No More Work from Home

No More Work from Home

Acccording to, by 2016 4.9 million workers will telecommute on a regular basis.

But don’t look now, first Yahoo and now Best Buy have pulled back on ambitious programs that allowed employees to work from home. Is this a step backwards?

…announced in a company memo last week by Yahoo’s human resources director, lays bare a little-discussed truth in many companies: Working remotely has some serious downsides. They range from less-trusting teams, a greater likelihood of communication gaps and, for workers, a blurred boundary between home and work.

Noting that some of the best insights arise from incidental encounters in the hall or around the coffee machine, the memo added that “speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”

Several hundred Yahoo employees work at home full time, with many more telecommuting a few days a week, AllThingsD reported. Yahoo is hardly the first firm to clamp down on remote working–late last year Bank of America was said to have restricted its flexible-work program by asking staff to come into the office more often, a move that it said would help boost collaboration.
At Yahoo, Working from Home Doesn’t Work | 2/23/2013 | by Rachel Emma Silverman for Wall Street Journal

Best Buy, seen as a trailblazer for its progressive telecommuting policy, is now putting limits on the ability of its non-store staff to work from home.

Just a week after Yahoo told its workers that they could no longer work from home, Best Buy ended its Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) program, which allowed employees to set their own hours and work from anywhere as long as they got the job done. Telecommuting is not completely ruled out as an option for the company’s 4,000 non-store employees, but workers will need to seek managerial approval first.

The change comes as Best Buy has been trying to cut costs while dealing with sluggish sales. Company executives decided the telecommuting policy was out of step with the challenges it faces.
Best Buy ends trailblazing work-at-home program | 3/5/13 | by Jay Greene for Cnet

For more information on this topic – check out PC Pitstop’s Running a Virtual Company blog.


Infographic courtesy Keller

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6 thoughts on “No More Work from Home”

  1. There are many different ideas about working from home. This idea of the group together contributing more than a “work at home employee” is saying loud and clear that management needs to keep an eye on everyone in a specific space. My daughter in law works from home because of the savings on both ends. The business saves money and the employee saves money, as in child care. This whole conversation about work at home vs more accomplishments together is mute.

  2. Charlotte Stubbs

    I think this has more to do with leadership that must micromanage then it does with results of people working at home. This is a step backward. For working parents and the disabled, working at home is a vital option! With more and more veterans suffering from PTSD…working at home allows healing time and the dignity of earning your own wage. There is also the savings of gas and other vital resources. It's a shame that corporations view their employees as untrustable as they are. Let's face it…most corporations are viewed as lower then used car salesmen..just a bit higher then politicians.

  3. I have been working from home for 3years now…I love being able to get out of bed, and go to work – without the makeup, the getting ‘dressed up’ or the drive. My employer has many safeguards in place, including a camera that watches me as I work, a system that monitors my activity on the computer and a live chat that keeps me in touch with my peers, as well as my supervisors. Sure, I make less than my equals in the office. But I also save a lot of money on gas, clothes and most importantly – time! I love it and hope this trend doesn’t impact me!

  4. Most office jobs DON'T require collaboration OR trust. Telecommuting reduces CONTROL. For companies WILLING to relax the reigns, it makes sense for SOME jobs, but not others. It can also reduce theCOSTS associated with office space.

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