Yahoo! CEO shakes the “work from home” culture

If you are serious about building a more productive workforce and getting “bang for your buck” then you should follow the lead of Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and begin eliminating employees who work from home.

On Friday, Mayer told employees who work from home that by June they would all expect to be reporting to the office. Her thinking according to various articles includes:

  • Decision-making is snappier when employees are in the office rather than hiding behind electronic communications
  • Ideas are shared more easily when employees are actually interacting
  • Employees who “hide” or are engaged in sideline business ventures (“There were all these employees [working remotely] and nobody knew they were still at Yahoo.”)
  • Employees are simply more productive when they are contributing to a collaborative team environment
  • It is often your most expensive employees who demand the autonomy to work unmanaged from home. If cost-cutting is an issue for your business (as it is at Yahoo!) then this is a way of “restructuring without restructuring”. If employees who don’t want to fit in, can leave.

While there is plenty of research to suggest that mobility improves productivity, it is essential for managers to actually manage their people. Certain personalities and industries are more likely to work better in an office environment than being allowed to run riot by operating from home.

Jackie Reses (pictured), head of Human Resources at Yahoo! concluded in her mail to staff: "Being a Yahoo isn’t just about your day-to-day job, it is about the interactions and experiences that are only possible in our offices."


  1. I believe management in Yahoo has failed their HRM. Don’t they know that they can manage their employees performance via appraisal system and eliminate those who are not performing from the company? Not providing flexibility to the workers will causing talented people leaving the company hence failed their Talent retention.

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