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Yahoo! bans working from home; former employee says workers were "milking the company"

Ted Ballantine

Yahoo has posted revenue declines for three years straight

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has banned working from home at the struggling tech company

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer took the drastic step over the weekend of ending the work-from-home option at the company, requiring all workers to return to their offices by June 1. The rule change made some employees angry, but many who work for Yahoo have come out and said the work-from-home policy was trouble from the start.

Yahoo has struggled recently, posting revenue drops in three straight years and fighting for relevancy amidst the popularity of Google. Yahoo employees have long been able to work from their homes, but that ended last week when a memo was sent out detailing the policy change. The memo, in part, read:

“To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.”

Many media outlets and employees have skewered Mayer for the rule change.

“Mayer has taken a giant leap backward,” said Jody Thompson of CultureRx in an e-mail to NewsDay. “Instead of keeping great talent, she is going to find herself with a workplace full of people who are good at showing up and putting in time.”

Richard Branson, a billionaire entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Group Ltd., also disliked the change.

“This seems a backwards step in an age when remote working is easier and more effective than ever,” Branson wrote in a blog post. “If you provide the right technology to keep in touch, maintain regular communication and get the right balance between remote and office working, people will be motivated to work responsibly, quickly and with high quality.”

But former Yahoo employees said they support the rule change because the work-from-home policy was detrimental to work ethic.

“For what it’s worth, I support the ‘no working from home’ rule,” said a former Yahoo engineer who spoke on the condition of anonymity with Business Insider. “There’s a ton of abuse of that at Yahoo…people slacking off like crazy, not being available, spending a lot of time on non-Yahoo projects.”

“I agree with what she [Mayer] did. Many workers were milking the company,” said another anonymous former employee who spoke with the Huffington Post.

Mayer worked at Google before she was selected to the position of CEO at Yahoo!. The company has had six CEOs in the last six years.

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