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Yahoo! Technology

Mayer Terminates Yahoo's Remote Employee Policy 524

An anonymous reader writes "AllThingsD's Kara Swisher reported and tweeted that Marissa Mayer (CEO since July 2012) has just sent an all-hands email ending Yahoo's policy of allowing remote employees. Hundreds of workers have been given the choice: start showing up for work at HQ (which would require relocation in many cases), or resign. (They can forget about Yahoo advice pieces like this). Mayer has also been putting her stamp on Yahoo's new home page, which was rolled out Wednesday."
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Mayer Terminates Yahoo's Remote Employee Policy

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  • At you desk! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tylikcat ( 1578365 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @12:36PM (#42989647)

    Because face time is so much more important that actual work.

  • bullet in the head (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yonder Way ( 603108 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @12:38PM (#42989657)

    After years of twitching on the gurney, Mayer is finally putting a bullet in Yahoo's head.

  • Re:At you desk! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2013 @12:48PM (#42989711)

    Because face time is so much more important that actual work.

    I work in a small team where one member of the team works remotely one day a week. There's definitely less feeling of teamwork when he's out of the office despite him being available via IM, email, video conference (though we almost never do that) and phone. There's a big difference between "Hey John, this is weird, can you come take a look at this", and while we're talking it over, Bob in the next cube pops his head over and says "Oh yeah, I saw that yesterday, here's how I fixed it".

    Using screensharing and IM/phone just isn't the same.

    But some jobs lend themselves well to remote working, like customer service agents. I worked at a company that had almost their entire workforce working from home, we were low on office space so using remote workers saved us a lot of money since we didn't have to rent new office space to accommodate them and we didn't have to have enough desks to handle the holiday rush that would sit empty for the rest of the year. Accountability was easy since the phone system kept the same call statistics for remote workers as for local workers (including time spent answering customer service emails) and the manager monitored random calls to make sure the home worker was professional without any background noises like kids/pets.

  • by Huntr ( 951770 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @12:52PM (#42989735)

    You know, I want to say it's for the best, due to the twitching on the gurney factor, like you say. But, really, it's not. We consumers need good competition to get the best out of these companies and a big player like Yahoo finally biting the dust we not be good for us

    I suppose an alternative view is that Yahoo has been wallowing around for so long that the competition has not been there anyway. That might be true...

  • Re: At your desk! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by madprof ( 4723 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @01:03PM (#42989805)

    Remote workers are not as useful for close knit development teams as ones in the office. Sometimes you need to speak face to face. All else being equal, of course.

  • by j-stroy ( 640921 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @01:04PM (#42989809)
    First and probably primarily is security holes from supporting remote employees. Yahoo's email seems to have been broadly hacked, so much spam from address books of yahoo addresses. As a CEO, decisive action is made when no one else will speak of the elephant in the room, or assumptions need to be broken to progress.

    Second, I have done lots of team work as well as remote work.. the physical interface of people is important for synergy. The problems I have solved by simply walking around the workplace and networking people who sit within 10m of each other are beyond counting.

    Thirdly, Yahoo must really be in trouble and this is a sincere attempt to save it. Perhaps time to pay for their premium service.. They could use the cash, and i could use downloading my old emails.

    The revenge effect from this decision could be nasty tho.. Security could get worse since some won't go and skills won't get transferred. People who worked remotely may not integrate well and may carry resentment into the workplace and the attempt to save it just might work just enough to drag the brand even lower. Good luck Yahoo! I for one am rooting for you.
  • by Bearhouse ( 1034238 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @01:04PM (#42989813)

    So, regardless of the success or failure of their business model, (hint: it's a failure), senior management has decided that swimming against the tide will mysteriously lead to better customer service and/or lower costs?

    I assume that this move has more to do with reducing variable cost, (payroll), by encouraging people to resign, than actually implementing a well thought-out strategic or tactical innovation. This because if everyone concerned actually turns up to the office, instead of quitting, then costs must inevitably rise. Of course, productivity gains will outpace costs, right? Wrong.

    If management cannot manage remote workers today, with clear objectives supported by good processes and infrastructure, what makes you think they will be able to do it with everyone in-house?

  • by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @01:16PM (#42989889)

    I have a feeling (and it's only a guess admittedly) that this is Mayer trying to stamp her manner of working onto the company. Being present and having a hand in as many different projects as possible is a pretty good way to become a top executive in a company.

    You're absolutely right. This is very common, not just at the CEO level but at all levels of management. Whenever someone takes over a particular position they immediately begin making all sorts of changes and the reason is simple. If everything works out then they can take all the credit and say "I was responsible for that".

    Unfortunately, this mindset frequently results in making lots of changes just for the sake of change. Things aren't better, they're just different. It also frequently results in making lots of changes that actually make things worse.

  • Shortsighted much? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TigerPlish ( 174064 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @01:16PM (#42989895)

    This is a move I expect out of a non-tech C-level. Like, I don't know, healthcare. "Yes, all employees must be chained to their desks by 0830 because otherwise we can't trust that work is being done."

    Stupid, 1950's typewriter-and-adding-machine mentality. "Because that's how it's always been done."

    The two most productive and profitable places I've been to not only allow telecommute -- they encourage it, and not for money. Their numbers tell them people do more work of better quality when free to work wherever.

  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @01:19PM (#42989915) Homepage Journal

    and let's be honest, telecommuting cuts down communication by a lot.

    Does it? I find that increases the amount of traceable and accurate communication. I can't count how much misunderstandings, "misunderstandings" and CYA I have seen due to people relying on facetime. Not to mention priority shifting, because it's much harder to down-prioritize someone who comes to your office. Or when your "just one question" costs half an hour of your time because it takes twenty minutes to get back into where you were after being interrupted.

    Yes, I think there are good things about going to the office. But there are good sides to telecommuting too.
    I've seen people turn less productive with telecommunting, but I've seen them turn more productive and accurate too. And I don't think it'd down to dicipline, but mindset. Either you're cut out for working alone, or you're not.
    I hope those that are at least will get offices with doors at Yahoo.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @01:21PM (#42989933) Homepage

    You dont attract the top people to your company by acting like a micromanaging jerk... This lady is proof that it's not your skills but who you know to become CEO.

  • Re: At your desk! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @01:31PM (#42990011) Homepage

    A lot of people are not suitable for remote employment, and a lot of people just aren't capable of involving off-site people. But if you've done it a while, hopefully you've weeded out those who couldn't and shouldn't and are left with good people you wouldn't otherwise have on staff. Doing anything like this without a grandfather clause sounds like chasing away a lot of good people that you've worked hard to find for almost no reason at all. But then I've never had any major issue with corporate suicides, unlike people they don't have any inherent reason to exist.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @01:36PM (#42990059)

    The hallmark of truly bad management is making wrong decision in the face of well known facts that make it obvious the decisions are wrong. This is what many incompetents in high positions mistake for "leadership". It comes with vast overestimation of their own skills (which are often pitiful), meaningless productivity metrics (time being the most popular, as it is easy for these "high performers" to clock more of it, which does make them "long stayers", but does routinely _decrease_ their performance, such as it is), an ignorance of the well established basics of good management. The problem is of course that managers are hired by managers and the atrociously bad practices are just perpetuated.

  • Re:At you desk! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2013 @01:43PM (#42990113)

    Wrong. Lots of programmers can't spell. Grammar also doesn't matter much since we don't compile this language.

  • by Dexter Herbivore ( 1322345 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @01:46PM (#42990141) Journal
    Did you get your work done though? If you did, then it shouldn't matter if you telecommute.
  • by Cyrano de Maniac ( 60961 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @01:59PM (#42990199)

    First and probably primarily is security holes from supporting remote employees.

    This is definitely not the case, for one safe-to-assume reason and one from Mayer's memo itself.

    The safe-to-assume reason is that Yahoo will certainly continue providing remote access to employees for working from home during off-hours, while travelling on company business, and for employees who are on-call. If you have to provide remote access for even one employee some of the time you have the same set of security considerations as if you provide remote access for all employees all of the time.

    And Mayer's memo makes reference to employees exercising good judgement about waiting at home for the cable guy situations. This implies that it is recognized there will always be one-off situations where an employee needs to work from home for a particular day, even if they are not allowed to do so as their standard day-to-day situation. So once again, if you provide remote access for even one, you have all the same security considerations as if you allowed every employee to work from home all the time.

    I personally think this is just as some other posters have said -- it's a stealth layoff to avoid paying severance by getting people to quit on their own, and the decision will gradually be reversed (or the policy just not enforced) once the desired reductions have been accomplished.

    ObSnark: When did Carly change her name to Marissa?

  • by gpmanrpi ( 548447 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @02:00PM (#42990207)
    This is probably a management oversight problem. We will see what becomes of it. It is not Yahoo!'s biggest problem. The problem with Yahoo! is that it doesn't have a point. I think many of us remember when it was a fairly useful directory of websites, and then transformed into a "web portal." I think that still translates to shitty web based AOL clone thing. Now, it seems like there are just a lot of other sites that do each individual thing better. Whether it is Google for search, Gmail for e-mail, tons of news aggregators for news, Pandora/Spotify/Grooveshark for Music, Netflix/Hulu/Youtube for movies and video, etc. Is the new home page better than the old one? I think so. It is much clearer with less cruft. Still at the end of the day if I am a web user why would I want to use Yahoo! for internet dating, when I can use, pof, etc. Yahoo! brand itself doesn't convey anything anymore. It carries no gravitas, it is not associated with quality, speed, clarity, innovation, etc. To be honest, I associate it with spam and compromised e-mail addresses.
    If they still want to be a "web portal" they need to really figure out a compelling reason for a web portal. Why should I come to What does a web portal do for me that google can't do just as easily? When they answer that question honestly, then they can figure out a way to move forward. Otherwise, they are a prisoner to their past that is not likely to return.
    Ms. Mayer seems to see some of the problems. I guess the problem is whether the boat has hit the iceberg or if there is still time to turn?
  • Re:At you desk! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @02:15PM (#42990307)

    Well I don't work remotely, but if Bob kept popping his head over my cube I'd get annoyed with him fast, this is a reason I frequently work from home or starbucks or just any damn place other than my cube. There's a time of day to discuss problems, and there's a time of day to get work done. You schedule meetings for that discussion thing, you make them as short as possible, and you agree on a time of day when everyone needs to be available (usually "normal work hours", or the subset including all US time zones).

    You can do that via some live meeting method, or you can do it in a conference room. There is no difference, only some real dinosaurs who mostly haven't survived the industry think otherwise. The only possible objective here is that she has to lay off some people, she can't necessarily afford a layoff (i.e. severance, litigation risks, etc.), so she's changing a policy to cause people to voluntarily resign. The risk of course is that if people do not quit, and take her up on the relo, she may end up spending more.

    If Yahoo! is in SF, then I'd quit, it's too expensive and would require too much of a cost of living reduction. I imagine she's banking on that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2013 @02:23PM (#42990351)

    makes her a slut

  • Re:At you desk! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trepidity ( 597 ) <> on Saturday February 23, 2013 @02:30PM (#42990385)

    That's the case with me as well. The most tight-knit collaboration happens among the subset of people, both local and remote, who idle in an IRC channel we have. Whether someone uses IRC and is reasonably responsive on it is a much better predictor of connectedness to my own projects than when they're local or remote. That said, if they aren't going to use IRC, it's better to be local than remote.

  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @02:36PM (#42990423)

    If you resign- no unemployment benefits.

  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @02:41PM (#42990449)

    Even a little bit of reading on Mayer reveals that while technically female, she is messed up mentally and fairly inhuman.

    She's very likely the classic "sociopath at the top".

    Under our current set of laws (and under laissez faire capitalism) sociopaths are very effective leaders except when they realize they can make more money killing a profitable company than keeping it alive.

    I've seen the last case... it was like "Hmmm, if they live, I get 3 years salary for 3 years work.. but if I kill them, I get 3 years salary for 1 years work and then get to go somewhere else."

  • by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @02:45PM (#42990483) Journal

    Yahoo was useful way back BECAUSE it's directory was human organized and validated. If I wanted a list of sites about computer hardware I could navigate their index to find a bunch of sites they've found. It was a meta bookmark system managed by humans.

    If that was still around I'd still use it.

  • by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @02:46PM (#42990495) Homepage Journal
    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand you are the problem. Stop asking "Are you done yet?" and "Where are you at on this?" all of the time. A simple check in at the end of the day saying "I did this, My plan of work tomorrow is this, and this leaves us at x position". Some things take days. If I have to tell you and show you why it takes days, it just took even more.
  • Re:At you desk! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bodero ( 136806 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @03:01PM (#42990585)

    You're right... Remote working doesn't work when it's a small part of the team. The rest communicates via their usual face to face measures, and the remote worker is isolated.

    When the whole team works remotely, though, the methods of communication change to accommodate.

  • Re: At your desk! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tarius8105 ( 683929 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @03:01PM (#42990589)
    When I am in the office, people from different organizations continually come up to me to ask me questions and a lot of times they can figure it out themselves but they're too lazy. These distractions tend to disrupt my thought process and so when I go back to the task I was working on it takes a bit of time for me to get back into that thought process. Its worse when I actually have to go look at something for one of these people. I am also limited at how long I can spend at work due to being single and having two dogs who need to be let out roughly after 9 hours. That means if you take into account my commute I only work 8 hours.

    When I work from home, I am only distracted as needed by people. Most times they send an email which I can respond to at my leisure. I also do not have a time limit and I can go let my dogs outside to relieve themselves and then go back to work. I end up actually working closer to 12 hours when I work from home.

    I will say that yes if I were married and had kids I would probably have distraction at home but I would have to in that situation have a separation in my home where I had an office instead of working from my recliner in the living room.
  • Re:At you desk! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @03:13PM (#42990669)

    Working long hours is well known to massively decrease productivity due to significant increases in mistakes and wrong decisions.

    This generally get compounded by the fact that "Working hours is ill defined." From the company point of view and the legally, the number of hours worked is from the time you get to work, to the time you leave work. The companies point of view nor the law change the fact that from the employees point of view and from a biological point of view, work begins when you start getting ready for work at home until you get back home in the evening. That and a lunch hour is not enough time to convert the time into non-work time. Thus, the standard work day for an employee with an hour commute is ~12 hours to start.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2013 @03:14PM (#42990673)

    so, it's ok for companies to take advantage of differences in local wages, but fuck the little guy if does it?

  • Re:It depends (Score:5, Insightful)

    by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @03:17PM (#42990695)

    A half hour? really? If I was interrupted every half hour for frivolous or repetitious fraternizing, I'd never get anything done. You sound like one of those managers who's always calling meetings to discuss the smallest minutiae possible just to make himself feel important. You're attacking a stereotype. Not all developers are anti-social neckbeards. Many can, and do regulate their own communications/productivity balance with the rest of the team just fine. They don't need a bell ringing every 45 minutes like they're still in highschool. YOU may prefer to walk up to someone's desk and demand 100% of their focus/time, but while they're busy trying to make you feel better, they're not getting any work done. An IM message, or email allows asynchronous loading where he can order his thoughts and give you a thoughtful reply. I can't count the number of times I've been asked on-the-spot questions that really should be given some time for thought, then been told I'm anti-social for it. It's bullshit.

    While everyone is 'sparring' and 'updating', no work is getting done. Programming is not the same as planning a party. Most programmers find it difficult to focus as it is, and here you are literally driving them to distraction with your attempts at playing therapist. Perhaps you're the only INSANE person in the office, and maybe the work of those canned employee's wasn't so bad. Perhaps it just didn't jive with the politically correct consensus-makes-fact attitude you bred in the office. There are many ways to solve problems.

    Just because you find others' social awkwardness entertaining doesn't make it right to tell them where they must sit or talk with during lunch. This is, again, treating them like children because they don't socialize in the way you'd like. I've worked for managers like you, and frankly, they do little but drive everybody crazy.

  • Exact opposite (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2013 @03:22PM (#42990719)

    Most of the next-cube-over conversations are distracting. I can't concentrate nearly as well on my work when I am constantly bombarded by phone conversations, office conversations, and people shuffling around. We have a white noise generator. It doesn't work; it just makes everyone talk louder.

    When I work at home, I get more hours in (since I work during the time I would otherwise be traveling to/from work), and I get a lot more done during those hours (because it is quiet and I can concentrate). People with families should set up an office, preferably separated from the house, if they need to avoid being pestered.

    Furthermore, we have many remote employees where I work. We use skype and gotomeeting a lot, as most teams include at least one remote person.

    It works fine.

    Maybe the culture where we work is just better adapted to this, since we have always had and needed remote employees. I don't know. But the complaints I hear people making about working remotely just don't fit my experience having done it, and having worked with people doing it, for years.

  • Re: At your desk! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bert64 ( 520050 ) < ... NBSDom minus bsd> on Saturday February 23, 2013 @03:33PM (#42990791) Homepage

    It entirely depends on the individual, the company and the circumstances...
    If I go into the office, the place is like a zoo... I am constantly interrupted, the environment is noisy, the seats are uncomfortable, the a/c doesn't work in summer and the heating doesn't work in winter, the network is slow and unreliable (and worse if more people are there), and most people are agitated having just suffered through an hour+ commute to get there.
    If I work at home i have a quiet office room which is dedicated to work, which contains a comfortable chair etc. When i have lunch i only have to go as far as the kitchen, eat and then return to work instead of having to leave the building and stand in line.
    If i need to communicate with colleagues they can email, im or call me depending on the urgency of the communication, and they know only to call (which forces me to stop whatever i'm already doing to answer) if its an urgent matter.
    I don't have any children, i am here alone during the day.
    I don't work longer hours at home, but it does mean that i get more relaxation time since i don't lose 3 hours/day to commuting (time which is totally non productive and wasted). But you are right about working longer hours not being more productive, as you get tired you become less able to concentrate and are more prone to mistakes... A lot of people fail to understand this however, and would prefer staff to work longer hours, they often think of their employees as machines in this respect.

    So working from home i waste no time on commuting, i sit more comfortably and i have less distractions. I am generally able to get considerably more done when at home than if i was in the office.

  • Re:At you desk! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BoRegardless ( 721219 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @03:54PM (#42990947)

    Some studies have shown that an interruption where you totally lose focus for another discussion causes you to take 15-20 minutes to get "back into the groove" of complex work.

    I understand this from my own work when it is complex. It doesn't have to be difficult, but just involve many things the mind juggles when attempting to come up with the best solution or design.

  • Re: At your desk! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GreyWolf3000 ( 468618 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @03:59PM (#42990973) Journal

    I hear this fallacy a lot.

    When I work from home, I'm still pairing up with another developer over skype/tmux, and I am super productive doing it.

    It's 2012, there's no reason remote working should incur a penalty in collaboration.

  • Re:At you desk! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2013 @04:13PM (#42991075)

    He is lucky, to have an honest employee...
    Corporations exist to increase profit for their owners, employees are considered as expendable resources and unfortunate necessities.

    If you work for the right company, profit for the company also becomes profit for yourself. I get an annual bonus based on the company's performance, as well as stock option grants that may very well be worth several years of salary some day (but it's just as likely that they will be worthless - a good product doesn't ensure financial success) And we are small enough that my individual contributions can have a material effect on company performance. Well, more like if I screw up, it can have a hugely detrimental effect on the company's performance.

    Similarly, employees work because they are being paid, their primary goal is to earn money and they won't do anything that's for the benefit of the company if it's to the detriment of themselves.
    Anyone who says differently is lying, and is probably saying it because they think its what their boss wants to hear.

    I chose the company I worked for because I believe in the product they are selling and think that it's good for people and the environment, and I turned down a higher paying job to work for this company. Granted I have some hope of a financial reward in the future from stock options, but that's by no means assured and isn't my primary motivation for working. I like my job because I feel that I'm important to the company, and I get pretty much a blank check to buy any hardware/software that will make our product better or more reliable (within reason -- everything needs to be jusitified, but we've never been told "no" for something that had a good justification, we just finished a $750K server/storage upgrade project.

    My coworkers (and myself) are willing to put in long hours at times to help the company, which cuts into their own personal time, so yes, some employees *will* do something at the detriment of themselves even if it's only to benefit of the company. If I do my job right, after-hours support is rare, but it did take a few weekends to cutover to the new server/storage architecture. I personally delayed a long-planned vacation when it coincided with a large product demo so I could be at the office to help ensure things went smoothly. I was under no obligation to do so, but did so for the benefit of the company since what's good for the company is good for myself and my coworkers.

    I know there are plenty of workers that are only interested in a 9-5 job and have no interest in doing anything beyond the bare minimum to get a paycheck, but there are also a lot of workers that are interested in their company's success because they have a stake in it.

    If you're at a job where you feel that you are an "expendable resources and unfortunate necessities", why are you still there? The company could (and probably should) fire you at any time and they wouldn't even notice. My company could fire me at any time, but they would certainly experience some short to mid-term pain. Although I try to make myself as expendable as possible through good engineering and documentation, a good set of docs doesn't replace deep experience and understanding of the product.

  • by Stiletto ( 12066 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @04:34PM (#42991195)

    Careful what you wish for, Slashdotters, if your job can be done from home it can be done from India.

  • Re:It depends (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @04:34PM (#42991197) Homepage

    "Programming is not the same as planning a party"

    No, but unless you're a 14 year old bedroom coder , programming is almost always a team activity. If you can't interact with other people then you're going to have a problem holding down a decent programming job. The days of the coder sitting silently in the corner of the office and tossing some finished code over the wall once every month are gone. If they ever existed.

  • by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @05:11PM (#42991381)
    I'll bet you my US Robotics modem this is simply about layoffs. Laying off people is expensive - However, if they quit, well that's much cheaper.

    "You have to come into the office now."
    "Come into the office? No way. I quit."
  • Re:At you desk! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2013 @05:19PM (#42991419)

    Actual Real Life Event:

    My large blue employer terminated work from home several years ago. I now sit in a several hundred office cube farm with a shoulder level barrier between cubes that are 6 feet at most apart. For a long time no one sat across from me and only one, generally quiet, person to the side. Then a cube reshuffle happened.

    I come in early for some quiet time and to plan out the day. Cubes were reassigned so I now have 2 loud people across from me, one of them comes in early too. To further disable any concentration, this person regularly leads a conference call when he comes in. Now, how likely is it that a person could focus with that going on 4 feet away? Not exactly.

    A successful, smart business would realize theres a middle ground here, that some work from home is good and desirable. Yahoo is doing two things -
    1. A layoff without calling it a layoff.
    2. Undermining employees and will bring in a boat load of contract, mostly H1B / L1, employees to weaken any bargaining power employees have for raises, flexibility, compensation. I know this because I have lived it at my large blue employer.

    lastly: Actively resist in any manner the current "reform" of H1B etc. Tech companies are using its loop holes to bring in more supply of compliant foreign workers. They arent bring in the best and brightest as the program is designed to do, they are just increasing supply to weaken US workers bargaining power. Guess what, its working great for them!

  • by Ryanrule ( 1657199 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @09:19PM (#42992809)

    Guess why the costs and overruns are out of control. Because the boomer and genx management has committed more and more to paying h1-bs 35k a year while charging $200/hour for their work.

  • Re:At you desk! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dwpro ( 520418 ) <dgeller777@gmail. c o m> on Saturday February 23, 2013 @11:04PM (#42993263)

    It's not that folks are "too cool". It's incredibly inefficient to break concentration on complex tasks for tedium that could be more appropriately handled in a scheduled meeting or even a simple email. The interrupter may get what they need, but it's at the cost of the company generally. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to be 4 threads deep debugging an issue only to have a project manager drop in to get simple information they could easily have requested by email.

    What's worse, I think many people understand how badly interruptions sets back our work. However, they only care about their own priorities/deadlines and believe that whatever they are working on is more important. Which, in some cases it might be, but many times it's not in my experience.

    I agree vehemently on the value of and face time and communication, but I cannot fathom how anyone attempting to focus on a challenging task could function in your described environment. I would expect slower development and more errors due to interruption. I'm guessing, since it sounds like it was your idea at your company, you're a little more attuned to the positive aspects of the decision.

  • Re: At you desk! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mverwijs ( 815917 ) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @04:00AM (#42994155) Homepage

    Yes but in the case of getting sidetracked at work, the activity you're being sidetracked into is much more likely to also be work related.

    The subject of the interruption matters nothing to the deadline not made.

"Well, social relevance is a schtick, like mysteries, social relevance, science fiction..." -- Art Spiegelman