Yahoo! Abolishes 'Work from Home': Reopens Debate on Flexiwork *



Case Code : CLHR034
Publication date : 2013
Subject : Human Resource Management
Industry : Information Technology
Length : 06 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

Yahoo; Marissa Mayer; revenue per employee; employee productivity; work from home; telecommuting; flexible working hours; collaboration; interaction; innovation


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The case is about the decision of Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer (Mayer), to abolish the ‘Work from Home’ option at the company. By the time Mayer joined the company in 2012, Yahoo had lost its previous glory and was way behind its industry peers. In order to revitalize the company, Mayer announced several plans. When she found that the work from home policy that the company was following was being misused by some employees, she decided to discontinue it. Her decision resulted in a huge debate over the viability of flexible working hours and the work from home policy.


  » Flexible working — pros and cons
       » The impact of Mayer’s decision on the employees of Yahoo
       » Whether this will lead to a change in the policies of other companies


US-based Yahoo Inc (Yahoo), the world’s largest software company, had been going through tough times since 2008. The company had seen a steep decline in its revenues. Revenues, which had been US$7.21 billion in 2008, had fallen to $4.98 billion by 2012. In the search engine market too, Yahoo found itself facing problems. As of 2013, its market share in the search engine market was 17%, as against Google Inc.’s (Google) 61%. Yahoo, which had once been the biggest seller of display ads, had lost that position to Google and Facebook. According to some analysts, the work culture at Yahoo and the lack of innovation were responsible for the company’s position. They were of the opinion that its culture was “broken/toxic” , and that it was this that had had an adverse impact on employee’s performance and productivity. Ultimately, Yahoo had come to be known as a “distracted, demoralized, and inefficient company”. A continuous change in leadership was also cited as one of the reasons for Yahoo’s plight. In comparison with the other successful tech giants, Yahoo’s employees were underperforming. For example, revenue per employee in Google was US$ 931,657, while at Yahoo, it was US$ 344,758 ...

Questions for Discussion

1. Discuss telecommuting/work from home. What are the advantages and disadvantages associated with them?

2. Do you agree with Marisa Mayer’s decision? Justify.

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