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No, I Don’t Care if Yahoo Lets Their Employees Work From Home or Not

The biggest HR story of the week has attracted so much attention, it is now completely impossible to avoid. Yahoo decided late last week that it would stop allowing its employees to work from home.

Everyone freaked out.


  • The trend has been to allow more flexibility, not less
  • Some employees were promised this perk
  • Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer isn’t a good mom; therefore, suck it parents
  • Yahoo just wants to get people to leave
  • They should know how to manage people without looking over their shoulders
  • We’re going backwards! This isn’t progressive!

I’ve received no less than three press releases calling attention to the situation which means this issue has already jumped the shark.

The best part about those press releases? Each of them came to a different conclusion based on “studies” and “data.”

Let me take this snark level to eleven: If Marissa Mayer burned Yahoo’s Sunnyvale headquarters to the ground, I wouldn’t look for some deeper meaning to that action. Outside of a few people I know there that I would personally feel bad for, I wouldn’t think that it is indicative of some trend of CEO’s burning their corporate headquarter buildings to the ground. I wouldn’t be playing armchair psychologist trying to figure out what drove her to do it. I wouldn’t be writing passionate articles about how she made a huge mistake and that CEO’s shouldn’t be burning down their corporate headquarters. I wouldn’t write that she is anti-feminist because she prefers burning buildings to the ground instead of, well, not burning them to the ground, I suppose.

Do you get it yet?

Burning a company’s headquarters to the ground is way worse (and much more psychotic) than making people who are paid money by you come into work at an office and be physically there for a set period of time. And if I can’t be bothered to care about the former, I certainly won’t care much about the latter.

Marissa Mayer knows more about Yahoo’s problems than any of you yahoos and has a lot more skin in the game than anyone else (except maybe a few institutional shareholders). That’s not reason alone to trust her but it certainly should be enough to stop inventing crazy ideas about why this is happening and look at the move in context:

  • Yahoo is hurting
  • They don’t know what they don’t know
  • They brought in Mayer to fix it
  • This is not indicative of a larger trend

Will Yahoo lose some people? Yes. Do you seriously think that they didn’t know this going into it? Yeah, I don’t think so.

I love working from home and if this impacted me unexpectedly, I wouldn’t be super happy about it. But it also wouldn’t be a news story and certainly nobody would be making wild claims about my boss and his motivations.

Unless he burned down our headquarters, of course. Then, at least he would make the emergency services report.

By Lance Haun

Strategy for The Starr Conspiracy. Former HR pro. Portland guy (Go Blazers!) and WSU alum (Go Cougs!). I get to write about what I want here.

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