It's fair to say that the wide coverage of Yahoo's decision to mandate that we take a few days off at the end of the year caused quite a stir. But even without the Valleywag and press coverage, our internal backchannel (we have something not unlike the bad attitude forum of Netscape fame) was very active.

Some people were upset with being told to take those specific days off. Most understood the reasoning for it, even though the powers that be tried to put a positive spin on it. As the bitchfest progressed, that turned out to be the real focus. Many were okay with being told that we need to burn off some vacation time but would have preferred to be told why in an upfront manner. And wouldn’t it be nice if we got to have some say in choosing the dates?

Apparently enough of the rattling filtered back up the chain and the response came pretty quickly. Libby just let us know that they've thought about it and realized that there's a more flexible way to do this.

Instead of being told when to use those days, that's being left up to us--as long as it happens this calendar year. People who don't have the vacation time to spare are not penalized in any way.

Thanks, Libby. It's reassuring to see that Yahoo! can be flexible about this and respond quickly.

Posted by jzawodn at September 26, 2006 08:51 PM

Reader Comments
# Christian Cadeo said:

IMO this issue got way overblown. For the most part the email is correct as within the media/tech industry that week is a ghost town from my experience.

But who's idea was it to annouce it right after the mess that Decker cause at the GS conference? That was a bloody stupid move.

on September 26, 2006 08:59 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

It was probably hard to avoid that timing. After all, the two events are likely connected. And people tend to start making holiday plans around this time, so the longer you wait, the worse it gets.

But, yeah, it's overblown. This recent change should make it even less of an issue for most employees, I'd think.

on September 26, 2006 09:05 PM
# Brian Aker said:

I remember when VA did this... didn't go down very well with most of us. Especially since most of just banked them :)

MySQL requires that we use them... which means for me that I need to find a five week personal project to take on pretty soon!

on September 26, 2006 09:53 PM
# Chuq Von Rospach said:

Apple used to let you cash out up to half your vacation, but only when you took vacation -- most of the time. the program wasn't always available. And I know folks who used to fake vacation to cache out the rest; silly people, the company doesn't care, really, and you don't get a cookie at the end.

of course, life could be worse. my days at National Semi, we spent a few months in "work five days, get paid for four" mode, to help the company survive. funny, once it got back and successful, it didn't return the favor.

I'm actually a little surprised they agreed to be flexible. the savings go beyond salaries here; if you schedule everyone off at the same time, you can turn off heating/cooling in the buildings, cut janitorial and security, turn off lights, and do other things to reduce the fixed overhead of keeping the campus humming -- which they seem to be giving up here. more power to them.

another reason, I guess, to work for yahoo.... (giggle)

Hey, brian: here's a suggestion: go on vacation and DO NOTHING. or read a book. or even two. you might come back to your job rested and refreshed and even more enthusiastic. (or in my case, just refreshed and rested....)

on September 26, 2006 11:07 PM
# Bazily said:

Sounds like they need to scrap the whole idea now, since the real goal was to shut down the offices for a week. Lots of cost savings on the real estate budget with reduced utilities, plus the ability to cut contracted staff, meals, and other Yahoo perks. Not to mention that everyone slacks during that week while they show of their new toys and leave early for parties.

After the stock implosion last week, you'd think the stock-holding employees would want to help. Their options must not be underwater just yet.

on September 26, 2006 11:10 PM
# Sandeep said:

HP had the mandatory vacation thing when I was there. It's still there, I believe. We called it the annual shutdown - we also had to shutdown our workstations and servers.

Of course, it was pretty flexible - you could postpone your vacation past the new year - but most (at least in Bangalore) chose to take it at the same time.

on September 27, 2006 02:52 AM
# Bill Seitz said:

I wonder what exec compensation will look like for the year?

on September 27, 2006 04:13 AM
# Anon said:

This was not overblown - it was blown the way it had been blown from the begining by management.

What in the world were Dan, Libby, Zod, Sue, Terry and others thinking? /dev/null|Yahoo-exec-thoughts

Oh, I forgot, Exec management at yahoo! is just a bunch of Yahoo's!

on September 28, 2006 09:21 AM
# Heh said:

What a bunch of infants...WHAAAAA!!! WE HAVE TO TAKE VACATIONS!!! WHHAAAA!!!

Yahoo is a daycare.

on September 28, 2006 04:03 PM
# Andrew S said:

Crap. When are we going to schedule internet cleaning week now?

The tubes are getting clogged...

on October 5, 2006 03:15 AM
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