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Well, happy Monday morning, Yahoo employees. Looks like your telecommuting days have come to an end.

Silicon Valley firms are known for cushy perks: free food, bringing your dog to work and so on. But starting in June, Yahoo employees will lose the benefit of working from home. According to an internal memo leaked on Friday to The Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD.com by numerous disgruntled Yahoo employees, the new policy calls for workers “physically being together.”

“We need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices... Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home,” reads the memo from Jacqueline Reses, a private equity veteran brought on board by Mayer in September to be the company’s HR boss.

You can always count on those humorless "Human" Resources folks to rain on the parade with their one-size-fits all policies. They don't worry much about the "human" side of things. That's why you hear them referring to "humans" as "talent". They're into "talent acquisition", "talent management", and "talent development". Then, at the end of your "talent life cycle", there's "talent disposal". When your "HR" people aren't even part of your own organization, they're free to do their best work, unconstrained by the possibility of having actually met (or - heaven forbid - become attached to) the employees.

For anyone who thought that CEO Marissa Mayer would continue the generally people-friendly policies of her previous workplace (Google), you can kiss that sh*t goodbye. She's clearly focused on the bottom line, and if you're not riding the profitability bus to the end of the line with her, you'd best get off right now.

Ms. Mayer is clearly a business-first type of person, having returned to work as the CEO within a few weeks of giving birth. Then again, she has the resources to enable her to do so. Most of us don't have a nanny, housekeeper, errand person, personal shopper, dog walker, or other domestic staff on our payroll.

She's also shrewd enough to realize that the best way to make the bottom line look better in the near term is to cut costs. The biggest costs are usually those pesky employees. Laying them off, though, is a costly business, what with severance pay and all that paperwork. However... if you can get them all to quit on their own out of anger, frustration, and resentment, it's a work of pure genious.

As a veteran of 37 years in corporate America, and veteran telecommuter, your intrepid diarist has a few ideas about this misbegotten Yahoo plan. Follow along below for more...

I began telecommuting when my 62-mile-each-way commute was getting to be a major time sink during winter weather in New England. I worked at home one or two days a week in the peace and quiet of my home in the country. I got plenty done, far more, in fact, than I'd get done in a typical day in the office. Without (1) the time lost commuting and (2) the time wasted with interruptions and distractions and (3) time wasted going off site to buy lunch, I gained about three hours a day.

I was still successful. My clients, coworkers, and management could reach me any time of the day (we were banned from using cell phones while driving, so I was now accessible during that time). I invested in a robust printer/copier/scanner and good broadband service. I could listen to classical music and work in the sun-lit breakfast nook, taking calls with no background conversations or office noise. It was all good.

Later, when I had a job with extensive interaction with colleagues around the world, telecommuting made even better sense. My workday adapted to the demands of the job. I took a break for supper and a few hours, then got on calls with folks in Hong Kong, Christchurch, Perth, Shenzhen, Brisbane, and other far off places at 11:00 at night. I'd get up early for calls with London. Going into the office wouldn't have made any difference: these people weren't in my office. With the benefit of video teleconferencing - whether at the office or via web cams - we could achieve what we needed to achieve and feel a real connection to one another.

Maybe Yahoo's different, but I doubt it. Forcing people to traipse to the office every day won't necessarily inspire that serendipitous collaborative spark. It will, however, serve as a loud and uambiguous wake-up call to Ms. Mayer's employees that it's time to leave for more truly collaborative pastures.

Those who heed the call will typically be the more gifted, visionary, entrepreurial folks. They'll have no difficulty landing new jobs where their bright ideas, individuality, and flexibility will be seen as "features" rather than "bugs". They'll be the innovators that help Yahoo's competitors continue to eat Yahoo's lunch. In the near term, Yahoo's stock price - and Ms. Mayer's reputation as a non-nonsense CEO - may do very well. Wall Street will love this "crush the little people" story. Yahoo's employees, customers, and business partners will be the ones paying the price.

Those telecommuters who remain at Yahoo whether by choice or as a result of real or perceived wage-slave indenture will hardly be in a frame of mind to lead the company to new heights. At that point, an infusion of outsiders will likely be the next "fix". Since their new HR czarina has decreed that:

“Hiring, managing and incentivizing talent will be of key importance”
we can look forward to much more rigorous screening, indoctrination, and regimentation of prospective employees. "Incentivizing" employees, though? I'd have to wonder whether telecommuting privileges aren't among the most valued incentives. Personally, I would rather forsake the next paltry salary increase or meaningless change of title and grab for the telecommuting gold.

Whether this is the beginning of the end for Yahoo, or a business coup of the decade by new CEO Marissa Mayer remains to be seen. What is clear - as it has been for a long time - is that having a CEO who's a working mother doesn't ensure that working parents will catch a break. Far from it. They'll have to make difficult and painful choices if they want to keep working at Yahoo. Some will walk away from what they considered good jobs at a great place. Maybe that's exactly what Ms. Mayer is hoping.

Cross posted from The Motley Moose.

Originally posted to cassandracarolina's fossil record on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:13 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

Poll

What's your telecommuting experience?

17%89 votes
19%98 votes
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36%186 votes
11%58 votes
13%68 votes

| 507 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (124+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    absdoggy, eataTREE, Cassandra Waites, ontheleftcoast, Emerson, blueoasis, Mannie, terabytes, MKSinSA, Miggles, peacestpete, avsp, Siri, belinda ridgewood, enufisenuf, profewalt, marina, Glen The Plumber, Eddie L, slksfca, Tinfoil Hat, elfling, Mr Robert, Polly Syllabic, PsychoSavannah, cotterperson, chimene, mrsgoo, litoralis, Actbriniel, Dobber, ichibon, Thinking Fella, pileta, rapala, angry marmot, kenwards, briefer, Chaddiwicker, Batya the Toon, AoT, KrazyKitten, bleeding blue, annrose, anodnhajo, indie17, one of 8, old wobbly, Wood Dragon, Catte Nappe, pgm 01, luckylizard, blueoregon, vcmvo2, Betterthansoap, shortgirl, left my heart, askew, SteelerGrrl, rightiswrong, sethtriggs, Nowhere Man, blackjackal, Ekaterin, Brooke In Seattle, MidwestTreeHugger, No one gets out alive, Avila, wasatch, YucatanMan, dgb, Diana in NoVa, exNYinTX, Tickticker, also mom of 5, Bluesee, glorificus, Fishgrease, MJ via Chicago, native, Ginny in CO, Marihilda, jadt65, Amor Y Risa, ChemBob, Involuntary Exile, bosdcla14, akeitz, LucyandByron, aitchdee, TracieLynn, blue91, wader, livingthedream, OldSoldier99, emmasnacker, Erik the Red, skybluewater, petulans, ratador, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, yoduuuh do or do not, Larsstephens, CTLiberal, lcrp, chantedor, owlbear1, cpresley, 3goldens, dadadata, nomandates, Its a New Day, cama2008, Alumbrados, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, rudyblues, peptabysmal, zitherhamster, offgrid, stormicats, Silvia Nightshade, jayden, splashy, Oh Mary Oh

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

    by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:13:14 AM PST

  •  Uh, obviously I must be somewhat circumspect (89+ / 0-)

    in talking about my own employer, but obviously I'm not happy about this decision, which I'm pretty sure comes from Meyer herself and not the head of HR. There is much feeling that if certain employees were abusing the telecommute policy, they should have been dealt with on an individual basis.

    It has been mentioned that moving assistance will be provided to impacted employees, but no details have been released. We have a number of months to start working on an in-office-all-the-time basis, the deadline presumably having been chosen with the end of the school year in mind.

    At the moment, I have no idea what I am going to do. I cannot afford to move to an area that doubles my cost of living while keeping the same rate of pay, at least not if I want my family to eat and my wife to continue to get medical care...

    Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

    by eataTREE on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:19:23 AM PST

  •  I recently started teleworking (33+ / 0-)

    1 day a week. Like you I found that my productivity is actually higher on the days I'm at home compared to in the office because I dont have to worry about distractions that naturally arise working around other people.

    That being said, telecommuting shouldn't be treated as one size fits all. Some positions are better fits for working from home than others.

    •  I have no problem with telecommuting (31+ / 0-)

      being treated as a case-by-case privilege. Clearly some people need to be in the office to be effective, all or part of the time. Some people also abuse the privilege, and some managers only trust those that they can see. Companies should be able to offer flexibility in exchange for proven effectiveness at getting the job done.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:41:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds like a management/supervising problem (4+ / 0-)

        Telecommuting employees (like all other employees) need to be supervised, and every manager needs to be on top of the effectiveness of those on their team, and only those who are effective as telecommuters should be allowed to do it.

        From what I read, one big problem is that managers have not been adequately supervising the telecommuters on their team.

        Maybe this action is a "re-set" to get employees and their work assignments accounted for, and somewhere down the line telecommuting will return on a (better supervised) case-by-case basis.

        Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

        by MJB on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:20:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good points, MJB (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Silvia Nightshade

          In addition to being a telecommuter and fighting HR to enable others to telecommute, I've supervised telecommuters and staff embedded in client facilities. It does take attention, and not thinking everything is "fine" in the absence of information. I hope that your assessment is correct and that this is a "re-set", not a permanent edict for the Yahoo folks.

          Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

          by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:24:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  True but (16+ / 0-)

      this is Yahoo. It is a purely internet business. They likely have employees all over the place, perhaps not even in the same state as the office they're expected to suddenly show up at.

      In that situation, telecomuting is the perfect solution for everybody. You can hire good people who can work for less because they don't live in that high priced area, you can hire those who are excellent, skilled workers but who have a disability that makes getting to or being in an office difficult, and you can have a larger workforce than can fit in your expensive office building.

      Remember, they don't have a physical product. It's ALL online. There's no real reason for ANYBODY to show up at an arbitrary place.

      •  That's why this is soooo ironic, mmacdDE (6+ / 0-)

        You'd think that a network company like Yahoo could figure out how to use a distributed workforce model.

        Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

        by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:51:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not true (9+ / 0-)
        t is a purely internet business. They likely have employees all over the place, perhaps not even in the same state as the office they're expected to suddenly show up at.

        Regardless of Yahoo being an internet business, it certainly helps to have members of the same team work in same office.  It's easier to have impromptu discussions to figure out how certain software should be designed, written, etc.  Videoconferencing might work but probably not to the same degree as having everyone in the same room with a whiteboard to write up ideas.

        •  This is true. Google didn't get to be so great (5+ / 0-)

          by telecommuting. It got people physically together in a collective, collaborative, CREATIVE environment.  Scientists work in labs- again, inter-communication critical to success.  Telecommuting is NOT for everyone.  I'm glad the diarist can work with the music on, but again, that is not for everyone.  Spontaneity is much more difficult (if not impossible) if people are not physically together. Color me as curmudgeonly if you must, but the virtual reality still pales next to the real one.
          Disclosure: I am an architect, so physical interaction with colleagues, consultants (engineers and builders) is critical to what we do.  But I cannot imagine any substitute for the "studio", whether as a student in university or working in an office.

    •  One person's distraction is another's frustration (5+ / 0-)

      While you may love the lack of "distractions" when working from home, you perhaps fail to see it from the perspective of your co-workers who may really need to "distract" you - i.e. get your attention.

      We have a work at home policy only on an as-needed basis.  Invariably, someone in the office needs to get hold of that person, or needs info from them.  While emailing or a phone call can often resolve the needs of the co-worker, sometimes it simply cannot.  Often, a quick conference of three or more workers is needed.

      So, in my experience, it is more often disruptive from the office perspective.  That said.. A slight disruption felt office-wide every once in a while should be tolerated to allow for the needs of the worker that needs to stay home occasionally.

      But, as a regular practice?  Every day?  Depends on the position, of course.  But I can't imagine having a company-wide policy that allows it regularly.

      And I did not even mention the distractions that home working put on people.. kids, spouses, etc.

      •  My company does. (5+ / 0-)

        Many of us work from home.  And with the tools we have available IM, conferencing, e-mails, phones.... I do not find coordination to be problematic at all.

        "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

        by newfie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:50:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can't say i've ever experienced any (5+ / 0-)

          serious adverse affects on the work of my division. The type of work we do is fairly independent, and a delay of a day if someone is out of the office usually isn't going to blow up the whole system. Sometimes what I do is save my administrative busy work that I can hold off on doing for my telework day (uploading documents into our server, doing administrative cleanup of files, writing memos etc) so that when I'm in the office I can focus on my bigger projects that require working with my team instead of getting stuck in the administrative type work.

    •  My productivity is lower. (5+ / 0-)

      I get noticeably more done per hour when I am in the office.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:08:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Same here. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jayden, Eyesbright

        There is more to distract me at home than at the office, namely three cats and two dogs who pester me for attention all day.  I also don't have a desk or a proper table to sit at, so I sit on the couch with my laptop.

        I don't enjoy working from home.  I only do it when I can't get to the office for one reason or another (weather, sick, etc.).

        "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

        by Silvia Nightshade on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 05:36:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Someone's got a big hatchet. nt (12+ / 0-)

    You said the air was singing / it's calling you, you don't believe / These things you've never seen / Never heard, never dreamed.

    by CayceP on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:28:45 AM PST

    •  Yeah. My first thought was not that it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CayceP, cassandracarolina, jayden

      was about "collaboration" or "work efficiencies."

      It's about reducing the workforce without assuming the pesky costs of laying people off like severance and increased unemployment insurance costs.

      A corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law. --John Marshall

      by DoLooper on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 03:49:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  and you'll still have to take calls at 7AM (16+ / 0-)

    and 9PM, right? It's a global world now, esp in technology. I do a 12 hr day every day, but I do it mostly from home. Travel is wasted time.

    I'd like to see small businesses, even coffee shops, with conference rooms by the hour, because I do miss the wide bandwidth of f2f.

  •  That's because you're lazy and irresponsible. (18+ / 0-)
    Most of us don't have a nanny, housekeeper, errand person, personal shopper, dog walker, or other domestic staff on our payroll.
    If you would just put down the bong and turn off Jerry Springer, you too would certainly have these things.

    It is more important to be a confident and articulate speaker than to know jack shit about anything.

    by VictorLaszlo on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:29:39 AM PST

  •  She's a small % right, in my experience, (34+ / 0-)

    if an employee only telecommutes, then over time workplace relationships tend to deteriorate.  But it's a big mistake to cut out the practice altogether.  Especially after it had been accepted.

    I have one staff member who telecommutes 1-2 days a week, and the upshot is that he stays with our organization instead of bolting to a competitor that wouldn't offer the same.  He is terrific and if he needed to telecommute another day per week I'd probably say Yes to it.

    But again, if he were to telecommute every day, never showing in the office to interact, he would not be able to perform as well.  I think it depends on the job, some of them require more person-to-person collegiality than others.  It's a shame that in Yahoo's case, Meyer didn't allow for variances/gradation, and simply brought an axe down on the whole thing.

  •  I telecomute part time (15+ / 0-)

    I am an academic. I am on campus 3 days a week, usually 10 hours a day teaching, administrative work and meetings with faculty and students. I work from home 2 days a week the stuff that would get constantly interrupted during my campus days..Research, writing curricula, reports etc..Weekends used for field work at times. Right now, today,  I finished the next two weeks worth of class presentations, mid term exams written, graded 40 papers..and worked with a major grantee with about 15 email exchanges..and did some assessment curriculum development work...Yes I am home today, being productive, barefoot and watching birds..

    Do something...marinedefenders.com

    by profewalt on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:37:40 AM PST

  •  I foresee a brain drain in a certain company.... (21+ / 0-)

    I also would not be surprised if they will use this as an excuse to off shore some of the coding stuff.

  •  With increased use of videoconferencing (12+ / 0-)

    the luster of working from home lost its bloom for me. My most productive, er, apparel falls into the NSFW category.

  •  telecommuting = easier outsourcing (15+ / 0-)

    We used to have a huge software group.  But then the programmers said "Hey, I can code from home, why should I drive into the office?"  So more and more coders stayed home and remote logged in.  Their offices here in the building got emptier and emptier.

    But then management got a big idea.  Why should they pay Americans to telecommute from home, when they could hire programmers in India or Poland for much less?
    Almost overnight, 80% of our American programmers were fired, and we got huge new software design centers in Bangalore and Krackow.

    Happily I am a hardware engineer, and you can't send physical hardware through a wire.  I come into work every day because I need my lab equipment.

    So I think it's a VERY GOOD THING that Yahoo wants everyone physically together in one building.  Makes it much more likely that individual jobs will be outsourced.

  •  Certainly sucks for the employees who weren't (21+ / 0-)

    abusing telecommuting.  New CEO's like to do this stuff to show they are making changes, impress the business media and board members - she is just throwing her weight around.  Will it improve productivity?  Who knows.  That is only secondary.

    A company I worked for hired consultants who advised that all employees should be forced to track their time.  The theory, I guess, was that there would be less time wasted if you had to account for each minute of the day.  What really happened is that it increased the stress of the employees; the honest people were fretting about the time, the lazy people were just lying, and the middle managers had to deal with employees who were spending more time worrying about time than thinking about how to satisfy customers.   What started out as a company that had seen people stay in relatively low-level jobs for 4-5 years, just because they liked working there, turned into a company that now sees regular turnover.  No one stays more than 2 years.  

    Oh and they never saw an increase in profits (I know this b/c I was friends with the GM).  Mostly because the reason they were losing money didn't have anything to do with the employees, but was the result of the economy.  

  •  Had a friend who worked for Yahoo (18+ / 0-)

    He enjoyed the flexible hours they offered; he dealt a lot with folks in Europe and Asia, so preferred working odd hours though he'd still go in the office to work, often taking off a few hours in the middle of the day for his own activities. (He left several years ago when it was rumored Microsoft was going to buy out Yahoo -- in his words, "Do I really want to become a Microserf?")

    When you're dealing with a global industry, some form of flexibility is going to be required; it makes no sense to require an employee to come in from 8-5 when the majority of his clients are not in their office. I temped for several years in the tech industry; while I never telecommuted, I was able to set my own schedule and my bosses appreciated it when I requested an earlier schedule starting at 6 am, so I could handle the overnight and East Coast help requests before the rest of the team came in. I'd hope that Meyer will at least keep that in mind, and maybe eventually find that allowing some limited telecommuting isn't going to destroy workplace camaraderie.

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:55:21 AM PST

  •  The quality of Yahoo's recent home page upgrade... (5+ / 0-)

    ...probably drove this decision.  It's clear that no one at Yahoo really looked at the changes before the home page redesign was rolled out last week.

    This is what you get when you let web designers design while sitting on the couch, simultaneously watching Jerry Springer and eating Häagen-Dazs.  

    /snark

    "Mitt who? That's an odd name. Like an oven mitt, you mean? Oh, yeah, I've got one of those. Used it at the Atlas Society BBQ last summer when I was flipping ribs."

    by Richard Cranium on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:55:46 AM PST

    •  Though to be fair (3+ / 0-)

      Every interface redesign of every site is initially met with resounding jeers.

      Just about every one.

      It's not the design, usually. It's the change. People hate it when something they use regularly changes.

      I use Yahoo mail and it drove me bonkers when they last changed the email interface. But I got used to it, and now it's fine.

      This will be the same way.

  •  This is a terrible climate-change move. (32+ / 0-)

    More Yahoo employees getting in their cars and schlepping it to the office means more carbon emissions.

    We need to increase the number of people telecommuting, not decrease it.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:05:36 AM PST

    •  We have a winner! Spot on JamesGG! (13+ / 0-)

      On the one hand, companies are booting people out of offices and parking them in low-square-footage cubicle farms to save on energy and real estate costs. However, the bigger carbon footprint comes from people idling in traffic on the way to work. Companies truly concerned about sustainability are empowering their employees to telecommute, even if it means helping them finance home office infrastructure to do it.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:24:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Umm, not necessarily (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM, FG

      Many people have their home thermostat set for "work" settings that make it more energy efficient. By being home and working, they might not necessarily keep this setting. Also, if this is in the summer or it's always warm where they live, the heat from their computer and body in general is going to add to the heat gain their air conditioner will have to deal with.

      It's possible that the industrial grade HVAC systems are running sufficiently more efficient (larger systems tend to be more efficient than smaller per BTU) that the increased load from the employee now working onsite is small enough that the delta between energy consumed at home and energy consumed getting to/from the office are offset by the savings depending on the automobile the employee owns, whether they can use public transportation and how far away they live.

      In short, while it's possible this is true, it's not necessarily. And unless a company building is terribly energy inefficient, you can be sure that the energy required to heat/cool a large facility is smaller than the sum of the homes of all the individuals added together unless the building is terribly oversized for the number of employees.

      •  that may be true for certain parts of the US (7+ / 0-)

        but in the Bay Area, where Yahoo and a great many large tech companies are located, there's not a whole lot of weather to compensate for. And our traffic was recently listed as 2nd worst in the nation, behind Washington DC. This means a lot more idling engines and wasted gas.

      •  Not sure there is data to support that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cassandracarolina

        A lot of stuff is quite dated. This looks like the most comprehensive.

        The Telework Research Network

        The best, most current analysis. Telecommuting Benefits: The Bottom Line.

        It still doesn't calculate what one commenter put the choice as:

        "drive, heat the office and use reduced heat at home" vs "don't drive and heat the home."
        TRN has developed two different calculators for people (free) and businesses (60 customizable variables).

        The push for more energy efficiency at home has been building for years. People like me keep the thermostat at 65 all winter and 78 all summer, and have for years. Left a message at TRN to ask about this.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 06:47:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If significant investment in home efficiency has (0+ / 0-)

          been made by a homeowner including a high efficiency HVAC system AND they keep the settings in an efficient range like you (and we) do, then yes I would imagine the total energy consumed by that one worker at home is probably less than if they were at work.

          I would note that I've seen MANY women at work put heaters  under their desks (even in summer) unless specifically prohibited because very often they are more cold natured than men (in my experience at least). In the places I've seen where businesses prohibit them, the women tend to wear warmer clothes. Do they do that at home or crank the heat up in the winter?

          Of course in the summer, their lack of A/C use probably would offset that at least a bit if not completely depending on their climate.

    •  I was on the phone with a HR rep for a position (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, cassandracarolina, llywrch

      at a good company over an hour away in a neighboring state.  I said I thought it was really too far. She countered with people were commuting over 2 hrs (one way), like this was a good thing.  At which point I was so tempted to point out given the nature of climate change, maybe she shouldn't be quite so positive about it.  But I chickened out.  

      So, I have my hopes set on the interview for the job that is 2.2 miles from home.  I can have a life! Cook dinner! See my husband & child! Play with the cats! Work out at the gym! Maybe clean the house to my MIL's exacting standards... yeah, right.

  •  As someone who has worked from home (20+ / 0-)

    for the past 10 years, I know my employer gets WAY more out of me than they would if I had to commute. So much so that there are days when I do wish I had to commute.

    It's now gotten to the point where many of my colleagues feel on call 24x7 and it's increasingly hard to set limits. I fear that's the reality in Corporate America today, and Yahoo will want to have it both ways. Demand people are in the office and then available at a moment's notice when away from the office.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:14:01 AM PST

    •  You are sadly clairvoyant, Vita Brevis (12+ / 0-)
      I fear that's the reality in Corporate America today, and Yahoo will want to have it both ways. Demand people are in the office and then available at a moment's notice when away from the office.
      This is only possible in a "down" economy. When things pick up and the "war for talent" really ramps up, employees will not need to remain prisoners of economic circumstance. Companies will have to offer all manner of lifestyle incentives to attract and retain the people they need.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:26:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep (9+ / 0-)

        Our telecommuting push began during the dot.com boom when our company was viewed as stodgy and old  and we were losing people right and left. Then it became a financial benefit since we could shed real estate.

        Now it's fairly cemented but you are almost totally on your own. Used to get reimbursed for internet costs. Gone. Used to get a 2nd phone line covered. Nope. Need a printer? Buy your own. Cell phone reimbursement? Only if you are customer facing. Oh but we'll "let" you hook up all your personal devices  to our network (so we can call / email you on your time) provided you install our software. No thanks. That's why I have two laptops on my desk and why I'm writing this on the one that's mine and NOT hooked up to my company's network.

        We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

        by Vita Brevis on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:05:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My former dysfunctional employer (9+ / 0-)

          has begun instituting "BYOD" (bring your own device) where employees now have to provide their own cell phone and soon their own computer! This isn't just for telecommuters; it's for people in the office too! As if you have the buying power that a major global corporation has when negotiating a cell phone plan or laptop purchase. Yeah, same deal: they want to load you up with their [monitoring] software. It's the absolute worst of worlds. People who think it's cool that they can get their company e-mail on their personal iPhone or iPad are finding out that IT can access all sorts of personal stuff. You are right to keep your systems separate.

          Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

          by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:11:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thankfully my employer has strict policies (11+ / 0-)

            disallowing personal devices to access the network or corporate e-mail and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Not that I want my work e-mail on my personal iPhone. Not in a million years.

            But I'll be honest. I'm a Mac guy stuck using a shitty Windows laptop at work, when everything I currently do I probably could do on a Mac (and use Parallels for the odd Windows only thing). If my employer told me "We'll give you this Windows laptop, or you can bring your own Mac", I'd probably drop the money for a MacBook Pro just for work related purposes (as I wouldn't use my personal MacBook Pro. I believe in keeping work and personal life separate).

            I'm surprised, with security being such a big deal in the IT world, that employers would want employees to bring their own equipment. Any cost savings would be negated when some employee inevitably infects everybody else on the corporate network with a virus they got while downloading porn at home.

            "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

            by yg17 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:24:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Bring your own phone (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cassandracarolina

            When my husband began at a startup, they did not issue phones to those who didn't talk to customers (which was most of the software engineers).  I figured it was an early days thing, but they never, ever bothered getting phones. They figured everyone could use their own.

    •  Exactly (12+ / 0-)

      My husband works for NetApp. He is expected to be at the office five days a week, but also keeping on top of things while at home as well. I can't even remember the last time we took a vacation where he didn't log in every single day to do work. He never truly has a day off.

      Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

      by moviemeister76 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:26:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  moviemeister76, this is the sad truth for many (4+ / 0-)

        I'm guilty of checking e-mail on vacation myself. Now that I run my on business, that's my lifestyle choice to make, not an external demand placed upon me.

        Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

        by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:29:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And it then becomes something that's expected of (12+ / 0-)

        everyone all the time. I was grateful that I had the flexibility to work from my mom's hospital room and then home last year when she underwent some surgery. It was a win win for me and for my employer.

        A few months later when I was taking scheduled and much needed vacation and said no I won't have my (work) laptop, people thought I was kidding.

        Sunday morning conference call requests are increasing. If people want to attribute my lack of availability to piety, I'm not going to stop them. In reality I don't go to church but damned if I'm giving up my pancake time and it's the freaking principle.

        We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

        by Vita Brevis on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:55:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In the late 90's the home care agency (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cassandracarolina, llywrch

        I worked for had gone to laptops. While we usually had to take some paper work home, the software was so inefficient it increased the evening work hours.

        So when I was frantically trying to get all the paperwork finished to leave on my two week summer vacation one of the other nurses asked why I wasn't taking it.  Aside from the absolute violation of completely disconnecting from work for vacation, I said "We go camping, no electricity." She said "Plug it into a currant bush."

        It is interesting to me to think of the changes in home care since then (let alone my first job in '79) as compared to telecommuting. Since the travel time was part of the job, (including delivering lab specimens) gas was high; and the reimbursement for mileage really did not cover the more frequent brake replacements, etc.

        The daily time sheet is a full 8.5 x 11 NCR nightmare. Patient name, ID number, visit code (IV, wound...) the time you arrive, the time you leave, mileage with odometer readings, total visit time, driving time, do it all over if you go to a lab with a specimen. Then there is paperwork time, office time (supplies, etc.), office meetings, training, ....  I had to use them as a field supervisor to assess productivity. Managed to use them to show how my team was driving more miles in less time - partly because we kept driving to the another team's area to do the first (longest) visits for them. We changed that to doing quick revisits to let them do the admit visits. Funny how some managers can't figure real productivity out.

        At least 5 years ago the nurses had cut way back on actually going to the office before or after visits. 2 times a week is standard for staff meetings, collecting supplies and paperwork or turning it in. The paperwork can also be dropped off at satellite boxes or mailed if there is no other reason to go to the main location. The main reason you spend more that 90 minutes in the office is visiting with other field or office staff.

        The other tech change for home and rural care is telehealth. The family member or patient can put the specialized stethescope, BP cuff, thermometer, scale, and camera on the patient so the provider at the other end can do an assessment.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:28:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mayer has a reputation as bullying control freak. (17+ / 0-)

    This isn't about "the bottom line."  
    It's the only way she knows how to exert authority, because she lacks confidence that people will respect her otherwise.  And she obviously doesn't respect the employees enough to trust they'll do the work without her looking over their shoulders.  
     I've worked for these types before.  And as a female trained professional myself, who's more than capable of doing work on my own, I detest those types of women who treat their subordinates like children.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:29:29 AM PST

  •  I would bet they are doing this (5+ / 0-)

    to get people to resign and "cut costs"

  •  I saw this story on Reddit and a good comment (3+ / 0-)

    jumped out.

    Anything you can do from home can be done from an office on the other side of the world and probably for cheaper.

  •  Hello Cassandracarolina (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    I just came in and noticed your diary. I have not read it. I am
    quite busy on the phone to Texas and writing note to folks back there.

    I will come back later to read it. Glad to see you around although I see it is crossposted. Nonetheless its good.

    See ya in a while.

    Old men tell same old stories

    by Ole Texan on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:15:20 PM PST

  •  Unfortunately, she's right (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, agent, NYFM, Odysseus

    I run a small software company.  I don't mind employees working form home one day a week or more if there is a special situation.  I also don't expect people to travel in rush hours, myself included.

    But, you lose the creative spark with no one to bounce ideas off of.  

    Working through a design or a problem is far quicker in person than setting up web meetings or whatever technology you use.

    I like to work from home when I have a deadline and need to get my head down uninterrupted.  Other than that, I want to be at the office.

    Besides, if you live alone, don't you want to be around people?  If the answer is no, you have a different problem.

    One last thing:  I am pretty sure I don't get 8 hours out of my one employee that does work full time from home.  He's a wing nut anyway, I can be sure he does not read DK.

    •  Clearly, it depends on the work to be done (5+ / 0-)

      Some things do benefit from face-to-face interaction, planned or spontaneous. Other things, like writing a report, developing a cost estimate, or making phone calls that require a quiet environment free of interruption can be done better at hoe (for some of us).

      It also depends on the employee, and the circumstances of "home". If your home office is a picnic table in the back yard with screaming toddlers and barking dogs, that may not be the ideal spot to field client calls. Likewise, if you're a loner given to bouts of melancholy, being around other people might help (or then again, it might make it a lot worse!)

      That's why I am opposed to blanket policies on telecommuting. I know it's "easier" for the CEO to envision and impose, but it robs employees of their individuality and humanity.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:20:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Creativity does not always come from interaction (7+ / 0-)

      Sometimes it comes from having quiet time to marinate the ideas on ones own.  I agree that interaction is vital to most business and development enterprises.  But quiet time is necessary, too.  That doesn't necessarily mean telecommuting, it just means quiet space in the office.

      I thought it would be great if our open floor plan at work included a few "nooks" where people could escape for some quiet time.

    •  well put (5+ / 0-)

      Agree with you completely.

      I work in IT in the financial sector. I go to the office 4 days a week, work from home 1 day a week. Exceptions to this are if I have a special situation that requires me to stay home more than 1 day a week, or if there's something going on at work where I and the rest of my team would benefit from my coming in all 5 days.

      Like others have said, there is value in quiet time. But brainstorming is best done in the office (and in the shower, I can't explain that).

      Besides, if you live alone, don't you want to be around people?  If the answer is no, you have a different problem.
      I had to chuckle at this. IT seems full of people who are proud of being hermits. I usually bite my tongue and don't say what I'm thinking, so I'm glad you did. Not liking people is simply not healthy.
      •  Yep, I live alone so I like going into work (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        agent, llywrch

        And the crapper is also a great place for brainstorming. The toilet is where man (and woman) has come up with all great ideas since the beginning of time.

        Think about it. It's the one place on a daily basis where you can sit down and truly do nothing except think ;)

        "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

        by yg17 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:30:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I so get the shower thing - I too have solved (3+ / 0-)

        some of the issues I was having with some code while in the shower.

        Sometimes it is really good to do the brainstorming with others around - bounce ideas off each other - solve the coding issue, whatever.

  •  The Yahoo product is awful (5+ / 0-)

    From the news division, which is little more than bias, gossip and gimmick; to the interface itself, Yahoo is a third-rate product in a competitive marketplace.

    I doubt physical presence has more to do with it than a weak vision or what would work best, but I know I'd want some people in proximity to repair this disaster.

    From what I've seen, that company's leadership is nowhere near up to the challenge.

  •  It's all about "control." (4+ / 0-)

    Some personalities, once put "in charge," must make everyone know they are in charge. They need to collect them in a circle around them, so that they can see and control their domain, and their domain can see that they are in control.

    Liberals: Taking crap for being right since before you were born. - Driftglass (and the amazing Professional Left Podcast at http://professionalleft.blogspot.com/)

    by briefer on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:55:34 PM PST

    •  I'm a baby boomer and I wouldn't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nowhere Man, aitchdee

      put up with that sort of crap. I doubt anyone younger would, either, unless they want Ms. Mayer to take over for a helicopter parent. Without trust, Yahoo will perish.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:14:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My guess is that this is simply one more sign (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cassandracarolina, madhaus

        that Yahoo is circling the drain.

        When I started reading your diary, CC, I quickly recalled high tech articles from 12-14 months ago announcing that Yahoo was in trouble.

        This change Mayer has implemented reminds me the old phrase of "bayoneting the survivors": a lot of the smart people at Yahoo -- the ones the company badly needs to stay in business -- have been leaving, & the good ones who are left are doing so out of loyalty. This is simply gives them one more reason to leave.

        Then again, maybe there is a large proportion of fuck-ups currently at Yahoo, the people who know they're not qualified & won't get a job for this much money anywhere. But I doubt Mayer & her HR hatchet woman would know how to identify this deadwood & get rid of it; it's a skill few managers have.

  •  Find part-time telecommuting works best for me (6+ / 0-)

    I would miss the face-to-face interactions if i telecommuted full-time.
    But it definitely saves wear and tear on me and my vehicle.
    And i do get more work done and work longer hours on the days i telecommute than the days i go into the office.
    and many companies are becoming more and more global with increasing "off shore" components where people being in the same office is not possible.
    But the downside is that once again corporations are often getting people connected 24/7, working all sort of hours, and still paying them for 40 hours of work - at most.

    Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

    by kenwards on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:57:27 PM PST

    •  Very true, kenwards (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kenwards, aitchdee, Ginny in CO
      But the downside is that once again corporations are often getting people connected 24/7, working all sort of hours, and still paying them for 40 hours of work - at most.
      The modern business "deal" is getting 1.5-2X employees' worth of output from one employee. This is only working because we're in a "down" economy where fear is still a viable motivator.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:16:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep - see it all the time where i work (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cassandracarolina, aitchdee

        And living it - they've been getting 1.5 people's worth of work out of me for a while now.
        Project managers flag the issue that the project is understaffed vs the amount of work that needs to get done by the due date. But everyone knows it won't change, at least not in the short term.

        Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

        by kenwards on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:22:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am in my 20th year (13+ / 0-)

    of telecommuting from home for a Silicon Valley company I've been been employed by now for 25 years.

    I interact nearly 7 days a week with my co-workers and customer engineers in the US and India over email, IM, and tele-conference. I travel to the home office less than once per quarter. I take all the normal vacations, holidays, and comp time that is available to me. The company pays for my business phone and internet service. Because I don't occupy an office, I am cheaper to the company from an overhead point of view. My productivity far surpasses others who are tied to an office. I need little to no direction from management to be successful each year with my corporate and personal goals and responsibilities.

    Am I unique? No. Does it take a certain kind of person to do what I do? Certainly. Should people like me be able to do what I do? Of course. Is it easy staying connected and engaged with what is going on in the office environment? Not easy at all. It takes a great deal of effort to maintain good working relationships, respect, and confidence from management, peers, and customers.

    Yahoo is clearly a company in decline if it insists on following through with such a foolish mandate. Thankfully my employer is not Yahoo.

    •  Thank you for these insights, PresentMoment (3+ / 0-)

      All very true, and all perfectly logical as a way of conducting modern business. What's the point of having nearly seamless global interconnectivity if nobody uses it?

      It's particularly ironic that a global company whose business is connecting us to one another and disseminating and sharing information wants to retreat into the technical dark ages to carry out their mission.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:18:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Face time" is a big fad here in high tech (11+ / 0-)

    "If you force people to interact non-stop for hours face-to-face, then great things happen."  This is one of the myths that I have to deal with every day.

    I'm happy to go into my office every day, since it is a short walk from home (in SF).  But I definitely need quiet time not surrounded by incessant chatter to get my work done.

    •  Incessant chatter, indeed, catsynth (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sandblaster, llywrch

      Between getting up at 5:15 a.m. to beat the traffic and then spending the work day trying to block out extraneous noise, conversation, interruptions, and other distractions, I ended every "commuting day" stressed out and exhausted, and ashamed at how little I'd managed to accomplish. Working at home, I was energized, productive, and amazed at how much more I could do, and how much better my mind was functioning.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:20:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I telecommute on an as needed basis (3+ / 0-)

    I am thankful I have that option available to me. When the roads were an ice skating rink last week, it was nice not having to attempt to drive into the office. When I need to be home for a repair or delivery, it's great not having to waste a vacation day. I save on gas, the commute from my bed to my desk can't be beat, and I can wake up at 6:59 to begin working at my usual 7 AM start time.

    But, I still have a love/hate relationship with telecommuting. No way would I ever do it every day. Or even on a regular basis. I definitely feel like I'm missing out on all of the interactions in the office. It's just too easy to bounce a question or idea off the person sitting in the cube next to me. Phones, instant messaging and screen sharing will never replace daily interactions with coworkers in the office. Even non-work related stuff like going out to lunch with coworkers and shooting the shit about random stuff. I miss that when at home. I worked from home last Thursday and Friday due to weather and was glad to be back in the office today.

    Not saying I agree with her decision to eliminate all telecommuting, especially occasional telecommuting for specific reasons (weather, etc) but her points aren't entirely invalid. If I were a manager, I'm not sure if I'd want my employees telecommuting on a permanent basis either.

    "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

    by yg17 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:17:23 PM PST

    •  yg17, this is precisely why companies (4+ / 0-)

      should offer some flexibility in telecommuting as warranted based on the employee, the job, the needs of the customer, and other factors.

      For many years, I had an employee who was based at a customer's location. I visited him once or twice a year and spoke with him every week. I knew that he was getting the job done, and I trusted him. The problem at Yahoo is that everyone's now working for someone who seems uable to trust them unless she can walk around and see them. That's a hugely limiting management style.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:22:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I especially appreciated this observation (10+ / 0-)
    Those who heed the call will typically be the more gifted, visionary, entrepreurial folks. They'll have no difficulty landing new jobs where their bright ideas, individuality, and flexibility will be seen as "features" rather than "bugs". They'll be the innovators that help Yahoo's competitors continue to eat Yahoo's lunch.
    In the short and short-sighted term, this may help Yahoo's bottom line look better.  But it won't actually help them better compete in the business world.  Those that remain will generally be less satisfied employees, with less incentive to go the extra mile for their company.  

    For about 2 1/2 years, I was self-employed.  This occurred after my son was born and I found myself absolutely hating being back in the office 9:00 to 5:00.  I was fortunate that a single client came along that needed me pretty much fulltime, but my hours could be flexible.  I could do a lot of the work late at night if I wanted.  We had a small condo, and I turned one of the bedrooms into my office.  The mornings could be leisurely - I would take my son to the babysitter by 8:30 or 9:00; I worked solid for about 5 hours, then picked him back up after his nap was over, spent the afternoons and evening with him; then back to work when he went to sleep.  

    My only problem was that I found it quite easy to become a hermit.  I didn't miss office interactions (aka politics and gossiping).  It was great, except for the self-employment taxes.

    I now work about 2 1/2 miles from my home, in a small two-person office.  It's as close to working on your own as possible :)  I was just counting my blessings this morning on my way to work - thankful to have a good employer, a lot of autonomy, a peaceful work environment, short commute, etc.  I'm sure I could have earned more if I'd stuck with a corporate job, but I doubt I would have been anywhere near as content as I am with my modest career.

    It's probably wrong but I hope Yahoo continues to slide, due to the dumbasses at the helm.

    •  one of 8, thanks for these observations (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoregon, one of 8

      When the economy picks up, people will gravitate to employers who offer them not just challenging work and good compensation, but a lifestyle that enables them to thrive. Marissa Mayer may be taking advantage of the down economy to work her latest magic, but it's a day late and a dollar short. I hope for the sake of Yahoo employees caught in this ill-considered decision that they find better jobs with Yahoo's competitors.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:26:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the people who have options (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madhaus, cassandracarolina

      My impression is that when CEOs do things like this they think they are...I don't know...shaking up the slackers? Maybe dislodging the dead wood?

      The thing is, the people who quit are most likely the ones who have options. The people who have options are the ones with the most marketable skills. So sure, a CEO can make some people quit, it just might not be the people you want to quit.

      There is also a way of thinking that you often see in conservatives, though I have no idea what the Yahoo CEO's persuasions are. You can still have a system that works well even when there are some people who abuse the system. Nonetheless, a certain type of person is driven mad by the idea that someone is getting something they don't deserve. Ergo, to scratch that psychological itch the boss will punish the deserving and undeserving alike.  

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

      by Joe Bob on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:21:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sounds pretty sucky for the workers with kids. (3+ / 0-)

    As for the customer's, I'm thinking about changing to bing, i don't like the new front page.

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:32:28 PM PST

  •  This decision will almost surely help Yahoo (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, NYFM

    I'm self employed, hard-working, focused yada yada ...  But when I work in the office (5 minute drive, 1 or 2 other people max, I'm often there alone) I get more work done period.  At home it's too easy to get distracted by the cat, take a nap, watch a little MSNBC, offer to pick up the kids from school, whatever.  It's human nature and my salary (aka profit) depends directly on how much work I get done.   For those on straight salary I would suspect the motivation to be productive decreases even further.

    Sucks for you but maybe you can start a consulting business or search out another employer that will let you work at home.  

    However, blaming the boss for trying to increase productivity sounds like sour grapes to me.

    Good luck.

    •  Well, your results may vary... it really depends (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle

      on the person and the job, and many other factors. Keep in mind that many people work away from the office at customer sites, hotels, airports, on commuter trains, and elsewhere where the boss can't observe them directly. Some of these telecommuters are highly sought-after people who could easily get another job. Their current employers recognize that and reward loyalty with job flexibility.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:44:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's happening to me right now (10+ / 0-)

    My firm is setting up a "service center" in an area of the country that has a much lower prevailing wage than where they are currently located. Even those of us who work 100% remote are being relocated to the new facility. Of course, my "new" current job will pay about 25% lower than what I earn now and those of us who work in the office will be getting an even bigger cut. There will be no relocation service other than a one-time payment. I can't afford to take that kind of cut, so I'm not going.

    Let me tell you, it's a pretty shitty feeling having your job outsourced to people within your own country.

    I'm sure this was sold as a significant cost-savings to ownership, and of course, greed rules everything in America.

    This is what the CEO class engages in these days. Rather than making a company more productive or efficient-- they cut salaries, force others to embrace mediocrity, then move on to the next target. The only beneficiaries are themselves. A pestilence of locusts.

    They have no real idea how to create profitability unless its at someone's expense.

    •  Sorry to hear this, rightiswrong (5+ / 0-)

      After 37 years in the corporate world, though, I am not surprised at your assessment:

      This is what the CEO class engages in these days. Rather than making a company more productive or efficient-- they cut salaries, force others to embrace mediocrity, then move on to the next target. The only beneficiaries are themselves. A pestilence of locusts.

      They have no real idea how to create profitability unless its at someone's expense.

      They do consider all this a zero-sum game. They can't imagine a world in which there's more pie for all; just a world in which they get the biggest piece.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:48:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just sayin'...... depends upon where that 'new' (3+ / 0-)

      location is, that 25% pay cut may not mean any lifestyle changes.  With what I understand housing costs in California being, a 25% cut to be located within 3 hours drive of Chicago would be an increase in disposable income, generally.  But, I do get what you're saying about pitting workers against each other whether it be county or state location changes.

    •  This seems old, not new, to me. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cassandracarolina

      When I was just entering the workforce, there was a somewhat shocked news article saying that a large tech company (who I will not name) had been forced to have layoffs.  The subtext of that article was that management had screwed the pooch pretty badly, and the company was in trouble.

      At that time, when companies were ashamed to have to lay people off, the joke was that IBM stood for "I've Been Moved."  They aren't laying you off, but your job is now in Wilks-Barre, Pennsylvania.  

      As long as you don't care which 25 percent of the workforce you lose, this is an effective headcount reduction technique.  

      Now of course, CEOs brag about culling staff any way they can.  I don't think things have gotten more cold blooded, just a lot more blatent.

      Sorry to hear you're getting the shaft in this way.

  •  Telecommuting costs LESS for businesses (3+ / 0-)

    No overhead! No extra space, office furniture, heating/cooling, office supplies. The employees report a higher quality of life, and they demonstrably get more done.

  •  office space costs money (2+ / 0-)

    do they even have the capacity to provide a desk for all of these people, parking spaces, phones, etc.

    My heroes have the heart to live the life I want to live.

    by JLFinch on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:02:05 PM PST

  •  I telecommuted for 3 years and loved it. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfarrah, cassandracarolina, Joe Bob

    I was more productive because I wasn't driving 45 minutes to work each day, and I was available basically 24-7.

    That didn't stop the company from laying me off once I hit 50, and I think the telecommuting made it easier. I had never even seen the face of the guy who fired me; he was a hatchet man brought in especially to cut the workforce. My layoff was a phone call and a doorbell ring from the FedEx guy with my severance papers.

    I did, however, have a bit of hope when I heard a 20-something young businessman/entrepreneur at a business conference expressing his disdain for having to have, as he put it, everyone in one building. With modern technology, there is no reason anyone who needed to be brought together couldn't be part of the business group as required. It's also so much more eco-friendly. It would seem to be cheaper as well, because the company doesn't have to rent a big office space and pay the utilities, buy furniture, etc.

    I think this Yahoo! CEO just wants to make sure she has total control over the employees. And instead of inspiring creativity, she's simply going to be stifling it.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:02:43 PM PST

    •  It is probably true that laying off (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sandblaster, llywrch

      the telecommuters is a lot "easier" for a company, and nowadays, even the layoff process is quick and painful. You're typically out that same day. Turn in your company phone, computer, credit card, documents, and clear out your belongings. As a telecommuter, you may already have wisely streamlined your office belongings for that walk of shame to the parking garage.

      I don't know what Yahoo!s future will look like, but my suspicion is that their best and brightest are already on the move. Nobody wants to have people think they can't take a hint.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:45:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yahoo = Devolving into obsolescence (3+ / 0-)

    In the 90s, it was the latest, greatest thing -- a search engine that could find anything on the web, and it quickly clobbered all the other competitors. Early employees and investors got rich as Mammon on the IPO.

    Then along came Google. And now the other lurking behemoth is Bing. Yahoo has become a has-been, and this kind of regressive move is exactly the kind of aggressively anti-worker thing a company will do when they can't innovate themselves back into relevancy.

    "Don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine. They fall right out of the sky." -- Kaywinnit Lee Frye

    by Technowitch on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:04:43 PM PST

  •  Google comparisons off (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, jfinsocal, cassandracarolina

    The comparisons to Google are a bit off.  Mayer is bringing in some of Google's practices to Yahoo.  Based on talks by Google project managers, Google went from having teams distributed all over the place to centralizing them in locations. E.g. all the members of team X would be in the Mountain View location.  They did this because they discovered that distributed teams tended to be much less productive than having teams located in the same office where they could collaborate.  Right now the only people telecommuting at google are the support people.

    Also, there's the security aspects to things.   It's easier to secure data and source code if you limit it to machines located in the office.  E.g. Google developers aren't allowed to have source code on their laptops, they can only access it from their desktops in their office.  A lot of data breaches that occurred in the past could have been avoided if people didn't have customer or client information on their laptops which they ended up loosing.  

  •  Is this satire? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfinsocal, cassandracarolina

    Are you really shitting on Yahoo for wanting their employee's to work in the office?  I work in a similar field and I can tell you that yahoo is a company that needs greater internal integration.  The fact that they're heading towards extinction is due to the fact that they're a mess from top to bottom.

    You need your developers to work together in close quarters and if want to minimize the number of bugs in your product... and they have many bugs.

    But no, keep thinking it's the horrible capitalist scum trying to crush the working man.

  •  It might be nice (4+ / 0-)

    if before everybody shows up at the office someone in charge decided what it is the company does.

  •  Totally depends... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taonow, cassandracarolina

    on the nature of the job, the nature of the services being rendered, the corporate culture, the corporate structure, and the financial health of the company.

    I think Yahoo is trying to impress upon people that "we have to work our asses off to right the ship - and quick", and to that end, they might have a point. If they're trying to instill a new culture and sense of urgency among the employees, this is one way of doing that.

    If you have a strong culture already, your company is not in jeopardy of collapse, and things are going well... then some degree of telecommuting is great. In fact, it can even save the company money, if they need less office space.

    My personal cubicle-dwelling perspective is that I have a 10 minute commute, so telecommuting wouldn't really matter much. I already go home for lunch. I realize this isn't practical for a lot of people, but you have to make choices about where you live & work. If you choose to live 50 minutes from your place of work, you have to live with the consequences of that. Personally, I can't understand people who live that way.

    Freedom isn't free. So quit whining and pay your taxes.

    by walk2live on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:18:01 PM PST

    •  Understand this. (5+ / 0-)

      I realize this isn't practical for a lot of people, but you have to make choices about where you live & work. If you choose to live 50 minutes from your place of work, you have to live with the consequences of that. Personally, I can't understand people who live that way.

      Let me try and help your understanding.

      I lived 5-10 minutes from work; until incompetent bosses ended my employment at my old workplace.

      I live 3 blocks from my children's preschool; when I was let go, my partner was just getting involved in school search for next year.

      My partner also doesn't drive, so is restricted to living in areas with decent public transit.  And we've lived in the same place since the kids were born.

      My other housemate also commutes.

      I had a fixed window in which to find a job; the closest actual offer I got was a minimum 60-minute commute from where I lived.

      As it happens, I now work 60-90 minutes away from my home, with a carpool; I work from home 1 day every 2 weeks, because my carpool doesn't happen that day, and it would be a 90-120 minute commute each way without it.

      So: should I, instead, have uprooted my entire family, cost the other member of the household his job, and moved in a short timespan, simply to shorten my commute?

      Can you understand why I might, in those circumstances, choose to take the longer drive?

      If not, then I admit I can't understand what manner of priorities you have.

      •  Thank you, Montfallcon, for explaining this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        akeitz, madhaus

        better than I could. Many people find themselve with long commutes as companies close, consolidate, and relocate offices, all to save a little money, or hide the whole move under "restructuring costs".

        Many of us simply couldn't afford to live in the upscale communities where we could enjoy a short commute. Furthermore, moving to shorten a commute can be a false economy if your employer once more changes its plans, or stays where they are and decides that you're not part of their plas.

        Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

        by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:51:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I realize everyone has unique situations... (0+ / 0-)

        in the short term, it might have to do. But, to me, finding "a job" with a 60-90 minute commute might as well be a 5 hour commute - in other words, undo-able unless I was willing to move.

        I work with a number of people who have similar commutes.  They could move... to my knowledge they aren't underwater on their homes, or have some kind of unusual family situation, or a spouse who has a job in another direction...

        The number 1 reason I hear for not moving is not wanting to move one's kids to another school in another area. Personally, I think that's nuts. Kids might complain, but they adapt. I realize this might not be your situation, and it's not always so simple... (there may be ex-spouses with custody issues, or whatever). The number 2 reason I hear is that housing is too expensive or just not desirable close to work. Well, again, nobody forces us to work where we work, or live where we live.

        Anyway, if you can live with a long commute as a compromise, that's up to you. If you can find a job that lets you telecommute, that's super. But, I've heard too many people who complain about long commutes when the choice is really theirs. Maybe this doesn't apply in your situation, but it does in many of them.

        In the end, I actually might live with a long commute if I could use transit, and do something other than stare at a road for 2 hours every day.

        Freedom isn't free. So quit whining and pay your taxes.

        by walk2live on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:44:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps you may find it isn't as simple as you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cassandracarolina, llywrch

          think it is, if you should some day lose your job, or find that it changes so much you cannot stay there.

          Then in looking for new work, you find your only offers are very far away.

          It's easy to sit in judgment when your situation is working well for you.  I mentioned above my husband had an amazing 2 miles, no freeway commute and could come home for lunch.  His company was bought by another firm he refused to work for, and he began jobhunting. He received two offers in a city 10 miles away... which is about 45 minutes to get home at night.  There was zero chance of our moving.  Our kids are settled in their schools, we like our neighborhood, we have low Prop 13 taxes (taxes are based on the purchase price of your house and are limited how much they can rise otherwise), and our house is very close to being paid for.

          Why on earth would we screw that up and move?

        •  Ah, that sort of "choice". (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cassandracarolina

          But, to me, finding "a job" with a 60-90 minute commute might as well be a 5 hour commute - in other words, undo-able unless I was willing to move.

          That's fine; no one's saying you have to do a 60-90 minute commute.

          The number 1 reason I hear for not moving is not wanting to move one's kids to another school in another area. Personally, I think that's nuts. Kids might complain, but they adapt.

          Indeed, they do. Of course, not all adaptations are good and healthy ones. (Speaking as someone who went to 5 different schools from 5th through 9th grade)

          The number 2 reason I hear is that housing is too expensive or just not desirable close to work. Well, again, nobody forces us to work where we work, or live where we live.

          Also true; but if all you meant to say was "I prioritize commute time over everything else", you could have said that. ;)

          But, I've heard too many people who complain about long commutes when the choice is really theirs.

          Indeed.  Then again, so many things we do are "choices", even if they feel significantly less optional than one might wish; after all, having a computer is a choice, but one I suspect most of us here on DKos would not think of as one until they had to face the risk of losing theirs.

          We get that you don't like commuting; but next time consider what Personally, I can't understand people who live that way. and But, I've heard too many people who complain about long commutes when the choice is really theirs. sounds like to people who have those commutes, OK?

          We're aware that we've chosen them. It doesn't mean that we like the choices we were offered.

  •  ZOMG, send out the telecommute (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfinsocal

    police! You have to actually go into work? Poor dears! This is the most pretentious, elite post I have seen on here in a while with people actually concerned that they have to go to a job and, god forbid, be there, the WHOLE day. Seriously, people? Let's forget for a moment that many of you seem fine working for these corporations when you can bring your dog to work, or work from home, but complain about greedy corporations when you have to, ya know come to work.....like MOST working class people who are not only lucky to have 'perks' where they work in jammies and use their own technology, but actually HAVE a FREAKIN' JOB!(rant off)

    •  Sorry to have wasted your time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madhaus
      This is the most pretentious, elite post I have seen on here in a while with people actually concerned that they have to go to a job and, god forbid, be there, the WHOLE day.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:52:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Strangely enough (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    I saw this blog posting a couple days ago. The timing is almost eerie.

    Don’t call it a comeback (working remotely)

  •  I thought telecommuting was the future (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    Has anybody talked about the environmental impact of all these people driving into work?

    I agree that some face-to-face time is helpful, but working from home a few days a week makes sense. Especially when you have situations where, for example, a workman or delivery man is showing up at some point during the day and you have to be there for them.

    This should be an accommodation that is up to each manager and work group, not a flat decree from on high.

  •  I actually agree with Marissa Mayer on this (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, FG, taonow, jfinsocal, cassandracarolina

    I don't think telecommuting is a problem but let's face it, telecommuting can be a problem if too many people at a company do it.  It doesn't always ensure people are at the same page every time, unless the person is at his/her desk at the very same time at his/her home as co-workers are in the actual company's office.

    And let's be frank.  Yahoo has been run by idiots ever since the arrogant Yahoo Board and stupid ego minded investor Carl Icahn were pleading Jerry Yang to have Yahoo be bought my Microsoft, which would have never done Microsoft any good to begin with because without an engineer at the help of the tech company, it just cannot survive.

    So Marissa Mayer may get mixed opinions but she's kicking ass and taking names and may actually be the best thing for Yahoo since Jerry Yang first founded the company.  Goodness, the company has to compete against frickin Google and I think Mayer knows it.  

    Now why doesn't Yahoo put Jerry Yang back on the Board where he belongs?  After all, he was an engineer like Mayer was and he founded Yahoo in the first place.

    Lesson learned:  Listen to the engineers, even if you don't always agree with what they're saying.  This ain't working for Bank of America, where all they are about is cutting costs and nothing else.  Thankfully, Mayer's mind is not on "cutting costs."

  •  Telecommuting is essential. (3+ / 0-)

    I can understand having remote employees or even all employees show up in person, say, one day a week. Or when they're on a project that requires it, every day. But an across-the-board dumping of that option is ridiculous.

    We have to change our lifestyles. If we don't, climate change will no-shit end human civilization within this century.

    Technology can help us limit our burning of hydrocarbons.  But not if people like Marissa Mayer don't get in the game.

    Stupid decision. Idiotic.

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:38:01 PM PST

  •  Good for her. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taonow, jfinsocal

    There are some hardship cases, but for the most part those employees should be lucky to have a fucking job at all, let alone one for a top company.

    Times are tough all over.  Suck it up, whiners.

    Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

    by dov12348 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:39:31 PM PST

  •  Agree with every word of this diary (2+ / 0-)

    I do not now, nor have I ever, worked for Yahoo-hoo-hoo, and I'm glad that I never will.

    Of course telecommuting doesn't fit every employee or every job category, but I loved it when I did it--before I retired.

    Talk about ways to demotivate one's workforce--gad!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:51:24 PM PST

  •  Human Resources is not the enemy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM

    They are usually filled with people who get the human side of things.  If anything, they filter out some of the worst instincts of management.

    They are almost always the progressives in an organization.

    http://www.politicalcompass.org/printablegraph?ec=-7.50&soc=-7.13

    by jm1963 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 03:02:53 PM PST

    •  uhm (4+ / 0-)

      Not in my experience. They are usually the most despised department in the company, typically thought of as the place the incompetent go to exist. usually everyone does everything they can to NOT involve HR.

      There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

      by taonow on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 03:43:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  LOL, suuuure they are. (4+ / 0-)

      Like the one who told me I could just leave my sick kids at home alone with some food -- like she did with her cats.

      I mean, what's the problem?

      HR is some of the most clueless members of the working public these days.

      As always, your mileage may vary.

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:08:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I had to fight HR in the 1990s to allow an (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, madhaus, llywrch

        employee of mine to work from home. She had a broken leg and couldn't drive, and she was a star employee. I had a colleague bring her the materials she needed to work on a report, including a blank diskette. She completed the report - which needed to be done to meet a client's regulatory agency committment. Everyone was happy with the arrangement. Everybody except HR, who called me on the carpet to say "it's against our policy".

        "Why is that?" I asked.

        "How can you be sure that she did any work while she was home?"

        "I gave her a blank diskette and she returned it with the completed text and tables for the report."

        "Well, that doesn't matter. It's against our policy. Don't let it happen again."

        Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

        by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:10:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  So she's brought in to modernize Yahoo...and does (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    this?  Wow.  Also, all employees are required to write time off requests in longhand on carbon paper.  

    •  Not sure why she just doesn't (3+ / 0-)

      buy a bunch of punch-in time clocks.

      Then she can really manage the employees time in the office.

      In my experience, it is not the employees that aren't ready for telecommuting it is the management.    Telecommuters make them work harder because there actually needs to be some process defined instead of just ad-hoc dropping by the office and requesting things be done.

      Telecommuting is actually beneficial to companies as employees actually end up working more hours since they aren't spending lots of time in commuting back and forth to the office and not being interrupted constantly with chatter and gossip from the cubes surrounding them.

      Collaboration can be done remotely, especially with today's tools that have both video and audio.

      It isn't for everyone, but for the people that it works for it is a godsend for both the employee and the employer.   Sadly, some employers just don't get it and hold out those that abuse telecommuting as examples when I contend that these same employees would have been just as unproductive from the office.

      •  Well said, According to Fish (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        According to Fish
        It isn't for everyone, but for the people that it works for it is a godsend for both the employee and the employer.   Sadly, some employers just don't get it and hold out those that abuse telecommuting as examples when I contend that these same employees would have been just as unproductive from the office.
        Forcing people to drive to the office won't necessarily result in better creativity, productivity, or team spirit. You can find dysfunctional "teams" in many American corporations. The only thing that binds them as a team is loathing of the boss or the company.

        Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

        by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:37:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A lot of the comments about not being (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cassandracarolina

          able to collaborate remotely is I believe from people just not being comfortable yet with remote collaboration.

          Like any change, it is unfamiliar and uncomfortable until it isn't and the ones who screamed loudest not to change eerily become the biggest advocates after awhile.

          •  I've had it work and not work. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cassandracarolina

            I've managed a team where two specialist programmers worked from home full time - each was over four hours' drive away when we hired them.  They both could work from home.

            I have a terrible time working at home; the mental shift to the office really helps - though right now, almost two hours after the nominal end of the business day, there are three annoyingly loud conversations going on near my cube - I would rather, all things considered, work from home.

            I had it fail spectacularly, where a senior team at my location was bolted on to a more junior team  to provide experience and guidance.  Cue a lot of pissing on trees and posturing by the old team, trying to keep control of a project that they couldn't manage.  Even with good collaboration infrastructure, this was a terrible remote working arrangement.

            It works for some teams and some employees, and when it's working I have no problem with it.  

    •  Spot on, bosdcla14 (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe there'll be tin-can telephones, and memos will be disseminated by passenger pigeons or smoke signals ;-)

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:38:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've worked from home since the 90s (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    even though I put in rather long days (and nights) in offices before then.  Did not become a full-time home office worker until the late 1990's, still drive into the office for occasional meatspace meetings with Management, special assignments, etc.

    My guess is that their CEO is not only relaying a one-size-fits-all mentality on how people should be working and thinking together (i.e., this is only part of a larger cultural conditioning, seems assured), but it's probably also part of an implicit downsizing effort: miss too many days in the office and you can be demoted, let go, etc.  It's not an uncommon move, despite being highly unmotivating.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 03:26:53 PM PST

    •  You've seen that telecommuting can work (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader

      although its success depends on the employee's circumstances, personality, job requirements, and needs of managers and colleagues. It's not that difficult though, if everyone involved wants it to work.

      I would not be surprised if the Yahoo move is aimed at getting a certain percentage of employees to quit, saving lots of severance $$.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:34:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nothing good about being creative on demand (9+ / 0-)

    especially after getting a cabbage head from a long commute and time wasted with office politics, assholes and elbows.

    As a one time employer and as a freelancer, I think any employer who doesn't see the cost advantages hidden or otherwise in a win-win situation is bat shit blind and is a total control freak .

    Costs: It isn't so much about what an employee or a freelancer gets on the top line that is the most important. It's what's left over after deducting work-related expenses:

    1. Clothes,
    2. Dry-cleaning
    3. Motor Vehicle Maintenance
    4. Energy - Gas most likely
    5. Higher Auto Insurance
    6. Fuel Wasting Traffic Jams
    7. Child - care on their dime or the employers
    8. Formal to informal lunches
    9. A fully Charged iPhone, iPad and the monthly bill that goes with them, including 12 taxing authorities that no one knew existed.
    10. Higher Zip-code related insurance costs (Employer - that cheap sq footage you got down in no-mans land is costing your employees and costing you a bloody mint in insurance)
    11. Higher out of pocket health care costs for when employees have to interact with the Employees that come in sick because sick days went the way of fixed benefit pensions.

    That's just some of the costs that many employees have to bear. For the fun of it, Lets say your part of a troubling and massively growing trend of employers who don't give a shit.

    Loss Productivity for the following direct and indirect causes:

    1. Collisions during a long commute

    2. Disturbing traumatic scenes of collisions

    3. Losing an employee from collisions

    4. Having partially sick people come in and spread it to everyone else at the office.

    5. Getting the very worst that people have to offer after overcoming every possible obstacle to get into work at their cheap desk and cubicle. People are people and some people are not going to be generally enthused if they experience even half of the above and the other half I missed,  when they  have to make the promises you made about your company and it's products come true  to customers who are turning more and more surly every day.

    6. Loss of Trust. You don't trust them to do their jobs unsupervised and they're pissed for being treated like a child. A Nice combustible beginning to a day of maximum expected creativity and productivity that never appears to materialize but gives a rocket boost to the  great productivity and creativity detractor; negative office politics.

    7. You don't give a shit about them and you get off on threatening them. That's when the great employee equalizer comes into play: shrinkage of productivity, shrinkage of inventory ( although less of a problem these days), shrinkage of office supplies (hey it adds up).

    8. Greater top lines to salary to cover all the costs of going to work or people just won't be able to afford to come to work for you.

    It's a long list and it gets much longer on the cost side of having a no telecommute policy. The bottom line is that some people need supervision and a structured environment and some don't. With the technology that's available to employers these days it makes absolutely no sense not to have a telecommute option. For the right people, it increases productivity, it reduces costs to a win-win scenario. There are a number of people that go into jobs who can do quite a bit for the company in a very short time.

    I recall once when I came into a clients office with a final Nation B2B Print ad I had designed. I handed him the bill and he got a little sticker shock. He quickly asked the old standard of "How many hours did it take you to do this"? I responded by saying if it took me five minutes and I charged you $6.00 would you run the ad in  national publication?

    Nevertheless, I always want to keep the client happy so, I took a quick look at his media costs , called the salesperson, after asking if he planned to be a repeat buyer. In less than 5 Minutes I saved him $36,000 for the year.  Oh yeah, that ad that he winced at the price of? It got him a National chain of 24 x 7 Convenience store for expensive in-store safes which led to the sale of his company for millions .

    Some of that experience and creativity you toss out the window in the name of maximizing total productivity and cutting costs could very well cost you your company.

  •  Yahoo (5+ / 0-)

    Let's face it. Yahoo has for years been in a steady decline. It was nowhere being close to innovative or leading edge.

    That's why they brought in Mayer. They had to do something radical.

    From what I know about Mayer I would give her the benefit of the doubt, and I would even say that I have already seen some positive changes from Yahoo.

    My guess is that a lot of Yahoo telecommuters were not being productive, they were basically putting in time and collecting a paycheck (very bad previous management). To get things back on track Mayer wants to find out who is really being productive and who really wants to contribute. The best way to do this is to have everyone in the office "experiencing" the new culture she is trying to create.

    I would also guess that in 6 months or so she will slowly start bringing telecommuting back in.

    Mayer is NOT stupid. On this one I think she is right. ... for now at least, until Yahoo gets back on a positive track.

    There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    by taonow on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 03:42:21 PM PST

  •  As a software developer, I telecommute some days (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, Odysseus

    and go to an office others. Most of the company is in DC, Raleigh and Philly and there's a small office of about 9 or 10 where I live.

    My physical location is hampered on days I need to actively brainstorm on a project with a group. Otherwise, it really doesn't matter where I am.

    Each project I actively develop has a 15 minute meeting every day to catch up on progress (about 1 hour daily). The remaining 7 are filled with the same work I'd do no matter where I am ...

    I read a promo about Al Gore's newest book, and how he argues that nation states are becoming obsolete. My line of work shows me this is true, as I actively work with people on every continent ... Maybe one day equality and prosperity will not be location-dependent

  •  I think Mayer just has a low opinion of yahoo (2+ / 0-)

    I think Mayer just has a low opinion of yahoo employees.

    She came into the company to turn it around.  Not because it was doing great.  

    In general the tech industry uses yahoo as an example of how to not do things.

    And from what I understand google doesn't allow people to work from home.

    The big tech companies are better than the average company in the past.  That doesn't mean they value their employees.

    •  Google requires people to work in the office. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cassandracarolina, Odysseus

      So does Apple.

      The two of them, Facebook, and several other companies have charter fleets of wifi-equipped luxury buses that in some cases do near door-to-door pickup and dropoff from places as far away as San Francisco, Marin, and parts of the East Bay. Several other employers subsidize Clipper cards, which work on nearly all of the Bay Area public transit systems (BART, Muni, Caltrain, VTA, SamTrans, ACE...)

      "Valuing their employees" is a slippery slope, and also not necessarily an objective standard. Employees' values are different, too. There's jobs at my company that I know I'd really not like. I also know that there's plenty of people who would not want my crazy hours - even though they come with gobs of flexibility. YMMV.

      "I like to go into Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see all the things there are in the world that I do not want." M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

      by paxpdx on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:57:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It depends. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, Odysseus

    My first reaction was to roll my eyes and be grateful that I unloaded the few shares of Yahoo that I had, years and years ago.

    But really - there's more questions than answers here.

    Are they shifting to an Agile software development model using Scrum? If so, then their SW developers need to be able to work together. There are teams who "do Scrum," but aren't colocated. We call those "Scrumbut(t)s." ;) It's just not as effective. Having superduper teleconferencing capabilities and daily stand-up meetings over audio/videoconference can help, but it's not the same as working F2F.

    Other roles - it really depends. I work for a Different Company(TM), also high-tech, with sites all over the world. I am one of a handful of people in the company who has my role, and I support people at all of our sites. On my work team, precisely none of the others live in even the same state as me. Most live in the same different place, and yeah, they're asked to come into the office fairly regularly. I do miss a lot not being in proximity, but we're all senior and know one another pretty well, so we keep in touch.

    If I'm working with someone in China, I try to do it in their timezone. I won't go to the office for that. If I'm doing the R&D part of my job, or if I'm in phone meetings all day long, I work from home. If I can be less focused, I'll go to one of the company's sites that's actually closer to where I live than the site where my office is located. If I need to be influential, to make rapid progress with a colleague I don't know as well as my direct team folks, or to work hands-on with a team, I generally go to where they are. Sometimes that's in the office building that's sorta near Yahoo. Sometimes I need my passport to do that.

    And yes, it's up to ME to keep my schedule sane. I do get urgent calls sometimes or need to work on weekends or at 3am. But hey, I'm also just back from the grocery store now and on DKos, and it's not yet 5pm. It works for me, but wouldn't work for every role.

    I'm guessing (and it's just a guess, mind you) that Yahoo is trying to move to a more agile software development model, and that to do that, they need to have their developers there. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt - maybe she's just a control freak. But - it's possible.

    "I like to go into Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see all the things there are in the world that I do not want." M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

    by paxpdx on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:40:58 PM PST

  •  there's such a thing as workers organizing... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    organize for company transportation...or something. but I don't find it unreasonable to require that folks are physically in the office if a company is ailing. and a lot of folks would love to have your job....with the commuting.

  •  Poll: I go to a FACTORY everyday nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    Just your average every day Autistic hillbilly/biker/activist/union steward with an engineering degree.

    by Mentatmark on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:05:10 PM PST

  •  I feel bad for this, but I keep waiting for Yahoo (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, llywrch

    to die.  I guess, in all seriousness, they're still big in Japan - perhaps Google has not excelled at providing Japanese-language services?  But Yahoo Mail, which I used to use, became basically a giant spam receptacle, and Google ate everyone's lunch when it came to search.  Some people use Yahoo Groups but I can't imagine that's all that profitable on its own.  A scary time to be a Yahoo employee :(.

    I kind of wonder who their core audience/user base is right now.  So I'm not sure that this CEO will be around for much longer, regardless of this decision.

    So this is not just affecting people in the Sunnyvale/San José communities?  They're expecting people to move from around the country to San José?  Like others have said, the prospect of Bay Area real estate will be an impediment to that, for sure.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:15:17 PM PST

  •  Really ironic for a tech company (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina

    Yahoo's products are all Internet based. They specialize in helping people connect with each other and business and information without having to drive to a store or pick up a phone or go to the library.

    Yet they are saying that technology they promote just isn't good enough when it comes to facilitating their own business.

    I recently departed a company that was fully Internet based and yet insisted on employees coming in every day--even those whose jobs were just as easily done at home. I commuted 1.5 to 2 hours each way just because of traffic. If they needed me to do extra work, they expected me to stay late or come in early or work on the weekend, rather than allow me to work at home and convert my commuting time to work hours that I would be contributing beyond my 40 hours.

    As city populations grow, the cost of living in a desirable part of the city skyrockets so people must live further away and commute longer. Unfortunately, people like the new CEO at Yahoo don't give a crap. They make millions and can pay someone to take their kid to a dental appointment or pick them up early when they get sick at school. What a selfish, inconsiderate, stupid woman.

    If the work gets done, who cares if it is done at home or in an office? I write and edit much better without people chatting around me and focus better when I don't have to get up at sunrise to get to work on time. Maybe just make people with bad productivity come in.

    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

    by CatM on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:24:14 PM PST

    •  It is ironic (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CatM, llywrch

      and on the days that I worked from home, I got a lot done during the very hours that I used to be inching along in traffic. My boss wanted us to be in the office even though she herself worked at home and/or took every single Friday off. Talk about a mixed message!

      Telecommuting has environmental, economic, safety, and productivity benefits to companies and employees.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:31:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not About Performance (3+ / 0-)

    It's about control.

    For that reason, I don't think it will help Yahoo out much.

    So, you get all your employees more tightly under your thumb. Then what?

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:32:39 PM PST

    •  Agree, bink. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bink, Odysseus

      If it was a matter of performance, each telecommuter should be evaluated, and those who are not cutting it should be dealt with accordingly.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:35:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also a Sign of Weak Leadership (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cassandracarolina

        I understand that it is hard to get everybody on a team or in an organization on the same page, moving in the same direction, coordinating with each other, etc.

        Sometimes people fail at this.

        But I think that this is almost never because people are not under strong enough direct control by a supervisor.

        It's almost always because incentives are wrong, accountability is missing, people don't have access to effective communication tools, the leadership has failed to set up an appropriate process and guidelines, etc.

        Yahoo! won't solve any of that by banning telecommuting.

        "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

        by bink on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:43:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Before I was laid off, my company did (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bink, llywrch

          all sorts of employee surveys that revealed, unsurprisingly, that most employees did not trust their supervisor or upper management. They did not believe in the company's vision. They did not believe the company had their interests at heart. Morale was awful. Forcing people in that state of mind to collaborate and come up with great ideas and lead the company out of bad times is like trying to nail a slab of Jello to the wall. Good luck with that.

          Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

          by cassandracarolina on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:47:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Worked for Several Years (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cassandracarolina

            On a team that had very loose telecommuting policies. I was expected to send a status e-mail every week and to attend one weekly project meeting a week. Other than that, we all self-managed.

            I worked at home whenever I wished.

            We were all very happy. The problem was knowing when to stop working. I was drawn to my laptop at all hours, probably mostly because my e-mail inbox was full of positive, engaging feedback from my coworkers.

            How awful to work someplace like Yahoo!

            "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

            by bink on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:50:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I think Yahoo's up against it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, jayden

    There's the story of Steve Jobs redesigning Pixar to physically prevent compartmentalization. Maybe Mayer wants an "all hands on deck" for taking Yahoo in a direction that isn't it's current one-way-ticket-to-doom. Maybe she's an arrogant young zillionaire who enjoys pushing people around but I doubt that would be enough of a motivator to override the engineers instinct to try and make it work.

    Yahoo had first mover advantage against Google. They blew it. No one yahoos anything, everyone in the world googles. (lower case verbs) Part of turning around a multi decade company that hasn't gotten anything (except some code releases) right might be shaking up the company culture.

    FWIW I freelance in web dev, almost all of it from home (or shared semi-informal office spaces). I've been very upfront with clients that it's usually much more expensive to have me on site as, at my bottom feeder level, it almost always means I end up sitting around on the clock because the client needs to think out loud and take phone calls and bang things off a "designer". But I get needing to have people face to face. Full time telecommute for projects the size of Yahoo can be very problematic. It's not a question of making working processes more efficient, it's a question of finding a reason to still be around in a couple of years.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 06:04:25 PM PST

  •  Mixed feelings (4+ / 0-)

    My projects turn out better when everyone's there in person and there are no cowboys and no one can just call it in. We eat, sleep, and shit code...together. And the end result is astoundingly better than you'd ever get from any one of us doing it alone. I did years of working from home and I'll never go back to it.

    Yahoo may be going about this the wrong way but maybe they don't have time to be nice. They really do need some major help. It will be interesting to see where it goes or if it will stick.

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