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Yahoo! Email: No More Working from Home

New Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is making her mark, but she's ruffling a few feathers. In an email to employees, HR head Jackie Reses asks "all employees with work-from-home arrangements to work in Yahoo! offices." As expected, remote employees aren't too happy about the change.

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

Working from home
Hundreds of Yahoo! employees currently are working remotely, including customer service representatives and workers who don't have a Yahoo! office close by.

After a series of layoffs, Yahoo! may be taking a different approach to reducing headcount and increasing productivity. Some speculate that employees who can't or won't make the change will quit, making reductions easy.

Yahoo! responded to the controversy with only these statements:
  • "This isn't a broad industry view on working from home. This is about what is right for Yahoo right now."
  • "We don't discuss internal matters."
The email inspired a wave of articles, include a Wall Street Journal cover story covering the number of people, benefits, and possible career derailment from working remotely.
Discussion Starters:
  • How would you describe the tone and approach of the Yahoo! email?
  • Yahoo! management clearly didn't want the email to be released. What, if anything, could have prevented this?  What's your reaction to employees' forwarding the message: are they justified, acting inappropriately, or something else? Why would an employee forward an email that's marked "proprietary and confidential"?