Yahoo! leadership and CEO Marissa Mayer created quite a stir this week by announcing major changes to the company’s work-from-home policy. Going forward, Yahoo! employees who have heretofore worked remotely must report to work at a company office.
The tech press made much of the edict, which some employees view as a “morale killer.”
Whether or not this is one in a series of moves that will turn Yahoo! around remains to be seen. For the time-being, Mayer has on her hands a public relations gaffe that calls into question her sensitivity to the balanced personal lives of company staffers.
Management is now scrambling to pick up the pieces, and will be releasing a new memo to clarify the intent of the first memo. Banner Ad Confidential obtained a copy of Memo 2.0 by writing it, then leaking it to ourselves anonymously.
Here’s the fake memo in which Marissa Mayer clarifies the Yahoo! WFH Policy:
YAHOO! PROPRIETARY, CONFIDENTIAL AND FAKE — DO NOT FORWARD (BUT PLEASE RE-TWEET)
27 Feb 2013
Over the past few days there has been a lot of talk in the press about this week’s WFH memo that Jackie sent out. Which is one of the reasons Jackie was fired.
The other reason is that she wanted to WFH occasionally, and that shit don’t play here no more.
To be clear, the WFH issue has been taken totally out of context by the press, who then amplified it using the social media platforms that now hold the dominant market position that Yahoo! used to occupy (ironic, right?).
But let me first say – we handled the announcement of the policy poorly, and I apologize.
I get that a flexible workspace is important to you as both employees and as employees who aren’t working at the time. Believe me – I understand that family means balancing priorities. It was for this reason that I recently permitted myself the luxury of a 3-day weekend to give birth.
That extra day of recovery was divine!
Know this: Yahoo! is committed to a positive work environment in which Yahoos can lead healthy, well-balanced lives (which is why I built a Gymboree in my executive suite).
So while the changes in our WFH policy do restrict flexibility somewhat, they are not an outright ban. Please allow me to clarify the following points:
- Yahoos with sick children can totally WFH if they feel that the health of their child is more important than boosting the stock price above $25/share for the first time in five years. Hey, it’s your call.
- All employees can WFH up to a total of four days per year, with a maximum of one time each for the following excuses: cable/internet guy, plumber, race riot, intense gastric distress, or nuclear war. (Please note that sick days are a separate matter, but “existential career crisis” and “my manager makes me want to barf” are not considered illnesses)
- If you need to be home in excess of these parameters, you will need to take PTO. Better yet, have that deadbeat husband of yours stay home. As if anyone’s going to miss him at his job. What is he – like a history teacher or something? Come on.
- If you still can’t make it into the office, we will replace your new iPhone with a Palm Vx and an OmniSky modem.
- Employees are permitted to make one daily personal phone call (lasting no more than 5 minutes). While some might find this measure draconian, we don’t want you to miss out on impromptu office discussions just because you’re stuck on the phone with your senile mother trying to explain for the 50th time how the remote control works. Sure, she might be suffering from dementia, but in the eyes of the law, she is still an adult, and should be able to take care of herself.
- Exception to the telephone rule: you may use the phone if your house is on fire only after trying to reach the fire department using Yahoo! IM or another one of our nifty mobile apps (wouldn’t it make a great case study if IM yielded a quicker response! 🙂 ).
- IMPORTANT: the mimeograph machine remains off-limits for ALL personal use.
One other policy I’ve been considering for awhile will now be implemented immediately:
- If you fart in a conference room, you will be escorted by security and banished to a quonset hut workspace out on the marsh/swamp-thing behind the Sunnyvale campus. While this is technically working remotely, we can still see you from our windows and find that continuity refreshing. Well, not “refreshing,” but, you know, “encouraging.”
I appreciate your enthusiastic support of these new guidelines. Thanks to all of you, we’ve already made remarkable progress as a company — and the best is yet to come (unless you need to WFH, in which case you’ll be fired…like Jackie).
**Read also 5 Former-Yahoo!s Marissa Mayer Should Totally Re-Hire**