this hatred is about her stopping people from working at home. It is a pretty damn reasonable business decision.

Still, shiat like this doesnt help.


You could argue that dictating that all future hires be office based would be a sensible business decision. Reasonable people could disagree on the relative business merits of physical proximity over convenience and productivity.

Even then, doing so while exploiting one's own powerful position and exceptional salary to exempt oneself from the consequences looks insensitive, and looking insensitive is itself a bad business decision when the job market improves and people have more choice.

But this is worse than that. There are a great many people who were hired with the specific agreement that part of their Ts & Cs was working at home. For all you know, some of those people may have turned down other jobs, perhaps with better salary or more seniority, because of the value to them of a life without a commute. And now Yahoo! is unilaterally changing the deal. And that is both a bad business decision and a bad human decision.
 
2013-02-26 02:18:44 PM
Don't you get it?

She wants people to QUIT THEIR JOBS. Yahoo is just putting the squeeze on employees and letting them leave so they don't have to pay unemployment. She's letting people leave on their own terms by making it a little less desirable to work there. The ones that remain will be more embittered and paradoxically more loyal for it.
 
2013-02-26 02:19:35 PM
Hooray!! I don't submit links much, but this is my first in a long time that got greened.

Really felt people had to see this.  At first I was happy that she'd signed on to Yahoo, but after this debacle it seems like it might have been a mistake.

SlothB77: There are probably a bunch of unproductive people working at home or just plain hiding, as stated in the link in the article.  Basically, they said some people have been at Yahoo for so long and working from home 100% of the time, Yahoo has forgotten that those employees are on the payroll.  I guess it could happen?  Don't they have managers they have to report to?


So the company should have simply conducted performance reviews of work at home employees and fired the unproductive ones like what most sensible companies do.  But I guess that would have actually taken, you know, work, which is something execs don't want to do when they have a private playpen in their executive suite.
 
2013-02-26 02:21:28 PM

Cubansaltyballs: Yeah... because everyone will become more productive after they drive 40-100mins into the office, search for parking, just so they can be counted for attendance.

People usually can't take vacations anymore. Raises are almost non-existent. Benefits get worse every year. Pensions are a modern-myth. Many employers barely match 401ks. Going to work nowadays is a grind. A grind with almost nothing to show for it. The only people that really benefit anymore at the Marissa Mayers of the world. When people realize all that, morale drops. Instead of just paying better and offering better benefits, management goes with the only option that won't take a nickel out of their pocket... they allow people to work from home. Truth is, if you want to increase productivity via increasing morale instead of treating employees better, allowing people to work from home is a substitute many people will accept.

Here's the thing most of these companies (like Yahoo) don't get... if you want to return to the good-ole days where everyone filed in at 8am and stuck around until 8pm working tirelessly to improve your bottom line while sacrificing any semblance of a real life, then don't be upset when your workers also want to return to the good-ole days when you gave raises, allowed people to take vacation, and offered pensions. Until then, eabod. I'm working from home.


People can nitpick this post all they want, but I thought it was about 95% on-target... and well-said, to boot. Nice jerb.
 
2013-02-26 02:21:32 PM

Avindair: My company tried to pull the same thing six months ago.  VP declared "No working from home," and even added "Hey, I know people who commute three hours one way to get into the office.  Why shouldn't you?"

We worker-drone types were pissed until our direct managers contacted us and said "Screw that.  We'll take the heat."

Amazingly, now the VP doesn't whine if he finds out someone is working from home.


That happened to a family friend, he is a senior level application developer, and sr architect.  The company he worked for had offices in DC and Arlington.  He lives in Charleston, WV (~5 hour drive to DC).  He would come into the office for 3-4 days twice a quarter.  He got a hotel, all that jazz.  They brought on some new Operations person who laid out a new policy requiring all employees to be in the office every day by 9am.  He argued with them, they said "there is the door."

Two-three weeks later, they called him back begging him to come back, as the apps he was working on were not functioning properly (well that is what happens when you bring on some dumbass who deploys barely tested apps from the dev environment right into production) and work had basically come to a stand still.  He renegotiated his contract so that he could work from home, got a $20K raise and a $5000 "we're sorry" bonus.  He then spent 2 weeks in DC, at the company's cost to fix everything.

All that could have been avoided if they would have just let him work from home in the first place.
 
2013-02-26 02:25:22 PM
I wonder how long this will really last.  I can see the CEO getting everyone under one roof, so to speak, firing, demoting, forcing out a bunch of people, refocusing on a few dozen key items, and once things get up and going, relaxing the ban on WFH.

I work in a small IT support team, and each of us work about 30% from home, but every year, we're forced to spend a month working from our office from 8-5 to make sure we're still keeping up with stuff, then turned loose again.
 
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