A little gasoline for Yahoo's work-from-home bonfire

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s recent move to order the company’s telecommuters back into the office has sparked a debate that doesn’t seem to be dying down. Lots of people have strong opinions about the benefits of having a flexible work schedule AND the value of in-person collaboration.

A number of Silicon Valley companies, of course, make sophisticated video-conferencing tools and web-based software that allows workers to be productive at home and in remote locations. And now one of them is adding a little fuel to the fire.

Mountain View-based Blue Jeans, which sells video-conferencing systems, is posting a billboard on Highway 101 that makes a not-too-subtle dig at Mayer while declaring itself the “unofficial sponsor of WFH” – or “work from home.”

“Call us, Marissa. We can help,” says the billboard, which is going up near San Francisco International Airport.

In a blog post, the company acknowledges that Mayer may feel that Yahoo has too many telecommuting employees who aren’t working hard enough.

“Mayer may have a point. Although Yahoo allowed work from home policies in the past, reports from former employees indicate that many would abuse this perk and might be a contributing factor to the malaise of the company as a whole,” writes Virginette Acacio, who handles social media marketing for Blue Jeans.

“What’s right for Yahoo, however, is against almost every workforce trend,” Acacio adds. “In competitive hiring environments, working from home is undoubtedly an enticing perk that employers can extend to tip the scales. The technology infrastructure is finally in place to make face to face communication and remote employment simultaneously possible.”

Working from home, writes Acacio, “is a question of proper deployment and management.” She also says, “telecommuting is here to stay.”

 

Brandon Bailey Brandon Bailey (338 Posts)

Brandon Bailey covers Google, Facebook and Yahoo for the San Jose Mercury News, reporting on the business and culture of the Internet.