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Yahoo CEO Mayer checked VPN logs before banning home working

Too many slackers

Article comments

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer came up with her controversial and hugely unfashionable policy of outlawing home working after doing something almost unheard of for a US CEO – she checked the VPN logs to see whether anyone was slacking.

According to the reporter who broke the news of the ban, Mayer told told a staff meeting last week that the logs told her that some employees weren’t using the VPN often enough.

The reasoning was simple and non-technical; if employees weren’t using the VPN they couldn’t be working or contributing to Yahoo as a company.

“To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side,” Mayer said in her widely-leaked memo announcing the orignal ban, sent to staff on 22 February.

“That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. […] We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together,” she added.

According to report, the company’s several hundred remote workers were told to start working in the office full-time from 1 June.

Is the ban a brilliant piece of internal PR to bolster the workaholics inside a struggling company or a policy mistake made by a self-confessed ‘numbers woman’?

Going against the prevailing view that asking employees to trudge to work is a hangover form the 19th Century, Mayer has faced a barrage of criticism from outside the company.

However that Mayer is a CEO that knows there even such a thing as a VPN log, not to mention how to draw conclusions from it, marks her out as a CEO of a different, more technical ilk.

It was a huge shock last July when Mayer bailed from Google, a company she famously joined as employee number 20, to head perennial struggler and refugee, Yahoo. The remote working ban may not be the last controversy of her rule.



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pointsnfigures said: The work from home ban works well in the short term She is changing Yahoo corporate culture and the only way to do that is to physically put people in the same room together to create a team Eventually Yahoo will install remote working in co-working spaces-but probably never work at home again Too many distractions

Bridgett Cash said: My husband once worked for a company that hired a man-hating children-hating woman to supervise his dept She put in place a rule that if you needed to go to the bathroom you needed a pass from her

Jyothi said: Employee not connected to network via VPN does not mean anything Many say that VPN slows them down and so they are off the network while doing things like coding and research work which does not require VPN Having a rule to respond quickly to emailsinstant messenger messages would have served Mayers purpose better than forcing the talent to choose between 2 tough choices

AsheWolf said: I worked for a short time in an office where we had the office lights on motion detectors If a person were to get a little nappy or just not move enough off goes the lights In order to avoid visits from the boss when he noticed my lights were out I got an oscillating fan

David Flick said: Someone could say the same about you and the Twinkies

David Flick said: Some peoples jobs require them to think I understand you are an exception but please respect those of us who think for a living

uckermanf said: First of all working from home isnt a right It is a perk that smart companies bestow upon employees to improve the work-life balance and to allow people to set up work environments that are best for them Only a company run by an id0 would have such a system for such a long time and then all of a sudden get rid of it because some VPN logs said people werent logging in enough Second logging into a VPN has absolutely NOTHING to do with doing work and only a rank fool thinks it does Just because someone isnt logged in doesnt mean they arent working Do you honestly believe that everyone on the corporate network within the confines of the building are actually doing work If you do then you are naive beyond belief and have no business commenting on this issue as you dont know what you are talking about I used to work in a company like this and people would mill around all day long talking or youd be subjected to the inane blathering of the person in the cubicle a few feet away from you I started working at home such that I could actually get some work done

uckermanf said: The logs told her that SOME employees werent using VPN enough WTF This woman is a fool Just because someone is logged into a VPN doesnt mean they are doing anything Just because someone is sitting in an office doesnt mean they are doing anything Just because SOME employees werent using VPN enough whatever that means doesnt mean all of these home workers were slacking off Does she have no understanding of gauging employee performance according to what the employee actually DOES Do they not have performance evaluations As far as I am concerned this woman has no idea what she is doing She is being exceedingly lazy and fostering a lazy management attitude VPN logs are not an indication of work performanceAnd you can go ahead and make some stupid comment about Well you are not the CEO of a company Mayer is showing herself to be a lazy manager and has no clue what she is doing I can only hope she loses whatever talent is left in Yahoo and she gets stuck with all of the office sycophants she desires

uckermanf said: That comment makes no sense

Lagos said: A handful of slackers ruining things for everyone is news why Welcome to office environments where you give people great freedom

voodoochild1975 said: Why What has she done yahoo is still a seach company with no search poor services and struggling to find a reason to existMayer has accomplished nothing but grabbing some headlines thus far If their stock is going up because of this investors are id-10-ts None of yahoos serious fundamental problems have been addressed

voodoochild1975 said: I really think it depends on the jobI am a database developeranalyst There really is no point to my being in an office And coding programming is a weird thing Its intensely intellectual and generally working harder does no good When you hit a wall its often best to walk away clear your head for a while even dare I say it goof off for a bit then come back to it You have to work smarter not harder and pushing yourself to exhaustion and frustration doesnt accomplish thatI think any programmer here will back me up on this statement its strange work very unlike most jobsFor me the comfort lack of distractions and ability to work literally at any time inspiration strikes without a commute is of huge benefit to my employerI have worked over 40 hours in one sitting before An entire workweek for most people reading this in one sitting I Started work at 6am finished working the following evening It was a tight deadline on an invoicing problem with a lot on the line I pulled it off Exhausted I hadnt slept in days but I did itWorking from an office No way Just no way I would quit any company that demand I work 40 hours straight in an office I need to go home at some point let my dog out put the garbage out for pickup etc In an office scenario that invoice does not get fixed the company is out several times my annual salaryNow I DO manage people more now other developers on larger projects but even then where is my team I am out west in the US I have 2 devs in back east several in the UK and a few in Asia The most logical office for me to commute to would be the UK Where most of my devs are Pick any office to most of the team they couldnt tell Im in an office or working from home A handful would see me around daily But there isnt much benefit to that for what we do And my team is scattered literally across 3 continentsNow is this true for all jobs Can every office job pack it up go home and do as much via vpn No Also some personalities If you need a boss breathing down your neck to actually work work from home would be a disasterIn my experience comments like the one from Doc here Looks like there are many Yahoo employees making comments I guess you all are working at home reallyare from people that either dont have a job that can move to a home office or dont have the temperament for it Why the venom Does Doc work for yahoo I dont What does he care if they are working or not Why the venom And thats the odd thing to me That people that get so upset by people working from home Its jealousy Pure and simple I can Doc cant And it grates on him that others can and he cannot So clearly they are a bunch of inferior people that dont actually work At least that is my theory for the venom because honestly what do you care if I do work from home or how effective it is or isnt The only people concerned by this should be me and my employer But I always see the angry venomous posts about lazy work from home people Im sorry your commute sucks I am sorry you cant work from home Dont take it out on me OKIts strange to me that my personal work environment can provoke such feelings in people

voodoochild1975 said: I still think this was nothing but a desperate headling grabbing ploy for attentionSee look shes doing somethingYahoo has serious problems They are a search engine that doesnt do search any more They offer some services where competitors make better offerings yahoo mail vs gmail anyone Heck even hotmailoutloookIn short as a business I see no reason for yahoo to exist in 2013 They dont offer me anything of interest and I am somewhat mystified as to how they havent died alreadyHow does this change in HR policy address any of Yahoos fundamental business problems It will take months if not years to even feel the impact of this change assuming there is anyMeanwhile the business is dying and trying to even find a reason to liveThis was nothing but a show for stockholders to show her rocking the boat and doing something anything to appear actively involvedAs far as I can see yahoo is still doomed ending work from home wont change that fateThis accomplished nothing but ill will towards her workforce

FrankM said: I agree that VPN is not an accurate measure of contributing No doubt that VPN slows your workflow so you only connect to it when absolutely necessary It would be like claiming that an employee did not show up for work based on the times hisher keycard was swiped to enter the building Someone held the door for you Nope our data says you did not come to work that day

cheese101 said: Ella es una puta estpida

Jack Gratteau said: OOPS - there goes my commute on the 101Bad enough Google put down off of Shoreline and 85Now Yahooers will be backed up on Matilda Fair Oaks and Lawrence exits

Bobbie Wayne said: I say she will be gone with in a Year-

Bobbie Wayne said: well said

Bobbie Wayne said: ooook- I formed my opinion from her business and leadership CHOICESI did not choose this name It was given to me before I was born 1 to the dumb ass club

Joseph Venturelli said: Then quit

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