Tag Archive: Yahoo


HackerToday’s post deviates a bit from the norm, but Techsnoop believes that small business owners should learn from the mistakes of large business.  Small business owners have thin margins for error so it pays to keep an eye on and learn from, Big Biz.

During the late 80s and early 90s, many employees explored flexible work options with employers to assist in balancing their work and family responsibilities.  One option was job sharing where 2 employees would share one full-time job.  Another was the ability to complete work tasks from home.  The work from home option required a solid plan on the part of employees where they could demonstrate responsibility and capability to actually be productive outside the office.

Once it was proven that employees working from home were actually more productive than those in the office, employers embraced this option on a larger scale.  Not only was it good for productivity, it allowed businesses to increase staff while keeping square footage overhead low.  A true win-win policy, work from home allows employees to accept smaller monetary compensation due to lower commute, lunch and wardrobe costs.  In a flat financial economy, both business and staff are able to reduce costs and exist on lower margins.

Fast forward to 2013

As more start-ups and small businesses use work from home policies to recruit top staff and keep overhead low, Yahoo bucks the trend and decides to eliminate this valuable policy.  The official word is that the productivity of some work from homers is low.  However, this “toss the baby with the bathwater” management approach has been proven to be unsuccessful.

When a business has under performing employees, managers need to directly meet with offenders armed with an objective list of actions that are not meeting standards.  A discussion then needs to outline the expected corrections, acceptable outcomes and results of meeting or not meeting the targets.  The manager then sets the target date for the improvements to be reached.

Should the targets not be met, the employee is let go.  Period.

When a company tries to correct individual behavior by imposing changes on an entire group, the employees who are not abusing the policy become upset and their productivity drops.

Those employees who in good faith, took a work from home position and are meeting and exceeding productivity levels, are being punished.  Even the most faithful will suffer from a morale drop and a feeling that they are being cheated or unfairly punished.  When employees feel they are not being equitably compensated, they will try to level the playing field by reducing productivity or other behavior.

No one likes to be group punished for the errors of others.  Yahoo, take note; this is a dangerous path.  Your superstar workers will be disgruntled and start looking to move to the competition.  Additionally, this move does not address the actual problem; low productivity of some workers.  Just being in the office does not raise productivity.  What actually will happen (Techsnoop predicts) is that the slackers will find ways to make their problems seem to be someone else’s fault.  Dissention will grow in the ranks and a toxic environment will ensue.

Lessons Learned

One way small businesses can keep their costs low is to use independent contractors whenever possible.  These freelancers require no benefits, pay their own taxes and are highly motivated to complete projects timely and professionally.  But if you are successful, at some point you will need an actual employee.  An employee is one whose schedule and duties are directed by the company and/or manager.

The ability to work from home, at least some of the time, can be a big selling point for a job with a company that has fewer benefits and lower payroll capability.  This nets you higher quality workers for lower wages.  Technology has made work from home jobs a great option for workers and employers.  Employers who choose to go backwards with options reveal a culture that will drive away the talented and creative workers needed to be successful.

Today’s Example of Social Media Gone Wild;

Did some “reporter” actually reveal a “Secret Drone Base” and list the locations on the Internet?

Yes, our safety and the war on pirates and terrorism is being lost due to loose lips (or fingertips).  What is the point of the military doing their jobs and trying to protect us if yo-yos keep revealing all the plans and weapons so that the enemies can prepare for them or send some suicide idiot in to destroy the equipment?

This story did not reveal a scandal or misuse of public funds.  It does not tell of anyone being mistreated or abused.  No animals were tested on or injured.  This is a simple story of the military and government doing their JOB for once, and should have been kept under wraps with the location redacted.  But NO, some hot shot wannabe and their editor deemed this story worthy of being a “scoop” and therefore endangered lives all over the good ol’ US of A.  There is a reason some documents and communiques are classified, thank you.

A better point of view would be to talk about the technology aspect of the drones and the amount of jobs building of the drones created, not reveal their uses or launching and storage locations.

Next time you hear of someone being kidnapped on the open ocean or killed by terrorist bombs, please thank JoAnn Allen, her editor and all like them for rampant, irresponsible reporting.

I’m just saying.

In case you missed it, Yahoo recently fired it’s CEO by telephone.  Yes, that’s right, the board of a multi-billion dollar corporation picked up a telephone and fired their top executive.  Can you say “faux pax” anyone?  But, wait, don’t be sad for her, Carol Bartz will walk away with a cool $10 million to ease her broken heart.

By Yahoo’s own statement, Ms. Bartz was released for “termination without cause”.   And Yahoo stated in their press release that the board was appreciative of Ms. Bartz’s service and has appointed the CFO as interim CEO.  Techsnoop doesn’t know about you but I wouldn’t release anyone a year early if it would cost me $10 million if they were a good worker.  Even if we hated each other, we would have to get along for that much money.  We’re talking about salaries for 10 developers for 20 years.

Next in said press release was the statement “The Co-founders of Yahoo!, David Filo and Jerry Yang, will each continue as Chief Yahoo and will provide counsel to Tim and the Executive Leadership Council.”  Yes, that’s right, they will each continue as “Chief Yahoo“.  Did someone really let this critical communication be released with a typo of this maginitude?

I smell job opening and I want to apply.