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Best Buy Employees Will No Longer Work From Home

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Best Buy has ended its Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) program. The program allowed corporate employees to control their schedules and decide how often they showed up at the company’s headquarters. Employees were evaluated based purely on performance and office attendance was not taken into account. As long at the job got done, employees could work as much or as little as they wanted. The ROWE program only applied to Best Buy’s corporate employees.

Now that the ROWE program is over, most employees will go back to working a traditional 40-hour week, reports the Star Tribune.The debate about telecommuting has been raging since Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently ended the company’s policy of allowing staff members to work from home.

“It makes sense to consider not just what the results are but how the work gets done,” said Best Buy spokesman Matt Furman. “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.”

Best Buy has been struggling lately so a shakeup like this is not completely unexpected. Last week, Best Buy let go of 400 corporate employees, a decision that will help save the company about $150 million.

According to a study conducted by the National Study of Employers, 63 percent of companies allowed employees to work some hours from home last year, compared with 34 percent in 2005.

Erin Kelly is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota. She has done studies on ROWE and believes that companies are unfairly blaming flexible work programs for problems that stem from other areas.

“I’m concerned that these flexibility initiatives and telework initiatives are getting blamed for what may be other problems those organizations are facing in the broader market,” Kelly said. “[ROWE] reduced work-family conflicts. In the period we were studying employees in the ROWE departments, they were less likely to leave the company and less likely to be thinking about leaving the company.”

Source: (Star Tribune)