Judging from the reaction to Yahoo’s abolishment of work-from-home arrangements, you’d think CEO Marissa Mayer had bitten the head off a live dove onstage at CES or something. After plying her new employees with free food and iPhones, had a tyrant finally revealed herself?
Not so much, according to the New York Times, which says the move was actually part and parcel of Ms. Mayer’s ongoing campaign to make working at the company less of a complete bummer, all right? If that’s okay with you, Richard Branson?
The Times paints a pretty dismal picture of conditions at the company:
Parking lots and entire floors of cubicles were nearly empty because some employees were working as little as possible and leaving early.
Then there were the 200 or so people who had work-at-home arrangements. Although they collected Yahoo paychecks, some did little work for the company and a few had even begun their own start-ups on the side.
Anonymous sources told the Times of poor morale and little direction, which is pretty much a recipe for abuse of telecommuting privileges. “In the tech world it was such a bummer to say you worked for Yahoo,” said one former employee, adding, “I’ve heard she wants to make Yahoo young and cool.”
It’s pretty tough to telegraph “young and cool” when the parking lot empties out faster than East Midtown on a Tuesday night. Then again, it’s hard to sell 9-to-5 in the cubicle as hip.