View Full Version : Marissa Mayer - Work From Home - Good, Bad or Ugly?

27th Feb 2013, 18:38
Marissa Mayer, the new-ish CEO of Yahoo! Inc., recently decided that those who work from home for Yahoo will no longer be able to do so and must report to work at the nearest Yahoo! office. Of course this has caused a tidal wave of resentment for those being effected by her latest edict.

So, my fellow PPRuNers, how many of you work from home? (Assuming you have a job i.e., not unemployed or not retired)
Good points, bad points, etc?

How about everyone else: what are your feelings about working from home? Isn't it kind of difficult to separate the comforts of home from doing ones' job? (Slasher? No need to answer this question. I KNOW what you would do if you were able to "work" from home!!!!!)

27th Feb 2013, 18:44
While she builds a nursery next door to her office ???????

27th Feb 2013, 18:47
She can build whatever nursery she wants next to her office, 500N: she's the friggin' CEO!!! (And a fine-looking woman at that.)

27th Feb 2013, 18:52
I know.

But others are working from home because
they also have very young children and now
can't because she wants them in an office.

Is she building nursery's in all Yahoo offices ?

You of all people should know that that is not
good leadership.

Did you expect your CO / Officers to eat steak
and seafood while you ate Baked beans and Spam ?

27th Feb 2013, 18:58

I understand your reasoning. For those with pre-school children who work at home because Yahoo Inc. authorized it, she should make exceptions, for sure.

For those who continue to live the life of "luxury" sitting at home and occasionally working, too bad. Get in the office.

I think Mayer's proclamation was geared more toward the latter and not the former.

I personally know of several "work at home" people. Yeah, they work. But they also tell of several "distractions" which certainly precludes an 7 or 8 hour work day.

No, my CO and other officers are the ones who ate baked beans and Spam. We enlisted-type i.e., Real Men, ate MREs. Or, even worse, C-Rats. Both cold. :}:}:}:}:}

27th Feb 2013, 19:05
Cold ??????

Jesus, hadn't those self contained magnesium heaters,
no smoke got to you lot ? (Pull tab thing on the bottom
of the food that heated food contained within ?).

27th Feb 2013, 19:10
I work from home at least one day a week. All people in our office are encouraged to do so. This policy was implemented by previous VP of IT and it works very well.

When our new VP arrived her first contact with us was via a teleconference in which she said she did not like the work from home policy as having contact with people face-to-face is important.

This elicited a lot of :ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh: comments.

Needless to say the policy has not been changed.

27th Feb 2013, 19:10

I wish I could do more of my work at home, it would save a few days a week of commuting. Save gas, better for traffic congestion, better for environment.

My brother works for IBM in Chicago. He spends one or two days at the office each week, and works from home the rest of the time. (Or, he's traveling nationally or internationally on various projects).

He is set up by IBM for telecon and modest VTC (more like webinar) on his portable workstation (with data lines paid for by IBM) for the significant amount of work he does with clients all over the world from his office in his house.

IBM began some of this telecommuting years ago, in part due to City of Chicago appeals to various businesses in the area to help with traffic congestion and air quality.

I had a few people "work from home" on one or two day basis a few years back. The trick to getting this right, from a supervisory perspective, is being able to identify what you want done that day that can be done from home. So, you have to know your people, their work, their work load, and what you want and need done. So long as you have even modest scheduling and work scheduling talents, it isn't all that hard. But you have to have a tool set set up for it as a supervisor so that you can get what you want out of that work set up.

Maybe Mayer doesn't know the above well enough, or maybe her senior and mid level management doesn't either.

That doesn't say much for her company. Of course, some tasks and roles do not lend themselves to working at home. CEO comes to mind. Presence matters. :ok:

Curious Pax
27th Feb 2013, 19:14
I work from home 3 days out of 5. Reason for me is to be able to let the dogs out rather than cross their legs all day (Mrs CP works those 3 days a week).

I reckon the company does OK out of it - I would say that I work an hour a day longer than when I go in the office. If I'm working 7.30 till 6pm I also have no qualms (conference calls permitting) about popping out to the shops for half an hour or taking the dogs out at lunchtime - cuts both ways.

While it can suit skivers, the majority of homeworkers are an asset as they are more likely to be flexible when the need arises.

A cynic in one of the papers suggested it might be a cynical move to reduce staff numbers without having to pay them off - surely not!!

27th Feb 2013, 19:15
500N wrote:

Jesus, hadn't those self contained magnesium heaters,
no smoke got to you lot ? (Pull tab thing on the bottom
of the food that heated food contained within ?).

The officers had such gadgets. We mud dwellers did not. First and foremost, they added unnecessary weight to an already rather heavy kit. Secondly, the smoke and stench would give away a position. And lastly, heated or not: MREs and C-Rats taste like shit anyway.

27th Feb 2013, 19:15
I no longer have an office: I am a part time consultant, and in theory, would just travel to meetings. In practice, I must do some 17 or 18 hours a week minimum working from home and it's mainly unpaid.....

Mrs radeng works from home a lot. She does training in using certain software products for designing integrated circuits. When there aren't enough trainees to make it worth travelling, she runs on-line trainings, and she does those from home. Driving for 50 minutes at 0230 to get set up and start a training at 0400 for Singapore or India is not the best. Right now
(2010 hrs) she's doing an on line training for Texas.

Now if that sort of thing is expected by the Yahoo boss, it wouldn't go down well.

I had a manager (he didn't last) who wanted you to get off an overnight flight in economy from the US arriving at LHR about 0600 and then be in work for a full day at 0815. He didn't get it.

I wonder if Mayer will lose good people?

27th Feb 2013, 19:16
A cynic in one of the papers suggested it might be a cynical move to reduce staff numbers without having to pay them off - surely not!
More likely than not, from where I sit. Yahoo isn't quite doing swimmingly.

In re the flavor of C rats and MREs, have to vote with you on this one. :uhoh:

I wonder if Mayer will lose good people?
Probably will.

27th Feb 2013, 19:23
Not only will Mayer and Yahoo lose good some good people, more than likely those people will go to Google! From which Mrs. Mayer came!!!!

27th Feb 2013, 19:26


And yes, Rat Packs were crap anyway you ate them,
Our Aussie MRE were not too bad actually, although
wouldn't want to be on them for a month :O

27th Feb 2013, 19:28
I work from home for most of the time, only going into the office when required - about 5 days a month. I would like to say that it does suit me but there are drawbacks. I really miss the banter with my colleagues in the office. Sometimes it would be convenient to to pick someones brain from time to time, although I am in contact via the phone on a daily basis. Certainly I do not necesarily work an 8 - 5 routine, but I do put in the hours. Usually I put in more hours in a week than I ever did when I was in the office. I just work at the times it suits me. It might be in the evenings or at weekends, sometimes split into several work periods. Generally I do not need to be in the office. My work is my own and only when it is completed do I hand it over. I do not have any domestic reasons to work at home. It was offered to me and I accepted. My boss has no complaints. I do not need to be in the office as everything is done on the computer. Using the internet has enabled me to work from home while giving up valuable office space. I am only one of several from my office who work this way and there are many within the organisation as a whole. My home is nearly 80 miles (2 hours drive) from the office. The only alternative acceptable to me would be to live in a flat during the week, paid for by my employer. I am nearing retirement so am not prepared to move nearer the office.


27th Feb 2013, 19:39
Lookey here 500N, we have another staple of MRE to display.


What is it, you might ask? A burger on a bun with a side of fries.
Yum, yum. (Even friggin' McDonalds would find it horrifying.)

And see that little packet under the Towelette? That's for wiping your butt with. You get two (2) pieces of paper in which to do so. So you'd better be adept and efficient at wiping your butt. Otherwise, the kligons will come and visit you.

PS: the little bottle of Tabasco sauce at top is used to liberally coat the burger so as to kill and eradicate all unknown, or unidentifiable substances contained therein. (Which is about 100% of said item.)

27th Feb 2013, 19:42

And I thought I had seen it all but that looks yuk.

And as for the second part, I was just thinking of having
breakfast but you have now put me off that :O


27th Feb 2013, 19:44

Well, the picture above is one of the more "palatable" versions of MREs. There are worse. Much worse.

Which does help explain why US Army Rangers like to jump out of airplanes and kill people. Wouldn't you if you had to eat shit like that for a month?

27th Feb 2013, 19:45
Bit of a problem if Montezuma's revenge kicks in....

27th Feb 2013, 19:46
RGB, you obviously don't know how to use the "little thingy".

This is how:

Fold in two, then in two again at 90 deg. Tear off 1/4" at the pointy end. Unfold; you now have the paper with a 1/2" hole. Slide over middle finger of non eating hand. Use said finger for cleaning. Pull paper over dirty finger and clean. Use the 1/4" piece to clean under the nail.

27th Feb 2013, 19:47
Now I'll tell about just how stupid having to show up at the office can be

When I flew for the Marshal Service, when we were not flying on the weekdays, we had to be at the office from 08:00 to 16:30, or take annual/sick leave for a total of 40 hours a week.

I was on an international flight and we finally landed about 03:00 on morning after a 30 hour, yes 30 hours, crew duty period. We, the pilots, went home and went to bed, at least I did. At 08:05 the Chief Pilot's secretary called me and asked me why was not at the office.

I told her that we had just landed a few hours ago after flying all day the previous day and most of the day and night of the day previous to that.

She replied that because the 'clock' started over at midnight, we still had five hours to put in to complete the standard eight hour work day. Besides that she said, I had accrued a lot of overtime, so she didn't think I should be allowed to stay home.

So I just told her to sign me out on annual leave and went back to sleep. That was not what I really wanted to tell her.

The next day, a memo came down from upon high, chief pilot's office, that in the future, all annual leave had to be approved prior to us using said leave.

We finally got rid of this chief pilot, but we still had to be in the office for eight hours every work day, no matter how many work hours we had during the pay period. There we weeks that I would over the 40 hour standard work week by noon Thursday. But by God if I was not flying that Friday, I had to be in the office.

Now the really silly thing is, we actually had nothing to do for those eight hours we would sit in the office. Updating the Jepps was about it.

But we got even, you know what they say about idle hands and idle minds. :E

27th Feb 2013, 19:48

No wonder Grenada only lasted a few days :O

The Military would have mutinied if it had gone on any longer
as you lot had been out of practice for so long. not used to MRE's.

We had nice stews etc in the modern packs, the only problem was
they all needed water adding which in Aus sometimes isn't that
good an idea.

I'll try to find a picture.

27th Feb 2013, 19:50
I do not work from home at all - office is within walking distance of home.
Not a fan of it as it is very much open to abuse unless properly managed.

Does present a few issues when key people have a 'working at home' day though - there is only so much that can be done via phone or email.
(assuming people are actually working rather than just sat in the garden)

27th Feb 2013, 19:55
But we got even, you know what they say about idle hands and idle minds. :E

Frozen shrimp in the center post of the chief pilot's office chair?

Loose rivets
27th Feb 2013, 20:06
The woman is self-serving. If self can mean the company she runs.

It is VITAL - yes, I'm shouting - for the world's workforce to stop driving and indeed, stop wasting man-hours on commuting. Vital.

If she has any doubt, surely the honesty of the staff can be auto-policed by some hi-tech software. Should not be necessary.

After years of driving to airports in all weathers and at all hours, I found myself running a computer company from my home. I'd take my first calls from bed, and be figuring out how I was going to overcome one problem or another, before I'd reached the en suite bog. I can tell you, it was bloody luxury. Or would have been if I hadn't missed flying so much. Eventually, I did both, and as the director of a limited company, could act for the airline without the previous hassle from Mr Taxman.

The thing was, I was interested in what I was doing. I'd become one of the only three CAD specialist in the SE, so found it very absorbing. If I'd been working for someone else and been board stiff, it's likely I would have skived off now and then. I hope not, but in the real world . . .

I went in with a pal to start an electronics design company. We were going to start with a very lucrative design and prototype production of a control console. The company we were to work for was a name you'd all know. The final client, the same. When the latter found out such work was being done in back sheds all around the UK, they freaked out and decreed everything had to be done at the factory. There was not a chance that could be done. Imagine a 1920s building filled to the brim with blokes in flat hats, all smoking Woodbines.

(Appologies to Fred Dibnah's second wife.)

We must stop burning hydrocarbons when it's possible.

We must stop wasting time commuting.

We must stop herding ourselves together and then wondering why we spend half the winter coughing and feeling like sh1t.

We must stop bloody women telling us what to do.

I added the last bit with a passion. :*

27th Feb 2013, 20:42
Loose rivets, you get my vote.

27th Feb 2013, 20:44
BBC News - US employee 'outsourced job to China' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21043693)

Working from home classic.......................

Loose rivets
28th Feb 2013, 01:03
Oh, my. I just wondered. Had to look. Perhaps, just perhaps, she'd be the perfect dominatrix.

Flippin' 'ek. She's a schoolgirl! In interview, the slight sadistic twist to her prepubescent mouth is more suited to playground bullying. Telling grownups what to do? Sheesh, if she tried to tell me what to do I'm make her sit on the norty cushion.

28th Feb 2013, 02:19
Friend started working from home, first time, found he had to discipline himself . Get up at same time as kids, shower and dress, set a specific start time etc. etc. Take a regular lunch break, knock off at a reasonable time, if you can, otherwise, without a disciplined approach, the day just slipped away.

Solid Rust Twotter
28th Feb 2013, 05:14

Looxury! Tinned veg, Owambo piele (tinned sausages), bully beef and baked beans, energy bar made of glue was about the size of it. Resupply if you were lucky, if not the local goats started looking pretty tasty after a week or so. Even getting the issue rats was sometimes a problem when the storemen and clerks nicked them for snacks. Being issued a ten pound catering tin of beans to stuff in the PWC for the entire stick was a bit of an eye opener. Better to ditch it in order to use the space more profitably, knowing full well that we weren't going to be eating for the next four or five days unless we had a candy bar stashed somewhere.


Stretch that to around four days if needed. We were all racing snakes and permanently hungry.

28th Feb 2013, 05:26
Someone's photo of an Aussie Army ration pack.

Australian Army Ration Pack, Pitch Black 2012 Exercise, RAAF Base Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/centralaustralia/7764332466/)

Similar to what I used. We had 4 different menus.

I'll find a photo of the crap one we used to have, biscuits that
were like concrete :O

Solid Rust Twotter
28th Feb 2013, 05:31
Getting these now, if required by the job. I'm surprised the French military can walk at all, scoffing all that in 24 hours, the lardy buggers.:}


As for working from home, a good thing if dealing with folks in other time zones. Also saves on office space and congestion. I get the idea the young lady is trying to throw her weight about a bit to make a point. It's the new broom thing where things that aren't broken are "fixed" in order to make a statement, but it generally causes problems. Taken purely on results those new brooms would be out on their ear in a matter of days, but unfortunately the incestuous golden parachute glad handing world of big business doesn't work that way.

I'd say more but it's more suitable for the NAAFI Bar on ARRSE than here.

Pretty good rats, 500N. Beats the crap we had by far. We had seriously hard biscuits as well. Called them dog biscuits and I'd happily swap the mixed veg and other tinned stuff for them. Didn't mind those at all and far better for eating on the run than having to stop and mess about with those little tin openers. Used to get one in every rat pack but apparently the troops are now issued one and have to keep it. Can't remember how many I chucked back at base.

Strangely, I still get the urge to cook up a tin of bully beef with mixed veg on occasion (about once every two years). Must be a wire crossed somewhere.

28th Feb 2013, 05:50
So, my fellow PPRuNers, how many of you work from home? Good points, bad points, etc?

40:60 to home. Actually not even 'home' is required, just a PC and fast internet. No bad points - maybe there would be if it were 100% home.

28th Feb 2013, 06:06
" those little tin openers."

Bloody useful things, I am going to have to buy some
from ebay as they are damn good for odd jobs.

Re the RAT packs, they used to be crap, tinned rubbish,
one of which was egg and ? pork ? used to stink.

When the new one's came out it was awesome,
I really liked them.

28th Feb 2013, 07:09
Working at home is great, provided it's work that genuinely can be done at home and you have all the resources you need. Depends to an extent on whether the job relies on face-to-face contact with colleagues etc. The advantages to busy people trying to run a home as well can be huge - you have all the time you would have spent commuting, and being there to hang up the washing you put in the machine earlier doesn't affect productivity but greatly enhances your quality of life!

I don't think presence in the office correlates with productivity at all. People either have a proper work ethic or they don't. There are plenty of ways to skive in the office!

28th Feb 2013, 09:19
Strangely, I still get the urge to cook up a tin of bully beef with mixed veg
on occasion

I used to carry a packet of curry powder for most of those tinned meals, particularly M & V!

28th Feb 2013, 10:34
One of my OC's used to hate ration packs (He was Italian, I think he liked
fine Italian dining :O) so carried Tabasco Sauce on exercises.

The only way he could eat anything.

Lon More
28th Feb 2013, 10:40
MRE = Meal Refused by Ethiopian

Google the tin opener, aviation content, it was originally known as a P-38.

28th Feb 2013, 11:33
at a company i was at one of my 'projects' was cost effectiveness across the organization, what we were paying on rent across three locations was pretty substantial. my wastepaper basket was costing 6 grand a year in floorspace.

so, you have say 100 people working from home, it allows you to have smaller offices, as that's 100 desks, workstations or offices you dont need daily providing a cost reduction in floor space rent, heat light, car parking etc etc..

and of course that can allow you as company to be more profitable or pass the cost savings on to your product/services.

28th Feb 2013, 12:15
Loose wrote:

We must stop bloody women telling us what to do.

Yeah. Right.

28th Feb 2013, 12:19
Lon More:

Is this what you had in mind? (P-38)


28th Feb 2013, 12:22
They are very useful but the one that also is a spoon
is better.


Army one's were Brass.

Solid Rust Twotter
28th Feb 2013, 13:34
We got the ones RGB has shown. Threw away dozens while I was in. Bought one of the spoon types later when I needed one but it was too flimsy and bulky for the job. Prefer the little ones.

Tabasco and curry: Never carried curry powder (too easy to smell on a person), but while in camp would go through a bottle of Tabasco in around four days. Chucked it on everything to make it at least partially palatable.