Monday, February 25, 2013

Yahoo bans working from home

If you're working from home for Yahoo in a garden office, that's all about to end. All employees have been told by HR top wonk Jackie Reses that they will be have to now commute into a central office because, she says, “Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home” and that they need to be "physically together". This applies not only to full-time homeworkers, but also to those who work one or more days a week from home.

Here's the whole thing...
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.
 Thanks to Lloyd Alter for the alert.
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.


  1. Makes sense. homeworking is for small business and one man bands. i can't see how a large company whose product is communication can operate in a splintered way.

  2. Anonymous1:53 PM

    A sad day for many part-timers, who need to keep transport costs down to make their job viable, and those wishing to reduce their carbon footprint by working from home instead of commuting. With our current traffic, fuel and environmental problems this is not a good example for Yahoo to be setting.

  3. I am trying to make some sense out of this post and so far it "the post" is not working.

    There are tasks which require interaction with others and also tasks which require solitude and minimal disruption.

    There is no point in driving 30 miles to the office to complete a task which is better done in solitude. On other hand when a good chat is required to solve a problem or explore ideas it is best done in person I think this is called "the water cooler moment" or something similar.

    We all know this - it is absolutely obvious.

    Yahoo are clearly trying to recapture this "water cooler effect" because they lost it some time ago.

    Forcing employees who are happy to pick up their pay cheques whilst staying at home are hardly likely to turn around the company. I am pretty sure that if they believed in the mission they would go to the office and spend time at the "water cooler" because this is the way all good companies have developed and prospered.

    In short that's just the way it is and has little or nothing to do with Garden Offices.

    AT ALL

  4. This post and comments do not make sense.

    The "water cooler moment" has always existed. Forcing employees to the office when they are happy picking up their pay cheque for staying at home will not work. It never has and never will.

    Companies prosper when the employees believe in the mission however big or small. They make their way to the water cooler. It has always been the same and always will be "virtual water cooler" i.e. this blog or real one.

    My conclusion is that Yahoo have lost it!

    And just by the way this whole thread seems to have nothing to do with Garden Offices at all!!

  5. I don't agree Lynn. Working for a company whose offices are spread across the company a large number of my interactions are over the phone, via IM or video conferencing. Whether I am in the office or not makes no difference to whether these comms occur or not.

    Also in my roll I need long periods of quiet time to concentrate without any interruptions. This is not possible in a very busy office. I divide my week in to days in the office for meetings etc and days at home for development and analysis.

  6. Never expected such a situation and a bad luck for home workers.