Marissa Mayer’s ‘Morale Killer’: Yahoo Employees Can’t Work From Home Anymore

url-3One small step for a woman, one giant leap backward for womankind: CEO Marissa Mayer is revoking all existing work-from-home arrangements at Yahoo. According to a report from All Things D, all employees will now be required to stay in the office, even if they have existing arrangements allowing them to work from home.

The memo comes from Yahoo’s head of HR, Jackie Reses, who writes that “Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.” In other words, get your butts back in the office. One manager tells Kara Swisher of All Things D that they were told there would be little flexibility. Even waiting for the cable guy is discouraged: “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,” Reses wrote.

As CNET repots, the writing was on the wall when Mayer became CEO last year. Mayer made food in Yahoo’s cafeteria free, and changed the layout of many work spaces to encourage collaboration.

Swisher reports that employees are furious. “Even if that was what was previously agreed to with managers and HR, or was a part of the package to take a position, tough,” he or she wrote. “It’s outrageous and a morale killer.”

Here’s the full memo:

YAHOO! PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION — DO NOT FORWARD

 

Yahoos,

 

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.

 

Jackie

 

Photo: Glamour

 

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    • Rachel B

      I must be the only person that wasn’t outraged for woman-kind when I read this. I know this isn’t true for all, but around my office 90% of people who ‘work’ from home are really taking the chance to work part-time while getting paid full-time. Other than my very dedicated manager, the people that we have who regularly work from home aren’t checking their email or actually doing a lot of work while they are at home. It’s basically a day off where they check their in-box a couple times a day. I do that on sick days.
      I work in a position where working from home isn’t really possible, if I’m at home it’s on an official day off (sick day, personal day, vacation day) and a lot of times, I’m checking my email anyway. It’s really demoralizing for those IN the office, in these types of positions where “special arrangements” can’t be made to have others working from home in a vortex, not getting a lot done, not available for collaboration and checking their email who-knows-when.
      This issue isn’t about being a woman or a mother (lots of women in my office have kids and can’t work from home, and many of those that work from home and slack don’t have young kids or kinds at all). This is an issue about getting the best work done, and when you work in a collaborative environment, or on a project that you need to be able to contact team members regularly working from home doesn’t work. Especially for those still in the office, and it does affect office moral because it’s inherently unfair to those that don’t have that option. If you’re going to work, come to work.

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