Bob Goldman

You don't have to say a word; I know what you what you want to ask me.

You want to know whether I write this column by pounding a keyboard in a soulless office cubical, or I'm pounding back brewskis in my man cave, tucked comfortably in my Barcolounger Brougham with the built-in armrest cooler.

Home or office, I'm not going to tell you, but I do understand why you ask. You just learned that the Internet colossus that is Yahoo has decided to reel in all those workers who had previously been allowed to work at home in their jam-jams. According to a ukase from the company's new leader, Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's open-door policy has been shut.

Claire Cain Miller and Catherine Rampell covered the Yahoo story for The New York Times, and I'm sure they were tethered to their desks as they typed, "Yahoo is taking on one of the country's biggest workplace issues: whether the ability to work from home, and other flexible arrangements, leads to greater productivity or inhibits innovation and collaboration."

Though the jury is out on whether working from home results in greater productivity, we know from experience that it definitely does lead to greater opportunities to watch Ice Road Truckers and play Final Fantasy XII without worrying about the prying eyes of a supervisor.

Of course, Yahoo management is not accusing its home-schooled employees of malingering. As The Times reported, "the company's memo, written by Jackie Reses, director of human resources at Yahoo, and published on All Things D, a blog on digital issues, said: "Some of the best discussions 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."

This is clearly nuts. The only discussions I have ever heard in the cafeteria have to do with sports, Kardashians and inter-mural hanky-panky. Which brings up an important point -- with everyone working at home, the company saves all the time that would otherwise be wasted on office romances. Talk about boosting productivity!

The work from home situation may not mean a lot to a person like you, who doesn't work at home and doesn't work in the office, either, but according to The Times, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that "24 percent of employed Americans report working from home at least some hours each week."

(I know what you are thinking -- will somebody please tell me how I can get a job at the Bureau of Labor Statistics? You're a genius at making up numbers, as anyone who has ever reviewed one of your expense reports can testify.)

Bob Goldman

Bob Goldman is a business humor writer.

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