Hoping to quell uproar, Yahoo downplays impact of telecommuting ban

Despite Yahoo's efforts to quell some of the furor, the news that it was calling telecommuters back into the office stirred up a heated debate in the tech sector and beyond.

Last month, Yahoo management told employees that the company would end all work-at-home arrangements in June. The decision made headlines when the internal memo announcing the move was leaked.

With many employees working long hours, many businesses feel that letting people work from home, at least part of the time, is good for work-life balance.

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's new CEO, apparently sees another side of the issue. "We need to be one Yahoo, and that starts with physically being together," said a Yahoo memo obtained by All Things D.

After days of debate in the media, Yahoo tried to explain the move in a brief statement. "This isn't a broad industry view about working from home," it said. "This is about what is right for Yahoo, right now."

Some wondered if the decision would have broader ramifications. It could "make it harder for Yahoo to hire," said Rob Enderle, an Enderle Group analyst.

Noting that Yahoo's culture had changed, Technology Business Research analyst Ezra Gottheil said, "I wouldn't be surprised [if the changes] led to problems with remote workers."

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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