Yahoo! stands by its no-working-from-home rule

27 Feb 2013

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Internet giant Yahoo! has issued a curt response to criticism about its decision to ban telecommuting, saying the new rule is about what’s right for the company.

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

The spokesperson then added that the company does not comment on internal matters.

This internal Yahoo! matter became public in the form of a leaked email last week that stated that as of 1 June, Yahoo! employees would no longer be allowed to work from home.

“To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side,” the leaked memo written by Yahoo!’s head of human resources Jackie Reses reads.

“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.”

The news has rankled some employees who will have to either relocate or even give up their jobs.

One employee told AllThingsD writer Kara Swisher: “When a working mother is standing behind this, you know we are a long way from a culture that will honour the thankless sacrifices that women too often make”, referring to the recent birth of CEO Marissa Mayer’s baby.

“Many others at Yahoo’s Sunnyvale, California, HQ pointed to the nursery Mayer had built – for which she paid personally – next to her office as a perk others at Yahoo! do not get,” Swisher wrote.

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Tina held senior editorial positions at daily newspapers in Ottawa and Toronto

editorial@siliconrepublic.com