27 February 2013 - 8:28am | posted by | 2 comments

Why Marissa jumped: At-home Yahoo employees 'running own start-ups'

Marissa Mayer: Why she made the move Marissa Mayer: Why she made the move

The furore over Yahoo!‘s new policy of banning employees from working remotely made it to the front page of the New York Times this week. Yahoo! declined to comment for that article, but finally issued a statement about the ban against work-at-home arrangements - making it clear why new CEO Marissa Mayer jumped.

“This isn’t a broad industry view on working from home,” the statement said. “This is about what is right for Yahoo! right now.”

At the heart of the problem, according to a a follow-up NYT report: Some employees have abused the former policy permitting work at home to the point of founding start-ups while being on salary at Yahoo!. That info, according to the NYT, came from some Yahoo! employees talking to the paper anonymously.

The Times said Mayer "is in crisis mode, and believes the policy is necessary to get Yahoo back into shape."

The work ethic at Yahoo among some workers has deteriorated over time, the Yahoo! employees said, and requiring people to show up is a way to keep an eye on them and re-energise the troops.

"If some of the least productive workers leave as a result, the thinking goes, all the better."

Yahoo!’s culture and employee morale have dissolved, say business analysts talking to the NYT, as it has fallen behind hotter tech companies. And those two things are difficult to repair without having employees present in the same place.

Mayer has said many times that one of her top priorities for the company is to recruit the most talented engineers and other employees.

The NYT report points out, "Even if requiring people to show up is the only way to repair Yahoo’s culture, it could result in losing valuable employees."


27 Feb 2013 - 10:01
paul_whitaker's picture

I think Marissa is spot-on. When I was running my group with around 70 colleagues we were all together on a daily basis. Occasionally one or more of the creative teams would go and sit in the local park or work from home for a day, but that's different - and it always resulted in top creative ideas coming back with them...Paul Whitaker

27 Feb 2013 - 11:25
scritty's picture

I don't know of any field where working for yourself is not more profitable. From the time I was told of my redundancy several years ago to the date I left the company I worked 100% of the time on starting my own business. 5 years later I earn almost 12x the amount I earned - and I do roughly the same job. No wonder she wants to keep a close eye on people


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