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Old 02-27-2013, 01:45 PM   #1
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... Yahoo!. Wow.

Regardless of the merits of the idea (I am personally a little skeptical about some of the hype surrounding the claimed benefits of working from home), the memo from HR on behalf of the CEO is a classic piece of who-are-you-trying-to-kid "upbeatness". It could have appeared word-for-word in the wonderful "Who Moved My BlackBerry™?".
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
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Here is a follow up from Vooza:

http://vooza.com/handcuffs/
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:55 PM   #3
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That is one way to reduce the current workforce.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:12 PM   #4
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There's been pretty much coverage about the CEO's decision at Yahoo. From what I hear, she's pretty much a my way or the highway type of CEO.

I see both sides of the equation. Thinking back to my days of w*rking, I do think collaboration was much better when folks met face-to-face.

Yet at the same time. A flat out, no more telecommuting is pretty harsh. I remember many days on pager (remember those things?) duty, when the system went down and I'd get a call. The task of logging into work from home surely was a not better than having to travel into the office and look at the problem, especially on a crappy day like a snowy winter one.

Memories...
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:44 PM   #5
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I have w*rked from home for the past 9 years. I love it. I am an introvert, and I found the constant small talk and chit chat at the office to be exhausting, not to mention the politics. And, I was old enough to be everyone's mother at my office, so as my friends left I was blessed to get this j*b.

I have no interruptions, no one chats me up when I go to the kitchen for another cup of tea, and I know I am far more productive. I don't have the stress of the commute in bad weather, and the older I get, the more that means to me.

When I first took this j*b I heard third-hand comments that people were always shocked that I answered my phone on the first ring. People just assume you're goofing off if you're not being watched. Believe me, what I do (if I quit doing it) would be quickly noticed if I were indeed goofing off. I don't have time for it.

I think it's a great perq to offer employees at little to no cost to the employer. It's sad Yahoo's CEO is so short sighted. I wish them all luck in finding something better. Sounds like there will be lots of hard feelings over this one. I know I'd be furious if I had to give this up. And if I did, they'd be doing good to get a full 40 out of me, instead of the 50+ they get now.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:03 PM   #6
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Yet at the same time. A flat out, no more telecommuting is pretty harsh. I remember many days on pager (remember those things?) duty, when the system went down and I'd get a call. The task of logging into work from home surely was a not better than having to travel into the office and look at the problem, especially on a crappy day like a snowy winter one.
From what I read elsewhere, I didn't get the impression that after hours work had to be done at the office, but they just wanted everyone in during base work hours for collaboration.

I'd have quit had my company mandated this. I telecommuted for years and generally got more done without the cubicle distractions, but I also had a job that was mostly independent and ideal for telecommuting. When they moved that job to India and wanted me to work on a new project, I knew that telecommuting wouldn't work for me so I did leave, even though they were going to let me try.

I think it's a poor policy to do across the board like this, with no flexibility. They should trust managers to decide whether individual members of their staff have assignments and ability to work from home.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:24 PM   #7
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It's a stealth layoff. A fair chunk of their telecommuters live so far from the Yahoo campus that they would be looking at 3-4 hours of car time daily. By getting people to self-layoff Yahoo avoids much expense and paperwork. Oh, and Google and Facebook are well aware of the layoff, and are recruiting.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:27 PM   #8
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It's a stealth layoff.
That was my first thought when I saw the announcement. A chunk of those folks will leave rather than make the daily trip to the office.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:43 PM   #9
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That is one way to reduce the current workforce.
Most public servants could work from home and you would see no drop in productivity
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:45 PM   #10
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Most public servants could work from home and you would see no drop in productivity
You do understand there are hundreds of public servants who participate on this forum, right?
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:49 PM   #11
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You do understand there are hundreds of public servants who participate on this forum, right?
I meant it in the nicest possible way.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:57 PM   #12
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I worked from home and ended up creating something that literally brought in millions of dollars to us (a big deal). But eventually it occurred to me that if you work from home, you're always at work!
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:03 PM   #13
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When I used to w*rk from home, the only way I'd not get distracted was to set up an area will all my w*rk stuff in a corner dedicated for w*rk. Otherwise, I'd get side tracked.

The best part was when the w*rk hours were up and my "commute" involved walking from that w*rk area to my living room
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:14 PM   #14
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That is one way to reduce the current workforce.
Ya, and it works too.

Anyone they really want to keep will be at least partially exempted when the call to HR to "Start my termination papers" happens. Kind of sticky stuff to explain to those not exempted from the policy , but it always happens this way.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:23 AM   #15
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I have rarely worked from home, perhaps 4 hours a month max, for reviewing papers or charting online. I understand why some companies want to reduce telecommuting.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:10 AM   #16
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I have worked from home for the last 10 years. Sometimes 1 day a week. Sometimes 5 when I really need to get something done. Today's technology makes it easy. But I see the CEO's position - she wants to layoff workers and this is a way to do it for free. But good luck on hiring top talent at Yahoo in the future.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:30 AM   #17
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I am fortunate to have a choice to work from home when I want and do so 2-3 times a week. I would feel very uncomfortable working at home full time. There is still something to be said for meeting and seeing people face-to-face, and my most successful projects have been ones where there was a good amount of face time among the participants.

So I can see her point to a degree... however, to make it mandatory will impact morale, and I agree with those who say it is a subtle way to get folks to leave without having to lay them off. Working at home is a good "benefit" when the labor market is tight, but sadly in these times companies are rescinding this because the available labor pool (particularly when one looks at it from a global perspective) is large.

My megacorp has done this at certain locations. They have moved a function to a less costlier state and told the employees that to keep their job they must move (at their own expense) as they will not be allowed to work remotely.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:24 AM   #18
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Most public servants could work from home and you would see no drop in productivity
It depends on what they do. I now work at a large computer center and most of the core employees do their jobs at a keyboard. Does it really matter how long the wire from the keyboard to the computer is? I think not.

So a lot of them work from home at least a few days a week.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:31 AM   #19
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This is (as other said) really a way to slash the workforce without severance packages and unemployment compensation. I also have little doubt that the company will find a way to carve out exceptions for truly exceptional and/or critical personnel they really don't want to lose.

In reality telecommuting can work really well or really badly, depending on the type of work you do and the management in place. The management needs to not only be supportive of the process, but also the ability to define the expectations of home office employees *and* the means to measure their effectiveness.

I've worked at home full time since 2009. My employer has mostly embraced it as a way to reduce facilities costs and allow us to be more flexible in our working hours so we can be more responsive to the needs of coworkers all over the globe.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:51 AM   #20
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This is (as other said) really a way to slash the workforce without severance packages and unemployment compensation. I also have little doubt that the company will find a way to carve out exceptions for truly exceptional and/or critical personnel they really don't want to lose.
This is probably the case, and if so, it is sad.

From this morning's FT Bosses are reining in staff because they can - FT.com

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The lesson to draw from Ms Mayer’s whip-cracking – in Silicon Valley, of all places – is that this is an age of harder work. From intense teamwork at the top to monitoring and surveillance at the bottom, managers are squeezing more from employees than they previously would have dared.

./.

That has undermined employees’ bargaining power, enabling managers to impose greater demands on their shrinking workforces. “For several years, managers have been able to ask workers to do two jobs without any of them quitting,” says Peter Cappelli, a management professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
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