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Is Yahoo doing the right thing by banning remote working?

Anyone who spends any time at all working from home – and that’s certainly an increasing number of people these days – will have had their ears pricked by the news that Yahoo is actually banning remote working for its executives. It just seems so contrary to what we have been told more and more down the years, that home working is the way of the future. So, do our accountants for contractors here at Freelancer Accounting ( reckon Yahoo has a point?


In a memo sent out to all staff, the search giant’s head of human resources, Jackie Rees, states that “it is critical that we are all present in our offices”, adding that “some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings”. It’s hardly entirely untrue, to be fair, and it’s also hard to argue that home working still has an image problem in some quarters, with even London Mayor Boris Johnson having once joked that “we all know that is basically sitting wondering whether to go down to the fridge to hack off that bit of cheese before checking your emails again.”


That is despite London, during last year’s Olympic Games, actually demonstrating just how invaluable home working remains for many clients of small business accountants, with many people choosing to avoid the traffic disruption. In the wake of Yahoo’s announcement, which is thought to be an initiative of incoming chief executive Marissa Mayer, plenty of other people have stepped forward to defend home working. One of them was Richard Branson, who bemoaned the decision as “a backwards step in an age when remote working is easier and more effective than ever.”


Certainly, remote working is not going away any time soon. We’ve already moved so far from the traditional ‘9 to 5’, thanks to all manner of both cultural and technological developments. The Internet has opened up new means of communication – you’re reading this blog, after all – and the clients of accountants for freelancers have certainly made the most of it in recent years. Many start their businesses from their kitchen or bedroom, and might make use of virtual office space rather than renting it outright. They are also more likely to outsource services like accounting, leading to savings in time, effort and money.


These days, many people only ever want to work from home, so Yahoo may find that their new policy restricts the talent that they can attract. As for you, a current or prospective user of Freelancer Accounting’s ( accounting services in London, we wouldn’t leave that home office just yet. We can even give you advice on making more of it, such as how you could claim back tax for the use of your home and the paperwork that you should keep close at hand in your home office that you may need to show to HM Revenue & Customs.