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Reactions and Memo from Yahoo! Regarding Working at Home

February 25, 2013

By Gilbert Falso :: 8:51 AM

Yahoo employees react to work at home policy change.On Friday, we reported that Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer, was making sweeping changes at the company regarding employee work-at-home flexibility. In short, she and Yahoo HR director Jackie Reses are putting an end to the practice, which is a mainstay of tech and Silicon Valley culture. Beginning in June, all Yahoo employees will no longer be allowed to work remotely.

Reaction in the media and across Twitter was immediate and incredulous – many could not believe that Mayer, already waning in popularity with the employees she is leading, would make a decision that could impact employee morale so quickly and deeply. Over the weekend, several company employees contacted Paul, our writer who covered Yahoo’s announcement on Friday, with details and their own opinions on the matter.

Below is the text of the Yahoo announcement as it was e-mailed to all employees on Friday. As you can see, there is very little room for interpretation here – all employees are expected at their desks in Yahoo offices, at all times. Even standard flexibility normally enjoyed by salaried office workers such as working from home while waiting for your cable to be repaired, are in jeopardy under Mayer’s new regime.


Over the past few months, we have introduced a number of great benefits and tools to make us more productive, efficient and fun. With the introduction of initiatives like FYI, Goals and PB&J, we want everyone to participate in our culture and contribute to the positive momentum. From Sunnyvale to Santa Monica, Bangalore to Beijing — I think we can all feel the energy and buzz in our offices.

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.

Beginning in June, we’re asking all employees with work-from-home arrangements to work in Yahoo! offices. If this impacts you, your management has already been in touch with next steps. And, for the rest of us who occasionally have to stay home for the cable guy, please use your best judgment in the spirit of collaboration. Being a Yahoo isn’t just about your day-to-day job, it is about the interactions and experiences that are only possible in our offices.

Thanks to all of you, we’ve already made remarkable progress as a company — and the best is yet to come.


In addition to Reses’ e-mail, we also received reactions from present and former Yahoo employees. We will not post names, but below are a few of the opinions we received on the matter:

Morale is already bad here, this is just pushing things over the edge. We’re all adults, we all know if we can work productively in a non-office environment, to call us back like this while claiming she wants to move the company forward is ridiculous. How will we even attempt to attract top talent with these restrictions placed on working locations?

And another:

I appreciate that [Mayer] is trying to shift culture here, but this is the wrong move. She’ll get us all back to the ranch, but no one will be happy about it, and I can’t imagine unhappy, unmotivated people doing good work.

One more, from a Yahoo alum:

When she took over, many of us saw the writing on the wall and got out, or are trying to get out. Left a month ago, couldn’t be happier, and my new employer could care less where I work as long as I get the job done – as it should be.