Richard Branson Criticizes Yahoo, Marissa Mayer Over Work-From-Home Ban

FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2010, file photo, British billionaire and Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson talks at Spacep
FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2010, file photo, British billionaire and Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson talks at Spaceport America in Upham, N.M. With Spaceport nearly complete but still mostly empty, Branson and Virgin Galactic has hinted it may take its spacecraft and launch elsewhere. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)

Yahoo's decision to suspend employees' ability to work from home has met with significant backlash on Twitter, and now that criticism is heating up.

Branson, founder and chairman of Virgin Group, publicly questioned Yahoo's decision on Twitter:

In a blog post, Branson went on to call Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's move "a backwards step in an age when remote working is easier and more effective than ever."

"To successfully work with other people, you have to trust each other," Branson also wrote. "A big part of this is trusting people to get their work done wherever they are, without supervision ... Working life isn't 9-5 any more. The world is connected. Companies that do not embrace this are missing a trick."

Branson's voice is among a chorus decrying Yahoo's ban on working from home. The Huffington Post's Lisa Belkin suggested the move is another sign that Mayer might be fostering a "macho-never-slowed-down-by-the-pesky-realities-of-life-outside-the-office" attitude that is out of step with the modern workplace.

News of the ban, which is scheduled to take effect in June, broke Friday after AllThingsD's Kara Swisher obtained a copy of a leaked internal memo, in which Yahoo human resources asserted that speed and quality of work were sacrificed when employees work remotely, and that "physically being together" would make the company stronger.

The ban was initially thought to affect only 100 or so employees in customer service-related roles, but Swisher later reported that staffers "who might have arrangements to work from home just one or two days a week" would also be affected by the new policy.

According to Mashable, the proposed rule undermines some of Yahoo's recent attempts to give its workers perks common in other tech workplaces.

A Yahoo spokeswoman told HuffPost that the company does not comment on internal matters.

What do you think of Yahoo's ban on working from home? Do you agree with Richard Branson? Let us know in the comments, and check out how others on Twitter have reacted so far (below).