By Jeff Girod
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently banned working from home for hundreds of Yahoo telecommuters. All Yahoo employees have until June 1 to start putting their ass in chair 40 hours a week at the Yahoo offices or risk suddenly looking for work at GoDaddy.com.
In an internal memo, Yahoo stated, “Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussion, meeting new people and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.”
Also sacrificed by working from home: Pants and mouthwash.
Apparently Yahoo made its decision after discovering that nobody working at home was actually working. Big surprise.
C’mon, man. It’s home. It’s where all your stuff is: your bed, your couch, your TV, your refrigerator, your pet, your own bathroom, whatever freaky good stuff you keep stashed in your cupboards or behind the toilet.
There’s a reason most of us get paid to go sit in an office: Because it sucks ass all day and nobody would willingly lock himself in a dank cubicle for free. That’s why it’s called “work” and not “super happy fun time.”
Some people will say, “I love my job.” Maybe you do. Probably you’re lying. I don’t hate my job. I hate every job. Some days I fantasize about being in a coma or a minimum-security prison just so I can stop taking orders from somebody and lay in bed without CC’ing anybody.
The upside about my job is I have dental insurance. And the next time my company wonders who they should lay off, nobody in management will wonder what I look like — or if I even exist.
Working at home is a fantasy. It’s a myth. If you’re working from home, you’re not working hard enough, you’re not getting paid enough, or you’re not important and relevant enough to be needed at an office. If you can go 40 hours a week without seeing a boss, you’re either the luckiest person alive or you’re running a glorified lemonade stand.
You’re not going to want to hear this, but working in an office is good for you. Howard Hughes worked from home. He also wore Kleenex boxes on his feet.
If I worked from home I would be naked all the time. I would weigh 900 pounds and I would have a beard full of Cheetos and cigarette butts. I don’t even smoke but my beard would be so long it would snake down the street into the nearest bowling alley.
Why would I ever shave? Why would I ever do anything that required anything other than breathing, blinking and pooping?
Have you ever heard a recovering addict speak on a TV talk show? Everything is about how just waking up every morning is a gift. I wake up every morning and I feel like sunlight punched me in the nuts. But that’s because I’ve never been so strung out on heroin that I’d drink a stranger’s pee on camera for money.
That’s a pretty specific analogy I blame not coincidentally on Yahoo.com. But my point is this: If you remove all of the adversity in your life, everything and anything will stop feeling like a gift. You won’t even look forward to weekends anymore because every day is a Saturday when you go through life in an open bathrobe.
It’s the reason why I’m secretly glad I’ve never won the lottery. Going to work forces me to try. If I suddenly had $10 million, that incentive to try would be removed. I would be dead within the year from a mix of herpes, cirrhosis and those delicious Don Jose frozen mini tacos.
Life is about being uncomfortable. It’s about not getting exactly what you want or being satisfied. It’s about wishing and complaining and enduring and commiserating and feeling better when you reflect back because you were strong enough to overcome your challenges.
Do I think that hundreds of Yahoos being forced to commute to an office will instantly make a company more profitable? Couldn’t hurt.
At the very least Right Guard and Tic Tac sales should increase.
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org.