Money & Industry

No More Telecommuting for Yahoo Employees Come June 2013

No More Telecommuting for Yahoo Employees Come June 2013
Bernadine Racoma

The CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer said it clear enough – get to work or you’re fired. And by getting to work, she means that employees ought to be physically present at their designated offices and cubicles. The memo came from the office of human resources chief, Jackie Reses. Yahoo! is not in very good shape, according to some reports, and this might be part of a series of measures to institute changes that would hopefully turn things around. There will be no more telecommuting for Yahoo employees come June 2013.

Mayer came from Google and has been with Yahoo! for a short while and now she’s wasting no time implementing more changes to the company. Does Mayer ever work from home? We don’t know, and no insider is willing to talk.

Working in PJs not allowed

The contents of the memo were actually leaked to the press by employees who find it rather disappointing to say the least. Twitter feeds from employees more accurately reflect the general outrage felt by those who rather enjoy the perk. Some tech companies are reportedly opening up hiring, offering flexible work hours for Yahoo! employees who would choose to resign rather than abide by the new regulations.

Daily telecommuting is now banned in Yahoo! It has been the practice for many years and apparently it is not all good, and that every employee who wants to stay and enjoy the other perks should get up early, take a bath, dress up and commute or drive to work starting June 2013. And now these lucky Silicon Valley workers would have to re-orient themselves to the routine that most other working people go through. They still have free food and they can still bring their pets, so they are still a privileged lot by usual standards.

Productivity affected?

It has been reported that productivity has been gravely affected by the abusive behavior of some employees who apparently spend all their working hours in PJs at home. Performance and management issues have become dominant problems that the company has to face. The “speed and quality” workers’ outputs have been in jeopardy since most of the employees avail of the perk to work at home. And who can blame Yahoo! management? Only the most disciplined of staff would have the presence of mind to work 100% when their family members are around. And if a worker has this kind of discipline he or she would probably report to Yahoo! headquarters everyday anyway.

But studies have been made and there are no definite conclusions whether or not productivity is really affected when an employee works from home. Performance improved in trial work at home situations as shown by a study done by Stanford University. But, other studies revealed counter-productive behaviors such as watching TV and drinking beer while working.

Time to work side-by-side

Yahoo must have noted that being physically present to collaborate and communicate matters because the memo states that being present in the office is “critical” for the company to become the “absolute best place to work.” They’re probably missing the team meetings that often result in inspired and innovative ideas. After all, talking to someone on the screen takes away some of the spontaneity that often leads to that spark of creativity.

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