Work-at-home prohibition riles Yahoo workers

yahoo.jpgWatch those company parking lots! CEO Marissa Mayer noticed that they were slow to fill up in the morning and quick to empty in the afternoon - an alarming pattern in the the workaholic world of Silicon Valley. Apparently, a lot of Yahoo employees have been allowed to work from home - way too many to suit Mayer. So a memo was sent out last week requiring employees to show up at the Yahoo offices. Needless to say, it hasn't gone down well. Mayer, of course, is trying to rejuvenate a company that has lost its way, and so you can appreciate her concern about empty parking lots. Still... From Kara Swisher:

Some inside the company are clearly appalled, especially since it might more severely impact working mothers. "When a working mother is standing behind this, you know we are a long way from a culture that will honor the thankless sacrifices that women too often make," read one email I got from an internal source, referring to the recent birth of Mayer's baby. Many others at Yahoo's Sunnyvale HQ pointed to the nursery Mayer had built -- for which she paid for personally -- next to her office as a perk others at Yahoo do not get. "I wonder what would happen if my wife brought our kids and nanny to work and set em up in the cube next door?," joked a husband of another employee who will be losing her work-from-home privileges.


Many Googlers are allowed and even encouraged to work at home. The company told me when asked about work-from-home policies: "We do not have a formal policy and leave Googlers to use good judgment." It is the same for Facebook, which confirmed a "policy to provide flexibility as work permits." In fact, one exec at the social networking giant noted to me that its entire camera app was built from an engineer's garage, with the group staying away from the office as long as they wanted to build it from home. Business networking site LinkedIn also said it had "no formal policy at present," but noted that many employees work from home full-time and part-time as the situation warrants and in consultation with managers.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
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