Best Buy Follows Yahoo’s Lead on Telecommuting

Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy has increasingly relied on cutting edge communications and mobile technologies to allow employees to work from home or remotely with great frequency.

At least, the company used to allow this sort of thing.

Following Yahoo’s recent crackdown on telecommuting, it looks like Best Buy is joining the bandwagon to get employees back to the office.

This week, Best Buy formally axed its flexible work program introduced eight years ago. The move was designed to give corporate employees the freedom and flexibility of working from home, the Star Tribune reports.

Known as Results Only Work Environment (ROWE), the company evaluated employees solely on performance versus time worked and office attendance. Employees worked when they wanted and wherever they wanted just as long as they got the job done.

Now most corporate employees will work the traditional 40-hour week, though managers still have discretion to accommodate some workers. ROWE, which the company launched in 2005, did not apply to Best Buy’s store employees, who make up the lion’s share of the retailer’s 168,000-person global workforce.

“It makes sense to consider not just what the results are but how the work gets done,” Best Buy spokesman Matt Furman explains. “Bottom line, it’s ‘all hands on deck’ at Best Buy and that means having employees in the office as much as possible to collaborate and connect on ways to improve our business.”

Is Best Buy making the right move to curtail telecommuting for its corporate workforce?