To ask all MNetters to boycott yahoo ...

(142 Posts)
theweekendisnear Sun 24-Feb-13 20:59:21

... because newish mum and newish CEO, Marissa Meyer, has just told yahoo employees that they cannot work flexibly from home anymore?

I am going to move my more-or-less 20-year-old yahoo account to gmail because of this. I am furious with this woman.

NamelessHereForEvermore Sun 24-Feb-13 21:00:06

Good luck - I can't imagine that's going to particularly ruin her day.

ReallyTired Sun 24-Feb-13 21:03:57

And... Loads of employers don't allow working from home even if it is perfectly possible. Prehaps some employees have taken the piss with working from home.

Employers don't actually to agree to allow employees to work from home. European flexible working directives are there to encourage employers and employees to reach an agreement that works for everyone. There is no divine right to dicate your working conditions just because you are a mother or having caring responsiblities.

I don't use Yahoo so your suggestion of boycott makes no difference to me.

theweekendisnear Sun 24-Feb-13 21:04:04

BTW, it's Mayer, not Meyer

theweekendisnear Sun 24-Feb-13 21:06:22

Current yahoo employees, that probably accepted the job because it had flexible working conditions, will have to go to the office to work or leave their job. Is this reasonable?

IvorHughJangova Sun 24-Feb-13 21:08:51

I've worked for plenty of companies who've done stuff to piss me off/inconvenience me. My current job inconveniences me since it doesn't allow for flexible working. I doubt any Yahoo employees would get excited about my situation and I can't get excited about theirs.

Tee2072 Sun 24-Feb-13 21:09:32

And? So what? Many many companies don't allow flexible working or working from home.

It's perfectly reasonable. Companies change policies all the time. You go into the office or you find another job. Not easy to do right now, but not impossible either.

You do realize it's not just email, right? They now own Flickr as well.

And if you have an iPhone? That's your weather forecast that's built in.

Shall I find out what else they own for you or do you want to just give up the internet altogether?

theweekendisnear Sun 24-Feb-13 21:13:18

Yes, Tee2072, please do give me a list. If I do it, I want to do it properly.

But, please, don't tell me they own Mumsnet.

Tee2072 Sun 24-Feb-13 21:16:27

Start here. Most of it says Yahoo.

But I am sure they own a lot more if you dig. You can do that part yourself if you care enough. They don't, yet, own Google.

Have fun with your boycott. They don't work, you know. If they did Nestle would have been out of business by the '80s.

ILikeBirds Sun 24-Feb-13 21:35:36

Lack of flexible working would be low down my list of priorities if i was bothered about usa employment conditions

Yahoo email is so 90's..

theweekendisnear Sun 24-Feb-13 21:44:42

So I should have abandoned yahoo mail many years ago anyway?

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Feb-13 21:46:47

You haven't said why she's not going to allow it any more OP

There may well be a good reason.

theweekendisnear Sun 24-Feb-13 21:58:44

WorraLiberty, here are a coulpe of articles:

I work from home one or two days a month, mainly to write reports. It's so much easier to do it at home, with nobody that asks me how to change the format of a word in msword, or how to add a formula in an excel sheet, questions regularly asked in the office. I guess it's good for the other people in the office if I am there to answer their question, but not for the progress of my report.

Jestrin Sun 24-Feb-13 22:00:11

No one days I'm going to yahoo it. They say I'm going to google it grin

tuttavia Sun 24-Feb-13 22:09:38

Some projects just can't get done in the way they need to be done unless the team working on them are together and communicating in person.

I don't know if this is the case for yahoo (I know nothing about yahoo), and in general I am all for encouraging opportunities to work at home. But I do know that some kinds of collaborative work require actual physical and immediate presence of team members. And I can totally see how this would massively enhance communication and understanding - probably very important things when it comes to social media stuff.

As I said, I am all for working at home (I used to do it myself, and aim to do it again, when childcare is not so much my sole responsibility); but some things really do require people meeting face-to-face for the project to succeed.

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Feb-13 22:14:00

Well having read your first link OP, I can understand her decision.

Clickable link

I didn't bother reading the Daily Mail one for obvious bullshit reasons.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 24-Feb-13 22:23:51

It makes a lot of sense.

There will be people there not really doing much work, who never ever go into the office. Clearly this isn't aimed at people taking a day or two at home to write reports, but they have to have a catch all.

The people you should be angry with are the ones who are using the home working option to take the piss. Every flexible worker who abuses the system makes it harder for the next person.

My boss works from home on fridays, more often than not I bump into her shopping, I doubt she's doing much work while mooching round asda and bhs.

cocoachannel Sun 24-Feb-13 22:41:01

Has she actually said nobody can work from home or flexibly? I've also only read the Business Insider article which I took to mean those who work completely remotely will no longer be able to, so may have the option of dividing their week?

Flexible working is not just there to benefit employees, it must also make sense to the business.

I'm also not sure the fact that she is a new mum is relevant OP.

cocoachannel Sun 24-Feb-13 22:43:08

ps. thanks for the link Worra - much appreciated as on phone!

ceeveebee Sun 24-Feb-13 23:02:52

Sounds like the remote workers were taking the piss
IMO she is acting in the best interests of shareholders in trying to improve the bottom line, rather than allowing her "new mum" status cloud her judgement. Would you want to boycott yahoo if a man had made this decision?

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Feb-13 23:08:42

No problem cocoa

The thing is here, Marissa Mayer has to do something to save the company money. If she doesn't, there'll be a hell of a lot of people out of work.

So it makes sense to insist people actually come to work than to have so many people working at home, that no-one knows what they actually do.

PatriciaHolm Sun 24-Feb-13 23:13:55

She hasn't "just told yahoo employees that they cannot work flexibly from home anymore". She's said that employees who currently work solely from home with no office time that this can't continue, and I can see why.

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 25-Feb-13 00:05:17

Sorry, your first link explains the reasons quite clearly. I also wouldn't be surprised if it's an issue they re-visit in the future, post shake-up and layoffs, but for the moment it makes sense.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 25-Feb-13 09:30:05

It makes sense to me.

She's not there to do people a favour, she's there to run a company, and she would be wrong to make decisions that might work for individuals but at the expense of the company. People's jobs do change at times, it better that she's giving people the option to come into the office rather than just laying them all off without any compromise.

CRbear Tue 26-Feb-13 16:29:39

I aggree with the sentiment, it's a step backwards, but I don't think a boycott will make any difference. I am disappointed to see attitudes such as "I can't work flexibly so why should they" on this thread though!

Mumsyblouse Tue 26-Feb-13 16:32:09

I agree that sole home working is not a good idea, I work about half in the office and half from home; office allows me to communicate with colleagues, focus on quick projects, get admin stuff done, home working is great for getting a longer task done. But I would find working at home all the time a little bit demotivating and I think it very much more depends on the personality of the person to keep up the momentum of full-days and I can imagine it being rather expensive to keep monitoring home-working fully enough to really see if everyone was working hard all the time.

fromparistoberlin Tue 26-Feb-13 16:33:57

what worra said

and who gives a shit if she is a newish mum? she needs to focus on business not being seen as making things cosy for mummies

Mumsyblouse Tue 26-Feb-13 16:38:10

It's a bit like students who work remotely from our university, sometimes they do really well if they are self-motivated, but if they work away a lot, then other issues, such as demotivation, lack of progress and so on can fester for a longer time and not get picked up. Plus, to some extent you need to create a collective sense of goals and responsibilities and it's harder to do that if you never see other colleagues.

I don't see this as regressive, if this group were becoming less productive and they are given the option of some office-time.

Mumsyblouse Tue 26-Feb-13 16:39:39

And, what has being a mum got to do with this?

RedToothBrush Tue 26-Feb-13 16:43:59

The way I've read the article isn't that it completely bans all home working. It just bans working from home ALL THE TIME and having no accountability and little proper contact with other people in the office. Which I actually think is a very good point.

I do know a couple of people who home work solely and I do believe they abuse the employers trust and the company doesn't get as much out of them as they would if they worked in the office a couple of days a week. And the fact that people have abused the system is the reason why its being revoked, not because its anti-parent in any way.

Flexibility has to be a compromise between the employer and employee.

Metalhead Tue 26-Feb-13 16:48:04

I think people will be lazy if they can whether they're in an office or not. I used to work in an office full time and would occassionaly spend days doing nothing much productive at all. Now I work full time from home and still have days when I don't have much to do, the only difference being I don't have to pretend I'm working!

A lot of people say they wouldn't have the discipline to work from home when I tell them about my work, but at the end of the day if you've got a deadline it has to be met, one way or another - or else you'll get fired eventually, which seems to be what's happening with these Yahoo types...

YABU. If staff aren't pulling their weight, and it seems that a lot aren't, at least she is giving them the opportunity to keep their jobs, which is more than is happening with a lot of UK companies in the last year or two.

There are much bigger problems with US employment than this.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 26-Feb-13 16:52:32

Can't see what all the fuss is about OP. Most people have to come to the office at some time to do their work, unless they work for themselves.

Fillyjonk75 Tue 26-Feb-13 16:55:04

It'd be a real arse to change my email address. So, no.

PolkadotCircus Tue 26-Feb-13 17:12:07

My inaws work from home for Microsoft and take the piss from what I've heard to be frank.They have 2 kids and have never had childcare even in the hols.My dsis works from home 1 day a week and is so dedicated she still pays her nanny that day.Tis a whole different life,they would have an almighty shock in the real world.

Dp has worked in IT for several big companies and has ever been allowed to work from home even though he could get more done at home and all on a lap top.

Companies are trying to run a business,good on her if she thinks it's necessary.

spottyhankystripysocks Tue 26-Feb-13 17:15:04

To be honest it depends what you are doing. I work with someone who works from home a lot and it can be really difficult. If you are looking at a presentation as a team/having a meeting/writing things on a white board (as we do. It is a challenge when you have someone on the other end of a phone. Having said that if you are reading something which needs complete concentration, it is useful to work at home. I hate to say it, but I do get the impression that a lot of working from home is not actually "working"

PolkadotCircus Tue 26-Feb-13 17:18:26

Not keen on the because she's a woman she's being unreasonable stance.If she was a new dad nobody would give a shit but applaud his balls so to speak.

Pigsmummy Tue 26-Feb-13 17:19:24

I do wonder where Yahoo will find all this office space from? I work from home, the vast majority of our company do and if we all tried to go into an office it just wouldn't work. Our company was in dire straits a few years back and turned around the situation by flogging our offices. As a work force working from home actually makes us more productive, we visit clients etc and often end up doing the admin/reporting out of hours or when most peope are doing the commute.

PolkadotCircus Tue 26-Feb-13 17:21:18

Oh and dp has just been given a load of extra people in his team,a lot more than he signed up(and is paid) for.It's life.

chocolatemuffintop Tue 26-Feb-13 17:23:18


I'm a PA and I don't have a choice. I have to be in the office.

I know for a fact that some people do not put in the same amount of work at home as they do in the office. A friend of mine used to work from home when she felt under the weather/just needed a break from the office. She said she didn't have to log a sick day then. Another friend (in sales) arranged for John Lewis to come round and measure up for curtains.

How bloody lovely for them whilst I'm working through my lunch hour to try to keep up with my joke of a workload...

PolkadotCircus Tue 26-Feb-13 17:29:32

Also maybe Google has problems with project release dates(not read the thing as trying to stop my daily fail surfing)not coming in on time.Far easier to see if excuses are valid if said coders etc are under your nose.

As I said not read the article.

PolkadotCircus Tue 26-Feb-13 17:31:11

Nope read the other link,several other valid reasons instead.

JaquelineHyde Tue 26-Feb-13 17:35:14

theweekendisnear I suggest that you add BT to your boycot as they use Yahoo to host all of their email addresses.

hackmum Tue 26-Feb-13 17:37:55

Curious idea that it's about saving money. BT has a big homeworking policy, and as a result they've been able to sell off a lot of their office space and also save money on energy costs. Their internal surveys have found that people are more productive at home.

Also, I'm assuming this relates to the US business. In the UK, employers have to consider an employee's request to work flexibly.

PolkadotCircus Tue 26-Feb-13 17:37:59

Hmmmmm maybe they're hiring,could do with a couple of years in Silicon Valley(with some sun).

LayMizzRarb Tue 26-Feb-13 17:38:14

Nope. Will stay with my yahoo address thanks. A company has the right to review and change working practices. I should imagine any changes made have been made in order to increase productivity or to save money.

If employees don't like the new working arrangements they can look for another job.

PolkadotCircus Tue 26-Feb-13 17:40:54

And free food,the link said free food!!!

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Feb-13 18:08:55

I work for a large blue chip company with a home working policy. A few times over the years the company has looked at whether we need to be in the office some of the time and I have got to say that a number of mainly women spoil it for the rest of us by thinking that if they are working at home they can have their children at home and save on child care costs!

No you cannot, I had someone in my team who constantly did this claiming that childcare was too expensive. She was often on calls with customers and you could hear her children crying the background or on occasions picking up the phone.

If you want a flexible home working policy and you dont want to ruin it for others dont think that working at home allows you to have NO child care!

Taffeta Tue 26-Feb-13 18:19:07

I work from home. I work part time, all of it from home. V small company, we are all based at home. We all work bloody hard. We all probably do more hours than if we were in an office.

I twiddled my thumbs far more working full time in an office than I ever have working from home.

For us, it works as its a small company. Give and take is equal and fair. This is nigh on impossible in a company the size of Yahoo.

scottishmummy Tue 26-Feb-13 18:32:26

Fact CEO a mother is irrelevant,unless your erroneously think mothers are more lenient
She CEO aid to manage,paid to do hard stuff.popular or not
No I won't support a boycott you have no legitimate reasons

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 26-Feb-13 19:26:09

I'm saddened to see so many people on here who tar all home workers with the same brush (lazy, doing it to avoid paying for childcare, out shopping...) and who take the attitude that because they can't do it, no one should.

noblegiraffe Tue 26-Feb-13 19:48:10

Yahoo as a company needs a massive kick up the arse otherwise it's doomed. If there are loads of people on the payroll who are not contributing as much as they should, then making it a priority to deal with that would seem like a sensible move.

Incidentally, would the OP have mentioned a new baby and referred to 'this man' if the CEO were male?

scottishmummy Tue 26-Feb-13 19:49:53

When I work home I'm v productive,being away from office mileu lets me work
But in fairness yahoo can review it's t&c as it sees fit
I hope employer negotiates with employees and mutually agreeable resolution

NeopreneMermaid Tue 26-Feb-13 19:55:16

The memo said that allowances could be made within reason for, e.g. "Waiting in for the cable guy." I think that means that working from home in any capacity (full time or part time) is no longer acceptable on a regular basis.

I think it's a step backwards.

If individuals have abused the privilege, then they should be called up on it - on an individual basis. A blanket ban will just demotivate.

PurpleStorm Tue 26-Feb-13 19:56:06

It sounds like they're stopping remote working because they've got a large number of employees who are taking the piss (or who they think are taking the piss).

Remote working can and does work for some employees, job role allowing - but a lot depends on how motivated and dedicated the employee is. All you need is a few remote working freeloaders to spoil it for the rest of them.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 26-Feb-13 19:59:00

Unfortunately if you are part of the corporate rat race its something you need to be prepared for.

I find it ironic that Silicon Valley in general is anti-home-working, given that it's an industry that has hugely enabled home/remote working!

We employ a lot of people who work from home and several who work in the office.
The workload and commitment from the work from home contingent is equal to, and in some cases, greater than, the office based workers.
For us, it works well. But then we are a very family-orientated, small and friendly company where trust is a huge factor. Our employees often tell us that they know they are on to a good thing and will not do anything to jeopardise their job.

If something comes in urgently at 7.45pm, there is a queue of people ready to do it.
If somebody has a sick child, and has to go to the doctor, we don't count the minutes until they get back to the desk.

We run a company that we would like to work in ourselves.

I do think size is a significant factor. We know all of our home workers personally and know their children's names, personal circumstances and particular working styles. Yahoo will have all the problems that scale brings and cannot possibly have the same attitude.

Viviennemary Tue 26-Feb-13 20:14:38

Personally speaking, I don't think this is a cause I would put at the top of the list of priorities. The new CEO can probably see a lot of things wrong and wants to put them right. Good for her.

potsyandco Tue 26-Feb-13 20:17:47

OP, are you boycotting other companies for doing MUCH, MUCH worse things to their employers, the public, the planet??!

potsyandco Tue 26-Feb-13 20:18:31

As others have said, what does being a mother have to do with this issue?

nellyjelly Tue 26-Feb-13 20:19:04

In this day and age flexible working should be possible for many. You can build in safeguards so people don't take the piss. You have to have a degree of trust though. I regularly work from home and if I simply spent the time sat on my arse it would soon become evident as the work wouldn't get done.

I prefer to judge people on output. 'Presenteeism' is a big problem. I have worked in places where people were there but not actually doing much.

This woman looks to be finding ways to cut her workforce tbh.

noblegiraffe Tue 26-Feb-13 20:19:38

If Yahoo needs to lose a load of people then getting people to quit in this way will probably be better for the share price than announcing yet more redundancies.

Dromedary Tue 26-Feb-13 20:25:41

You couldn't do what she's done in the UK and get away with - not until the Tories have watered down employment rights even further. If you work from home on a regular basis it will be a contractual right.

willesden Tue 26-Feb-13 20:40:04

I am a nurse. Unless all my patients come to my house, I cannot work from home. No sympathy here, I'm afraid.

projectdoingmybest Tue 26-Feb-13 20:44:43

I agree with what she is trying to do. Without massive change in attitude and people working together Yahoo is going to fail

nellyjelly Tue 26-Feb-13 20:55:55

The 'no sympathy' approach is a bit unhelpful though. Of course ins some jobs home working is not possible but for some it makes sense, cuts travelling time too. You still have targets, you still have to produce. It is useful inasmuch as you can hang the wasing out etc if needed but we aren't all watching TV!

I started work at 7.30 am this morning because I was working at home, if it was an office day it would have been well after 9 before I could have been there.

PollyIndia Tue 26-Feb-13 20:57:34

I used to work for Yahoo!. I understand why she has done this - it was bloated and dysfunctional when I worked there 6 years ago - in the 4 years I was there, we had 6 restructures, but rather than getting rid of the useless management layer, they simply added new layers of management and new departments and it got even less productive and innovative. It's mental that Yahoo! is still one of the biggest digital media business in the world, as they stopped innovating years ago. Marissa Mayer has a big task at hand.

Unfortunately, as purplestorm said, while homeworking can be be more productive than working in the office, when you get to the point that there is a culture of people never coming in and freeloading, the only way to sort that out is to create a blanket policy banning homeworking. I get that. However I also now work from home (part time), and it means I can still breastfeed my 4 month old baby and be there for bathtime yet still be at my desk from 830-6 (I have a nanny - not possible to work at home without childcare). If I wasn't allowed to homeoffice, I would find it very hard to go back to work - to do my hours, I'd be out from 730 until 7 at the earliest and I'm a single parent so I need to not only earn the money but be both parents for my baby.

It's a shame that the situation was allowed to get to this point at Yahoo!. My sympathy is with the homeworkers who do their job well and need that flexibility but I understand why Yahoo! changed the policy.

Fakebook Tue 26-Feb-13 21:10:09


Why do people always assume everyone will join their pathetic cause and boycott just because they've had a bad experience/don't agree with something about the company?

Starbucks is still thriving. ASDA, Tesco and Sainsburys are still open, even though their home deliveries are apparently shit. People are still paying their TV licences to fund the BBC. Nestlé are still selling sweeties and numerous other products and are doing well.

Unless this step yahoo have taken personally affects you, I think yabvu.

ShellyBoobs Tue 26-Feb-13 21:13:04


What do you think about employers who insist on staff working nightshifts? Or on a production line in a factory? Or driving a bus?

I bet those inconsiderate bastards expect employees to turn up to work and do the hours they're paid for.

INeverSaidThat Tue 26-Feb-13 21:18:54


All the know who work from home take the piss and I have known quite a lot of them. sad

Dromedary Tue 26-Feb-13 21:50:54

The way to manage this properly/fairly would have been to find out who was abusing the system and sort them out, not just to order those who took on the job on the basis of homeworking to start commuting or get out. That is hugely unfair, and in this country would result in unfair dismissal and breach of contract findings. But employers can do what they want in the US.

Xmasbaby11 Tue 26-Feb-13 22:17:18

What's so great about working from home? I like having a workplace!

Dromedary Tue 26-Feb-13 22:22:25

You might not like it so much if you had to do a long difficult and expensive commute, weren't able to manage the childcare (financially or practically), had to work in an open plan office with 50 others, etc etc.

Bogeyface Tue 26-Feb-13 22:32:58

I can see the logic of dealing with what are basically skivers, "working from home" when actually they are not. But to use those people as a reason to get rid of all remote workers is very short sighted. Many very productive people work from home and many work harder at home so that they are not seen to be slacking, I did when I had home work days.

I wonder if she is Katie Hopkins in disguise. "I dont see my children from one week to the next, I make it into the office, I do 28 hour days, I havent had a day off in 167 years, so every one else should do the same and if you can't then you either shouldnt have children or shouldnt have a career"

noviceoftheday Tue 26-Feb-13 22:35:41

Yabu. Seems like a sound business decision to me. And I work from home at least one day a week. I just don't take the piss.

Yfronts Tue 26-Feb-13 23:15:22

all the home workers I know work longer hours then required. they are always shut in the spare room working away and only surface for coffee.

Bogeyface Tue 26-Feb-13 23:17:47

Yabu. Seems like a sound business decision to me. And I work from home at least one day a week. I just don't take the piss.

How would you feel though if you and (say) the other 20 remote workers were told that you had to go into the office every day because of the actions of one remote worker? Surely the fact that you and 20 others DONT take the piss should count against the one that does?

Startail Tue 26-Feb-13 23:34:13

DH works from home two days a week, it made a distant job offer far more attractive. It also allows him to concentrate on deepest darkest geek without people constantly asking him to fix their minor problems.

He wins, time and money not driving, work win by actually letting him debug the problem he's been paid to fix.

I win by having him home to take DD to guides. DDs win by not changing schools at a time in their education that would have been detrimental.

cumfy Wed 27-Feb-13 03:05:06

yanbu gmail is much better.

MidniteScribbler Wed 27-Feb-13 05:16:50

You might not like it so much if you had to do a long difficult and expensive commute, weren't able to manage the childcare (financially or practically), had to work in an open plan office with 50 others, etc etc.

This is exactly why companies are often against people working from home. Working from home does not mean that you get to not send your children to childare. You should still be sending them to care/hiring a nanny/whatever you would normally do if you had to go to the office. You are being paid to work, not to care for you children.

Glittertwins Wed 27-Feb-13 05:22:43

The company I work for is US. They don't do WFH or flexible/part time hours. But working practices are governed by each country we are in, therefore I get to WFH and part time too. We get different holiday allowances too. Get over it. Without wishing to reveal myself or who I work for, you'd find life hard without our products in it.

Timetoask Wed 27-Feb-13 05:53:44

In her industry, it is perfectly possible to work very effectively from home, and it makes for much happier employees. She sounds like a control freak.

bruffin Wed 27-Feb-13 06:42:03


My company offered to let me work from precisely so I could save on childcare cost.It was their idea not mine. They didn't give a dawn about my childcare as long as I hit my deadlines.
This was 15 years ago when working from home was rare and I ended up doing it for 11 years.
I would say my male managers were far more than undressing than the female ones.

bruffin Wed 27-Feb-13 06:43:54

Understanding not undressing

noblegiraffe Wed 27-Feb-13 06:54:14

There's a phenomenon called the Glass Cliff whereby if a company is doing well, a man is more likely to be given the job of running it, but if it's failing, then a woman is much more likely to be appointed as CEO, when women are very rarely CEOs.
Then if the company does badly, as it is likely to do, this is used as evidence against women being appointed to positions of power.

There were many concerns when Marissa Mayer was appointed CEO of Yahoo (and she was hardworking and successful at Google) that she was headed for the Glass Cliff. Yahoo is most definitely a failing company, has had lots of CEOs over the last few years and then it hires a woman, and a pregnant one at that.

So it is therefore interesting that her sex has been the subject of so much focus in a thread about a simple business decision.

theodorakisses Wed 27-Feb-13 08:02:39

It's a business not a centre to employ working parents. As a businesswoman, she has to make to best decisions for the organisation and it is hugely offensive to suggest that because she is a women and a mummy she should compromise the interests of the organisation.

waterrat Wed 27-Feb-13 08:27:07

wow what a miserable bunch of posts. No wonder this is one of the unhappiest countries in western europe with the longest working hours - if you are miserable at work or have to trudge a long commute every day - then everyone else should have to as well.

We are an incredibly wealthy country - why not create a working culture that supports home life balance - not just family life, but for people without children who have passions other than work!

and because some people have to be in a workplace - ie. nurses - that means you don't care if other people have to needlessly spend hours in unproductive offices? how petty.

Home working is not about skiving - if it is done properly and where appropriate it is better for transport pressures/ the environment/ family life/ general well being.

theodorakisses Wed 27-Feb-13 08:34:11

The only thing I object to on the OPs post is that she is suggesting that a CEO who is a mum should immediately treat mums differently.

PolkadotCircus Wed 27-Feb-13 08:39:04

So how exactly would one care for 3 pre-schoolers and work full time at home whilst happily taking a full time salary without childcare?

What about those left in the office?

People abuse working from home.

Companies are having to tighten their belts.

We have a duvet day culture actually.

The poor woman is trying to do the best for a company in the shit.I suppose the alternative could be to carry on with a system clearly not working and being abused until the company goes bust and nobody has a job at all.hmm

Miggsie Wed 27-Feb-13 08:56:56

It is a silly decision.
the actual issue is they have ineffective management who can't manage home workers - not noticing that an employee has produced no discernable output in 3 years is not a working at home issue, it's a management issue. Word has got round that home working at Yahoo is a doss and you can take the piss - so guess what - they attracted a whole swathe of workers who are taking the piss - that is the company culture they allowed to happen.

I work from home quite a lot - travel is painful for me. Most of my team work from home a couple of days a week.
All the work gets done.

I know people who sit in the office surfing the net quite openly (not my team) - so what she has done is recognise a problem but create the wrong solution.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 27-Feb-13 09:01:33

As far as I know, google never encourage working from home. Mayer is from Google originally. So you'd have more to boycott if your beef is against that.

My company doesn't allow it either. It's another big name US computer company with its headquarters in the Silicone Valley.

MoetEtPantsOn Wed 27-Feb-13 10:07:09
massistar Wed 27-Feb-13 10:28:48

There's a lot of unenlightened thinking on this thread which is really quite depressing. I work mainly from home 3 days a week, my nearest office is about 100 miles away. Most of my team are spread all over the country.

I reckon I get more done working from home than I ever did in the office. My kids have a nanny, I wouldn't dream of trying to look after them myself while working.

It allows me to drop them at school in the morning and finish at 5pm to make them dinner and do homework. I can then log back in when they go to bed to finish anything I need to. It's one of the main reasons I was able to return to a well paid career and have kids.

DolomitesDonkey Wed 27-Feb-13 10:37:58

If I didn't work from home my husband would've found himself alone this morning - with two toddlers and a bunch of floaters in the bath. grin

It's interesting to read PollyIndia's take on the situation (as she has experience with Yahoo) - however, it is perhaps a short-sighted policy in terms of limiting yourself to "local talent" who can easily (or willingly!) commute to an office.

I'm a happier, more productive person for working from home.

DontmindifIdo Wed 27-Feb-13 10:57:43

It's interesting the assumption is it's because of people not doing the work they should be that this ban is put in place, rather than if you never go into the office, it's very very hard to arrange meetings, get to know each other, have a standard company culture. People who are just someone you talk to on the phone or e-mail are not people you chat with. I have overheard our consultants discussing tricky clients while they are both making a coffee in our kitchen, unofficial 'mentoring' of newer consultants goes on when people walk past in the corridor and just mention they need a hand with X.

Often the most useful advice and ideas aren't the ones you get in the formal meeting, but in the brief chats people have walking round the office/in the lift/popping out for a coffee. "How's your day going?" is a nice little question in the kitchen that can lead to you mentioning a problem that you wouldn't think to formally ask for help on, but get offered help/ideas.

Overhearing things can spark and interest/idea. Just knowing what other people are working on can help see a way to fit it into something you are working on (or stop you wasting time doubling up).

This is a company that seems to have got rather stuck. They need people to be coming up with ideas, bouncing things off each other. At the moment, that's just not happening. I can easily see why if you have a large percentage of the staff who have never worked in the office and don't really know each other, that even if they are great at their individual jobs, you are still losing something. It might be worth sacrificing some productivity of bothering each other for advice on power point or interupting a train of thought to chat about the TV last night, you'd still as a firm overall benefit from this move.

Dahlen Wed 27-Feb-13 11:10:56

Some jobs cannot be done from home, others can. Some people work well from home, others don't. I think blanket rules don't work and it's best to treat each case on its own merits.

When my DC were pre-school age, I worked a couple of days a week from home simply to save childcare costs. In reality, this meant doing very little work during the day as I was supervising DC, then working long into the night/early morning after the DC were put to bed. It was hard and I hated it. I much prefer being in an office.

I am now considering going back to working one or two days from home to save commuting costs, but the difference this time round is that I won't have any distractions and will be able to work office hours but at home. I could do my job from anywhere. THere is no actual need for me to be in the office, but it makes for a better working environment when we have that interaction, so I wouldn't choose to work from home permanently.

I work for a large US based company, and it is incredibly flexible. I work one day a week from home, and could certainly up that to 2 days without any problem. However, I prefer to be in the office and get the interaction with my colleagues. People pass by and run problems past me - they wouldn't do that if I was at home. I think it is important to know people and not be a name on an email address / voice at the end of the phone.

We do have some employees who are full time at home, and I have to say that I do not think that works. There will be some people who take the mickey, but I am not tarring everyone with that brush - my point about not interacting is more important.

Having said that, I have one colleague who works from home, in a different country. I and other coleagues are often asked to look at something quickly, "because I can never get hold of X." When I am working from home, I probably react more quickly to my emails. Not the case for her.

I can understand Ms Mayer's actions 100%.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 27-Feb-13 11:36:56

That is the difference isn't it? The ability to work flexibly is not the same as working from home full time. I find interaction very important too. But I can see a day or 2 from home, or on a need basis, is very useful.

FWIW I have heard stories on how family friendly Mayer is. I remember one where a mum who worked under her at Google was allowed to add family events in her work diary. And said mum is allowed to leave overrun meetings for them. In their work culture, they are always on, but have the ability to be flexible. I think that's the balance I'd like. Being able to move work time around school events, GP appointments etc.

EducationalAppStore Wed 27-Feb-13 11:53:57

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

DolomitesDonkey Wed 27-Feb-13 12:23:08

I too work for a US multinational and the reality is my closest colleague is 20 miles away - and that's only because I got him the job. That aside it's a virtual team - incl. middle east - so we're not even all working the same days - never mind the same building.

We made a point of having a "live" event in The Hague last year for a meet & greet because I think it's important to be able to put faces to names and it certainly cemented our team.

lainiekazan Wed 27-Feb-13 12:55:18

I read the other week about an employee in the US who had managed to sub-contract his work to a guy in China. He was earning, if I remember rightly, c. $150K and paying 10% of that to get the Chinese guy to do all the work. The real problem with the company was doing something to do with national security so not only was the employee lazy but doing something potentially dangerous.

Bil works for a large IT company at home. He never does anything , or at least very little. He is always out and about, pursuing hobbies, out on his boat ... I am astonished he has been able to scoot under the radar for so long. Presumably it is this type of employee that Ms Mayer is seeking to root out.

racingheart Wed 27-Feb-13 13:11:48

*lainiekazan - how do you know your BiL does nothing? Maybe he doesn't work 9-5, but that doesn't mean he's not doing his job. Lots of employers opt for home working because they discovered home workers work harder. Less office chit chat and faffing around and having endless whip rounds and cakes for people. The average office worker does 4 hours a day. The average home worker does more (not sure how much more - I'm basing this on a report I read a while ago.)
My neighbour works from home - has a key role for a big company. I see him head down the garden to his office when I'm still in PJs. He comes in for lunch, out again until 6. Puts in a really full day.
Home working is cheaper too - no overheads. I think she's very silly to issue such a heavy handed directive to staff who agreed to join the company on very different terms. Nothing's to stop her measuring the level and value of work people do from home.

As to that guy who outsourced to China: being a conniving, skiving cheat is hardlythe exclusive province of homeworkers.

theodorakisses Wed 27-Feb-13 13:24:32

I agree about flexibility generally. I would never, ever expect someone to miss their child's concert or medical appointment because of work and most meetings etc can be rescheduled and I have covered for my staff many times and would be sad if they didn't ask. One of the good things about the ME companies I have worked in is that, especially in the compound schools where all pupils are the children of the same company employees, operations can almost come to a standstill because all parents attend. When I worked for a different organisation under a big multinational oil and gas co, they had two performances of everything so the people who had to miss it to be on standby at the operations, security etc could have a turn the next day. I think the UK has the best employment legislation and rights and would never want to undermine that but I think a little bit more of family friendly stuff being less about women wingeing (perceived not actual) and more about family values being at the heart of an employees health and productivity would go a long way. Never mind if they are married or their gender.

lainiekazan Wed 27-Feb-13 13:36:58

Believe me, I know bil does nothing. I think he really is the prime example of the type of employee who spoils the privilege of home working for others. He merrily gets away with it because the company he "works" for is huge and his management job, "convening meetings" confused doesn't attract attention.

theodorakisses Wed 27-Feb-13 13:44:12

Dolomite, I recently studied this and found an amazing study called Unpacking Team Familiarity an extensive study that found that maintaining project teams in further projects rather than splitting them up in international teaming was far more important that geographical location, time zone or hierarchical structure. In fact, the geographical location of the team members had a negligible impact on the function of the team.

theodorakisses Wed 27-Feb-13 13:46:33

and I agree about the face to face and have really got such a lot out of visiting our JV in China and my opposites elsewhere.

expatinscotland Wed 27-Feb-13 14:54:39

YABU. But all these spiteful people, 'I'm a PA' 'I'm a nurse' with their I-can't-work-from-home-so-no-one-should are pathetic.

You don't like your job's t&c, then get another job!

Plenty of people who work from home are highly productive, others aren't. Same as in offices.

Couldn't really care less about Marissa Meyers and something going on in bloody Silicon Valley.

PolkadotCircus Wed 27-Feb-13 14:59:48

Errr. I think posters were replying to the thread title.

Also the fact remains if you are in an office you are held to account more,it is perfectly possible to get away with far more if you are not on site and on a huge scale it wouldn't be good for any company which is clearly why Ms Meyer has taken action.

aldiwhore Wed 27-Feb-13 15:10:44

Given her reasons, I agree.

There seem to be too many ghost workers. Although I think it is Yahoo's fault for letting a bad situation arise, they need to do something.

I am a huge supporter of being flexible, working from home occassionally can be a good thing, but in a collaborative business you need a common ground pf physical space so you can collaborate.

I hope once that the current problems are solved a more structured flexibility could be introduced.

chocolatemuffintop Wed 27-Feb-13 15:46:48

Yes, plenty of people do sod all in the office too.

I ended up sitting on the same row of desks as someone who always got his report in late, never replied to emails, etc, etc.

After studying him for a little while (as I could see his screen) I don't think he did anything very much. He was always on the internet. He was a 45 year old senior engineer on about £50k a year - double what I was earning.

Some people can't be trusted and it's even easier to get away with it if you're working from home.

Sorry not read the whole thread.

I think it's a bit crazy to not let people work at home if the business allows for people to work at home.

Thinking of fuel / time / energy that would be saved by home-working.

There is a chance that people would take the p, but surely that would become apparent in not much time?

Just seems like so much more of a planet-friendly option these days <pulls on lentil sweater>

Obvs there are many businesses where home-working wouldn't work...

(I work from home and I bloody love it smile)

DolomitesDonkey Wed 27-Feb-13 18:41:42

As a home worker I find when I go to the office it's all jibber-jabber.

It is tempting to slack off - especially on a friday afternoon. Otoh, there have been many a night when I've shoved dinner in front of everyone and gone back up to the office, or when we've been waiting on an important doc I check my mail every 15 minutes all night.

Such is the nature of the game these days with BYOD etc. and cloud apps - we are all "on the job" 24/7 and geography is largely irrelevant.

I rather agree with someone else though who said they thought she's trying to get people to quit - mind you, in my experience the awful cling on until the bitter end.

I do agree that collaboration within physical teams is of paramount importance for R&D - but most of us just ain't that cutting edge. I've also worked at a company in Israel who operate like Google - i.e., keep their offices so damned luxurious and every need catered to that you don't want need to go home. My current physical office (20 miles away) had legionnair's disease in the coffee machine and the chairs are likely to appear on "cash in the attic". It's not a nice working environment - I feel physically and mentally drained every time I cross the threshold.

Actually last time I was in I had to beg for bog roll (token woman) and there was only one shit coffee machine in the entire building working.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 27-Feb-13 18:46:32

But yahoo is supposed to be cutting edge. Of course it isn't atm because it is a failing Internet company.

OhGood Wed 27-Feb-13 20:33:19

Personally, I wouldn't work for a company that didn't allow have work-from-home schemes.

I've worked on big fast-moving projects that need a high degree of collaborative working as a consultant on a 3 days in office, 2 days at home basis for 5 years now. This works brilliantly for me. It wouldn't for some of the people on the teams I work with - so if you're managing projects, then you need to be there.

OhGood Wed 27-Feb-13 20:34:19

Meant to say - my point is I don't think that 80% of the people need to be an office more than 80% of the time. It's just an inherited nonsense.

Dromedary Wed 27-Feb-13 20:50:29

Midnite scribbler - of course you put your children in childcare if you work from home, but many people save masses of commuting time, so find things like childcare a lot more manageable if they work from home.

Dromedary Wed 27-Feb-13 20:54:11

The problem with companies being draconian, even assuming they can get away with it legally, is that it puts people off, and it's the good employees who can manage to leave to find somewhere nicer to work.
I met someone whose employer banned anything personal on staff's desks - for instance they were not allowed to bring in a single plant or photo.
Some employers will not allow any personal use of the internet at all at work. Some limit and monitor toilet breaks.
Etc etc.
The result is that people feel disrespected, undervalued, exploited, and they leave if they can, and take advantage where they can as a pay-back.

musicalfamily Wed 27-Feb-13 20:57:35

I have been working for multinationals all of my working life, and always worked from home to a certain degree. Since having children mostly worked from home. I am a project manager! It can be done.

Maybe it is because most of our teams are all over the world, it works really well. The company benefits as it can poole the best people for the job wherever they are - this is a huge benefit when resourcing projects/programmes of work.

I have never had issues where I've had to go and "see" people. It's never happened in 8 years where I have mainly worked from home. Customer wants face to face so we do travel to customers, but that's once in a while rather than every day or even week. And for those who comment about slacking off, no chance of that as we are target driven, customer facing, fast paced, nobody is ever off the hook and technology will chase you wherever you are!!

musicalfamily Wed 27-Feb-13 21:03:43

PS I agree about draconian measures and low employee morale only ends up costing the company talent, as the latter are the ones who can easily leave to find a better company to work for...!!

merrymouse Wed 27-Feb-13 21:44:38

It's obvious that working from home will work for some better than others depending on their position and industry.

Having said that, for many employers, making the effort to allow people to work from home enables them to provide employees with a tangible benefit, at no extra cost to the company, and with no tax/NI. In fact, if you can also manage not to provide your employee with a computer, desk, heating or tea or coffee, you can save money.

I suspect that if there is a trend away from home working, it is because jobs are short and employers don't need to make the extra effort to maintain employees.

I also think a key word here is 'employer'. If you can work for yourself, you can choose where to work.

merrymouse Wed 27-Feb-13 21:52:41

Such is the nature of the game these days with BYOD etc. and cloud apps - we are all "on the job" 24/7 and geography is largely irrelevant.

Completely agree with this - you can't expect employees to only "work from home" on their own time. Flexibility works both ways.

merrymouse Wed 27-Feb-13 21:58:16

Re: OP. I Would find it difficult to boycott yahoo, as I don't actually know what they do any more.

niceguy2 Thu 28-Feb-13 09:58:23

Much of it will depend upon the nature of the company and the geography of their offices.

I've WFH for nearly 8 years. I could go into my local office but there's noone else from my division there, let alone my direct team. So I'd still end up emailing them or calling/instant message. There's no difference. The people I work with are spread across multiple timezones and literally all over the world.

But if Yahoo are centred around a few offices then canning WFH could bring benefits. There are often times when I wish I could just push a few people into a meeting room and thrash things out. Telephone conference calls can be frustrating because you know you don't have the full attention of most people as they use the quiet periods to reply to emails, surf the net/whatever.

I also miss the camaraderie of being in the office. Those social interactions and relationships are often priceless when it comes to getting things done.

There are pros and cons to home-working. For me, the point is that the yahoo ban appears to be against all homeworking, independent of personal circumstances or whether the job can be done (in whole or in part) as effectively from home.
To me, that shows a lack of flexibility and creativity and suggests also a lack of trust. I know I work harder and more effectivley if I don't have a four hour commute each day!

Tolly81 Thu 28-Feb-13 11:27:58

Really disappointed with this thread, I though yahoo had actually done something dastardly but no you're down on a working mum who is trying to improve productivity and kick some employees into touch. I certainly won't be boycotting (although I have to say I barely use yahoo but if anything finding out there is a female CEO has enticed me to use it more). If she doesn't improve profits she will get fired along with a load of other people. She's doing it because it's not working for that business, not to be an un-family-friendly bitch. And I'm guessing she knows more about the company than you do. Women make up less than 10% of CEO and other top executive positions, I for one would like to see more support for them when they are trying to do a good job in hard times, not beat them with a "new mum and therefore should let everyone just hang out" stick. What else would you have her let her employees do? Barefoot lentil weaving?

Tolly81 Thu 28-Feb-13 11:29:04


sherbetpips Thu 28-Feb-13 12:53:14

I completely understand why she is doing it. We have whole departments in our company now where everyone is on flexi time/working from home. Arranging meetings is impossible and the person you need is never there.

Sausageeggbacon Thu 28-Feb-13 13:13:03

I wonder how many mothers who use flexible working to reduce child care costs now face a massive hike in childcare or the loss of their job. If they took the job on the basis they could work from home then Yahoo ABU. Bet it will affect a lot more women than men.

ExpatAl Thu 28-Feb-13 14:28:22

She's been given a tough job to get Yahoo back to the state it was and fit to fight in the competitive world today. They had workers who always worked remotely who nobody even knew existed - blatant free loaders. She did the most sensible thing and stopped it completely while she sorted it out. Nobody should ever take a job assuming that you can work from home exclusively unless your contract says so. Otherwise it should be assumed that you work in the office whenever required. Which in this case is always.

bingodiva Thu 28-Feb-13 16:11:44

ive worked from home for nearly 4 years now and hate it - i would go back into the office at the drop of a hat. Fortunately i wouldnt have a big commute if i did go back. Working from the house is boring as there is no one to talk to at all during the day, there is no banter as there would be in the office, no one to go for coffe with or to lunch with. I dont need to be in an office to do my work as ive got all the tools i need to work remotely.

Dromedary Thu 28-Feb-13 18:26:01

In this country if it is agreed that you work from home then that is a contractual right. It's probably the same in the US, the difference being that in the US they can dismiss people on 1 week's notice for any or no reason with no right to bring an unfair dismissal claim. Pretty much what the Tories want to introduce here. A lot of people, especially women, at Yahoo will no doubt have taken the job because they can do it from home. They will now have no alternative but to leave. Imagine that happening to you - you are suddenly jobless and may well not be able to find another job.

Marissa Mayer is possibly the best thing that has happened to Yahoo!

She has also started an initiative to get back "old yahoos" who has left (I am waiting for my phone call, Marissa, if you are reading this, give me a call, theres a dear)

There is another issue with working from home that has to be dealt with, and that is the possibility of security breaches. People working from home has access to a lot of Yahoo! back end systems, and you really dont want them outside the corporate network, but within the security of the building.

LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook has all experienced hacking and security breaches, I imagine she is keen to tighten security too, to prevent further security breaches.

To be perfectly honest, I would prefer an engineer who has access to the back end of my email account to work from an office, and not in some obscure living room/shed out in gooblediville.

"A lot of people, especially women, at Yahoo will no doubt have taken the job because they can do it from home."

I honestly doubt this is the case. Even when I was working there some of the engineers had such revered status that nobody said anything when they did not show up at the office. In the end it was rare for them to be in. I have a feeling this is the culture she is trying to clamp down on. I might be wrong though.

Pendeen Wed 06-Mar-13 11:32:07

From this article - the *real^ reason: "Mayer saw another side-benefit to making this move. She knows that some remote workers won't want to start coming into the office and so they will quit. That helps Yahoo, which needs to cut costs. It's a layoff that's not a layoff."

When on my 'year out' I worked for a practice that insisted everyone be in the office for 9am until 5.30pm unless you were on site visits or surveys. I absolutely hated it, especially the sheer waste of time commuting up to Truro every day.

BTW, this was in 2005 not the 1970s! I couldn't believe how archaic the partners were.

Now I work from home and the benefits are wonderful and I'm far more productive (even allowing for the fact it's my practice).

Oh, and she is not the 'CEO' of anything - only the head of personnel.

ceeveebee Wed 06-Mar-13 11:53:31

She is the president and CEO of Yahoo

noblegiraffe Wed 06-Mar-13 12:06:44

This article on the other hand says she looked at VPN login statistics and found those who were supposed to be working from home were taking the piss and not logging in to do their work.

Pendeen Wed 06-Mar-13 12:42:43

Quite right noblegiraffe, the article started by quoting their personnel manager Jackie Reses, so my apologies to Mayer...

E320 Wed 06-Mar-13 13:02:02

If I understood the article correctly, the people checked up on were not putting in the hours they claimed. If you run a business you need your employees to put in the work. Sadly, there are always a few who take advantage, in this case to the detriment of those working properly from home.
I have just finished a contract at a very large, international organisation, where you could work from home, BUT on the couple of occasions that I did, it was very reluctantly allowed. The other downside was finding your big boss online at 05:30 and it now appears that he is checking up on former colleagues according to their online status. This would not happen if they were in the office.

Pendeen Wed 06-Mar-13 17:17:19

"I am a nurse. Unless all my patients come to my house, I cannot work from home. No sympathy here, I'm afraid. "

What relevance does that have to jobs where flexible working is possible? Presumably when you became a nurse you were aware of the working conditions?

For me, if an employer took me on with flexible working as an integral part of the offer and then tried to make me go into an office every day I would be consulting an employment lawyer very quickly. It's a fundamental change in terms and conditions = constructive dismissal.

johnwomer Mon 17-Jun-13 13:51:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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