Posted by CJD on March 25, 2013

Yahoo! Is demanding that all its homeworkers return to the Yahoo! office by June this year – or be fired.

Now that kind of thing make us here in Voipfone Towers, wince a little because Voipfone has no offices at all – our people work from anywhere they like.

The nearest thing we have to an office is our data centres which, I suppose, are the modern day factories – the computers and networks that make up our service is called the production platform. The Voipfone platform can be managed and maintained from anywhere in the world –it’s fairly regularly tweaked from restaurants and car parks and whilst on holiday from the other side of the world.

I have an image of our out-of-hours customer support people on their sofa watching Terminator 2 at 3am with a cup of Horlicks and a cheese butty whilst answering a customer’s email. Pure fantasy of course…..

Unless a piece of hardware has to be physically changed there’s no need for anyone to be in our factories. If a server needs manual intervention, the Data centre employs technicians that can perform simple tasks for their hosted customers in an emergency – like breaking them by pulling out the wrong cable. We customers call them the droids. Or idioidsTM.

Back in pre-history when I worked for BT as what my dad called a “shiny-arsed clerk”, we were asked to report to our nearest telephone exchange if we couldn’t get into the office because of bad weather. I’ve no idea what trained and professional managerial layabouts were supposed to do in a TE – damage things and make tea I suppose.

Anyhoo! Back to Yahoo!

Just in case you didn’t know, a Yahoo (with no “!”) is a species of ‘people’ in Gulliver’s Travels that have the following characteristics:

  1. They’ll fight at the drop of a hat.
  2. They’re endlessly greedy: they kill each other over a certain shiny rock found in Houyhnhnm Land (which, beyond being shiny, has no value). And even if there are only 5 Yahoos supplied with enough meat to fill 50, they will still attack each other for control of these supplies.
  3. “She Yahoos” or in other words, women, will constantly try to seduce men, even while they are pregnant unlike “other brutes”
  4. There’s nothing Yahoos like better than sneaking up and stealing things or attacking – they hate doing things honestly and upfront.
  5. Yahoos are the only animals in Houyhnhnm Land who ever get sick. They treat their own illnesses with “medicines” mixed from their own pee and poo.

If I was a Yahoo, I wouldn’t want to share an office with other Yahoos either.

The Yahoo! idioidsTM  sent out this letter to their fellow Yahoos, which I’m happy to share. Enjoy.



Over the past few months, we have introduced a number of great benefits and tools to make us more productive, efficient and fun. With the introduction of initiatives like FYI, Goals and PB&J, we want everyone to participate in our culture and contribute to the positive momentum. From Sunnyvale to Santa Monica, Bangalore to Beijing — I think we can all feel the energy and buzz in our offices.

To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.

Beginning in June, we’re asking all employees with work-from-home arrangements to work in Yahoo! offices. If this impacts you, your management has already been in touch with next steps. And, for the rest of us who occasionally

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