Strong reactions to move by Yahoo to ban working from home

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SEATTLE —

In a move that caused a strong reaction in the tech world, Yahoo has decided to end the option of employees working at home.



The topic of companies banning employees from working at home strikes a nerve with many, including more than 50 Facebook users who commented on a KIRO 7 Eyewitness News' Facebook post on the topic.



Many Facebook commenters expressed support for flexible work arrangements, including Betina Finley.



Finley manages social media for eight clients. Her workspace is a seat at the kitchen window of her Bellevue home.



"I find that I'm more efficient because I don't have any noise around me," Finley told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Graham Johnson. "This little guy right here, my cat, is probably my biggest distraction during the day."



The ability to focus while her three kids are at school makes Finley a firm believer in working outside an office. She doesn't buy the claims of Yahoo executives that collaboration comes best face-to-face.



"I don't think people are congregating in the hallway and saying, 'Ooh, let's go have a team meeting,'" Finley said.

 

Yahoo's decision to force employees who now work at home to return to the office in June has surprised the tech world, which is known for long but flexible work hours.



Some analysts say the change is needed, because Yahoo is struggling to be relevant.



"It needs an all-hands-on-deck model, at least for the short term, and I think this is a smart move," said Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies.



Financially, it may be an odd decision. One study found letting workers telecommute one day a week saves companies $2,400 a year. A survey by Cisco of its employees found 83 percent of those who telecommute said their ability to communicate and collaborate was the same, if not better, than working on-site.