Yahoo and Teleworking; Let me make you an offer

Written by Anthony Demangone

You may have read about Marissa Mayer’s decision to end Yahoo’s teleworking program. (

What?  The move seems very un-Yahoo.  Very un-tech. Very un-trendy.  That might not be a word.

A dumb move?  Not so fast, my friend. As is usually the case, there’s more to the story.

Here’s some inside baseball on the move. (

For what it’s worth, I support the no working form home rule. There’s a ton of abuse of that at Yahoo. Something specific to the company.”

This source said Yahoo’s large remote workforce led to “people slacking off like crazy, not being available, spending a lot of time on non-Yahoo! projects.”

“It was a great way to get Y! to pay you while you put in minimal work and do your side startup.”

And then there’s this…

“A lot of people hid. There were all these employees [working remotely] and nobody knew they were still at Yahoo.”

Nobody knew they were still at Yahoo.  Yikes.

I don’t know for sure what happened, but I wonder if Mayer was trying to accomplish two things.  She needs to reduce headcount, and she needs to reset a program that has veered terribly off course.

I can’t speak to the headcount issue, but I can see the value in hitting the reset button.  The stories paint a picture of a Yahoo teleworking program that lost its effectiveness.  People were AWOL.  There was no control.  And the value of the program to Yahoo was unclear.

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