Yahoo! bans home working

Internet media company Yahoo! has banned home working for employees in order to promote better collaboration.

“To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side,” a memo from HR director Jackie Rese, that was leaked to technology news blog AllThingsD, reads. “That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices.

“Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.

“We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”

The irony of an Internet company demanding face-to-face collaboration has not been missed, and the decision has drawn criticism for observers.

Mobile telecommunications provider O2, which recently surveyed 2,000 UK workers on their attitudes to remote working, said “companies like Yahoo! are missing out on huge benefits”.

However, O2’s research found many businesses overstate the degree to which they support home working. It found that while 77% of companies claim to encourage flexible working, only 19% of employees said this was truly the case.

Other discrepancies between employers and their staff included the finding that 56% of companies felt their home working policies were clear, but only 18% of workers agreed, and that 54% of companies claim to provide the necessary technology, with which only 33% of staff agreed.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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