Telecommuting has been growing in popularity for some time now. It only makes sense, given the possibilities offered by technology and the many advantages telecommuting offers to both employees and employers. As a matter of fact, many business and finance experts have touted telecommuting as the future of business. Yahoo recently shocked the business world by announcing that it would be eliminating its work from home program, essentially barring any of its employees from the possibility of telecommuting. Best Buy compounded the confusion by following suit, leaving many people to question Best Buy’s judgment. Read on to learn more:
Results Only Work Environment (ROWE)
This business operations model was developed by the two founders of Best Buy, to outline a strategy for allowing employees to work from home. ROWE was considered by many experts to be a runaway success, and the creators of the ROWE program have gone on to develop a system of teaching the concept to other businesses. The concept is simple: Employees should be compensated for their performance and productivity–not for their time. The founders of ROWE hoped to do away with the antiquated (and generally false) notion that employees can only produce more when they are at work, as opposed to at home.
Why the disconnect?
Best Buy CEO Huber Joly is quoted saying that the ROWE program is “fundamentally flawed from a leadership standpoint.” Joly expresses that employees need to be together in a work environment in order to connect and collaborate as a team. However, Best Buy is not completely eliminating the opportunity to work remotely on occasion, as Yahoo is; instead, Best Buy is requiring its employees to be at work for a majority of the time, and to negotiate with managers for work from home hours.
Then and now
It is worth examining how this change will affect the practical aspects of daily life for Best Buy employees. Aside from no longer having as much flexibility in scheduling work from home time, employees must now attend mandatory company meetings, whereas before there were no schedules or company meetings. The work from home culture that the company embraced, and that put the company head and shoulders above other, more traditional corporate giants in terms of modernity and forward-thinking, is still spreading through the business world, even if Best Buy is leaving it behind.
Many experts claim that the elimination of the ROWE program is a desperate attempt on Best Buy’s part to compensate for weak management practices. Simply put, Best Buy is being accused of taking a giant leap backward. Will this knock to Best Buy’s reputation have lasting effects? Only time will tell.
About the Author: Jerome Wallace is a HR rep who handles hiring through smartrecruiters.com as well as the in-office and telcommute issues for his small business. Those who need flexibility benefit greatly from working from home and are often very productive