Yahoo’s Work From Home Banning – What Does it Mean For You?

March 25, 2013


After Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to ban staff from working from home, the reality for organisations to change their flexible working arrangements becomes clearly evident.


In case you missed it, Yahoo has had a long history of supporting their staff to work from home and from June 2013, they must return back to the office.


Being in HR for many years, I can certainly acknowledge the challenges of a flexible workforce.  However, if the goal is collaboration, water-cooler talk and face time, then this has me concerned if online giant Yahoo can’t make it work.


The success of working from home comes down to the outputs of remote workers.  You would assume that if Yahoo is going down the path of retracting this arrangement, that they are not happy with the output.  This is a common working from home issue and I wonder how will this benefit Yahoo where a person is working?  One must ask are these workers being adequately managed?


Don’t get me wrong, bringing staff together is an important activity.  Strategic, planning and other important meetings, can positively impact productivity and collaboration for staff contributions, however does this warrant them changing their working arrangements permanently?  I don’t think so.  Why can’t the collaboration be done on a more regular basis, quarterly, monthly, fortnightly or even weekly that team members get together at the office, but why change this every single day?


Of course, I wish Yahoo success and I hope they have clear measures in place to determine whether this change in direction will actually achieve what they are looking for.  I can only imagine the talent that they will lose as a result of these changes.


For all employees out there, who question Yahoo’s ability to make this change, they do have a right to do this.  Most employment agreements/arrangements come with clauses to specify the right for employers to change an employee’s working conditions.  I would imagine though that there are a number of Senior Executives watching closing to see the success/failure of the Yahoo transition.  In saying that though, the scale of what Yahoo has done, does not occur very often.


If you have flexibility right now, don’t take it for granted!   Make sure you are productive, have clear goals, collaborative and in communication, and this help support the success of remote workers.

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