Why Yahoo’s Work-at-Home Policy is Correct

***NOTE, this post is being updated in a NEW blog! 


People are making more of this than they should.  This isn’t about discrimination, or  convenient job-cutting or people working in the pajamas.

I suspect that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer discovered that perhaps the current policy was being abused or taken advantage by too many people.  I discovered this in my Technology Group years ago and implemented a similar policy.  COME TO WORK!

The BOTTOM-LINE is that people collaborate best when they work in close proximity. PERIOD.   If this wasn’t true we’d have everyone work from home because it’s cheaper.

You can talk all day about processes, the need to think, but companies, especially when they are challenged in the way that Yahoo is, need people working together in the same place, at the same pace, with common goals that can only really be effectively communicated on a continuous basis in-person!



Sure, I’ll buy into the case when a developer comes to me and says “I have a stretch of coding that I need to focus on, and working at home will give me the extra time and privacy I need to be proficient and prolific.”   I know it’s true for them because it’s true for me, as well.  Once in a while (but never do), I would love to sit down at home, close the door and work heads-down, thinking and creating.

BUT, in a BullishIT environment, you need to be present and accounted for, WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS and your peers.  Even though you can monitor, and code, and test remotely, you NEED to be physically present with your colleagues to be effective, both as a team and an individual professional.


OK, some jobs CAN be done from home, sometimes.  But, if you’re going to work from your home, dress up (notice the tie), act as if you are going to leave the house, and be professional, even though you’re still at home.  In this case, the home has an extensive home-office system (I wonder if he’s allowed to deduct it from his taxes?).


Maybe if the President had to work in the Capitol building with his colleagues….

OK, no politics, then again…


…here’s another job that allows working from home…

So, what did we learn?  That if you want to work from home, avoid Yahoo! (for now) and get a job that encourages working from home and provides the tools and processes that will allow you to be successful.

The presidency is not currently available, but the pope job will be, starting tomorrow.