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No More Working From Home for Former Time Warner Cable Employees

Charter Communications closed on its acquisition of Time Warner Cable less than two months ago, but it’s already moving to replace a somewhat more relaxed corporate culture at the new unit.

In a memo to employees at corporate locations, including the New York City office that used to be Time Warner’s headquarters, St. Louis-based Charter restricted a series of common practices at the acquired company. No more jeans in the office, no more working from home without high-level approval, and no more early departures on slow summer Fridays.

The move echoes a controversy that broke out after Marissa Mayer took over as CEO at Yahoo (YHOO) in 2012 and banned working from home for most employees. A few other companies followed Mayer’s lead, but most workplace research shows that the practice enhances productivity.

“If you have been or sometimes work from home and you are assigned to work functions in these corporate buildings you should immediately begin to report to your work location every day,” the Charter memo from Paul Marchand, head of human resources, said. “Any formal work from home arrangement must be approved by an EVP and must have time bound criteria.”

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The memo “aligned corporate offices with Charter’s practices at its corporate locations,” a Charter spokesman said. Charter (CHTR) bought Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks for $71 billion in May and is already moving to replace the acquired brands with its Spectrum brand. Charter’s memo was not the first unpleasant missive sent to former Time Warner employees. Their former CEO Rob Marcus apologized for making unreasonable demands on employees in a memo sent as he left the company with severance of approximately $92 million.

The newest memo was reported earlier by Multichannel News.

The new Charter memo also banned jeans in the workplace without approval from an executive vice president. “We will provide a harmonized workplace dress policy in the coming months, however unless approved by an EVP for a specific department and location, jeans are not deemed professional attire,” Marchand wrote. “In advance of the policy, if you are in doubt as to whether your attire is appropriate, better to not wear it.”

Time Warner employees had been able to work longer hours at the beginning of summer weeks in order to be allowed to leave early on Fridays. The new memo banned so-called summer hours.

“Perception matters, and a different standard for ‘Corporate’ employees is not consistent with the values we want to project to the much larger employee base who work regular shifts during the day, nights and weekends,” Marchand wrote.