First Yahoo, now Best Buy ends home working for staff

First Yahoo, now Best Buy ends home working for staff

Summary: Best Buy has announced an end to its initiative allowing workers to telecommute — just like Yahoo.


Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's plan is working: Her idea to bring workers that permanently work from home back into the office is going well.

(Image: Hohbach-Lewin)

Worries about occasional telecommuting were laid to rest in Yahoo's original memo to its staff, which was leaked last week.

The memo advised "the rest of us, who occasionally have to stay home for the cable guy, please use your best judgment in the spirit of collaboration".

Employees have been talking to the New York Times anonymously, saying that their concerns about occasional telecommuting have been eased.

The outcry from ex-employees of Yahoo seems to be a storm in a teacup. Many were upset by the decision, assuming that all telecommuting — even occasional telecommuting — will be cancelled.

Not so. The decision affected only 200 staff from Yahoo's 12,000 strong workforce.

Resumes have been arriving at Yahoo, according the article, from candidates unfazed by the edict and hoping for a job.

My arguments on this week's great debate about permanent working from home seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

I predicted that Mayer's bold move would be the start of a new trend, and this week another company, Best Buy, announced that it was ending its Results Only Work Environment (ROWE).

ROWE allows its employees to control when they worked from home. Now, workers at Best Buy will need to ask for managerial approval in order for non-store employees to telecommute.

Best Buy spokesperson Matt Furman said: "When you're in a turnaround situation, it truly is all hands on deck."

According to the Star Tribune Carol Spieckerman, president of retail consulting firm newmarketbuilders said: "In a lot of ways, it's a symbolic way for Best Buy and Yahoo to remind their employees that the old ways are not going to guide the company."

Best Buy said that its decision was made over a month before the Yahoo announcement, and the edict by Yahoo was not related.

Both of these ailing companies have made the same strategic change for similar reasons.

The route back to success might be dependent on face-to-face interactions — without all the distractions of working from home.

Only time will tell if both Yahoo and Best Buy are truly trailblazing with their return to the office mandate — or whether they are trying to fight fire in firms that are already burned out.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Browser, Enterprise Software, Software, Software Development, Tech Industry, Web development

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  • Difference between Yahoo and Best Buy....

    ..Yahoo might actually still *have* employees five years from now. Best Buy - Yeah. Not Likely.
    • based on two things, I agree

      1. their store revamp has removed a lot - i used to buy lots of little things all the time. No more DVDs and other things means fewer reasons to go there.

      2. the people who work there are one step brighter than Apple Store "geniuses", which isn't saying much because they don't have a clue as to how the TV sets work. Just sales pitches, especially the grossly overpriced calibration systems.
    • A bunch of lazy mo-fo's

      You fat slobs at Best Buy and Yahoo should be grateful you still have jobs.
  • Circle Jerk

    I'm sure the managers out there looking for approval for their flailing guesswork love forwarding articles like this around to validate your "game changing" decision to slam everyone's morale into the toilet, but I hope you realize that it's those employees you just crushed that you're leaning on to save that failing company of yours. Good luck. We'll see where Best Buy and Yahoo end up now that they've "shaken things up" and let everyone know that "the old ways are not going to guide the company". I'm trying to find my "Managing a company into the ground: for dummies" to copy and paste a few more tag lines out of, but I seem to have misplaced my copy.
  • My Friends Work at Home

    They own their own home school curriculum development and supply business.
    Young people today are spoiled , if you want work it home: go take small bushiness courses at you local community college and start your own business. Other than your are on the employers time and you need to act like a disciplined adult , make the need adjustments, and and come to work in the office.
    • Good luck with that

      Too many small businesses have gone under because, even for those that have put out quality work, forces beyond their control wiped them out. Competition, lower prices, unable to stay afloat or expand... that's the reality out there. And people seem to enjoy it.
  • Another Best Buy bad decision

    Have they made any good decisions in the last 5 years? I refuse to go there and get gouged on merchandise by pinhead salespeople that exist to sell service contracts. It has the Circuit Sh*ty atmosphere now..If it isn't high-margin and mainstream, we don't sell it. Look what that did for them...and Kmart's great death revamp years ago. Once you're on the downhill like that, there's an inescapable outcome ahead.
    • Amen to that.

      My buddy bouaght a simple tv mount there for $89 the other day. He asked me to help him put it up. I made him return it and got him one off of for $8.99 along with a 6' HDMI cable. Bestbuy is nothing more than a showroom for the internet and for that reason alone I hope they hang in for a while... But they won't be getting any of my money.
  • Staff of one

    I use to run my own business. As I got known I gained customers and eventually had to tell potential new customers that I couldn't take them on because of time constraints. Repeatedly I was told I should hire people to work for me and expand the business. I checked into it but after learning the costs of having employees, on average double whatever you are getting paid and you get the idea what it costs per employee, and reviewing the laws governing employee benefits, like family leave, I decided to just stick with a one person shop. When I sold the business off and retired the two guys who bought it did expand it and at one time had 11 employees. I say at one time because they went out of business. People quite using them when their rates climbed. Today people have a benefits mindset. Work is not for you it is for your employer. The money and benefits are your reward.
  • So that's why....

    So that's why i had to wait 10 minutes at customer service to pick up a printer I reserved online!
    [And when someone there brought out the printer, it was the wrong model - so I had to wait while she picked out the correct model!]