Yahoo CEO Disallows Working from Home

March 9, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. memo [MEM-oh] (n.) – a written note sent to the company's staff
Example: According to the new memo, workers who come in late will have a penalty.

2. leak [leek] (v.) – to release secret information to the public
Example: An employee leaked the information about the company's new project to the media.

3. protest [pruh-TEST, PROH-test] (v.) – to show strong disapproval
Example: Many employees protested against the company’s plan to fire all home-based workers.

4. put heads together [poo t hedz tuh-GETH-er] (idiom) – to work together as a team
Example: The team members can finish planning the project faster if they put their heads together.

5. telecommute [TEL-i-kuh-myoot] (v.) – to work at home using a computer and the Internet
Example: RareJob tutors telecommute daily to teach their students.

Read the text below.

Yahoo, a well-known media company, will no longer allow employees to work at home starting June 2013, according to an office memo that leaked recently.

The memo from Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer said that Yahoo should not only involve finishing daily tasks but also direct communication among its employees, which can only be achieved inside an office.

However, employees who are parents or have other businesses protested to this plan, including Richard Branson, founder and chairman of Virgin company. Branson believes that people should be free to work where they want to.

Those who are protesting against Mayer's new rule think parents will be most affected by it because parents use their open schedule to take care of their children. Around 30 million people also telecommute every year. Additionally, telecommuting helps companies lessen expenses and have a varied workforce.

On the other hand, some people think the plan can bring back strong office relationships. CBS news writer and analyst Mellody Hobson defends Mayer's decision by saying that this new rule promotes innovation through teamwork. By putting their heads together, employees can come up with good ideas for the media company. Hobson adds that Yahoo needs interaction not only through emails, but also through the physical presence of employees in the office.

According to Hobson, some companies, like Apple, still succeed even with traditional office-based employment. She also recognized, however, other big and successful companies, such as Facebook, that allow telecommuting.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A 

·         Do you agree with Mayer's decision to disallow telecommuting? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of working at home?

Discussion B

·         Why is it important to have good relationships between co-workers?
·         How do you think office relations can be improved?


March 9, 2013