Best Buy follows Yahoo's lead and cancels telecommuting

The last couple of weeks haven’t been kind to telecommuters as companies try to pull themselves out of the red in this poor economy. First, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer told all of her employees that they must work on site full time. This resulted in quite an uproar by the Internet community with some people supporting the decision, and others decrying it a ridiculous requirement.

Now beleaguered retailer Best Buy is joining the fray. The Star Tribune reports that the retail chain has also enacted a policy requiring employees to drive into the office. Unlike Yahoo’s policy, managers still have the ability to accommodate the occasional employee wanting to work from home, which is important given Minnesota’s harsh winters, where driving to work can be a challenge. However, by and large, employees are expected to show up each day.

This new policy is part of the company's plan to return to profitability. Last week, Best Buy cut 400 employees from its corporate office. With the shuffle of outsourcing to Accenture and then insourcing the work back, a change like this could have negative impact to employee morale.

Now that two well-known companies have made this change, will other companies begin trending in the same direction – or are these nothing more than desperate acts by sinking ships?

Source: Star Tribune | Image via Best Buy

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Are they going to pay to relocate those remote workers now? Some of them are prolly well out of decent commute times and would have to re-locate now and that's EXTREMELY expensive and not something easy for anyone of any income level. You would be uprooting your family and it would be a MAJOR disruption to your life and any others that live with you. Most would rather quit and try another job, thus creating more burden on the company to find a replacement and pay to train the replacement. Has anyone even thought about this? Obviously NOT. This whole thing is very heartless and thoughtless.

LOL sinking ship? That's the problem I have with the stock market in general. When it hit the all-time high everyone was this shows how great the economy is this and that, which is totally wrong. Likewise Best Buy is a billion dollar Company it has not lost money it has underperformed expectations which is an arbitrary stock market thing. It's sad that we have an economic system that can think a company is doing badly when it makes profit but god forbid if speculators think you should make 100 in profit and you only make 80, OMG the world is ending. IMO close the stock market.

True, but it isn't as simple as that. Best Buy has a massive amount of assets. If their annual profit is less than about 8% of their assets then you have to ask if it is worth maintaining the company vs selling off the assets and investing the money in something else. That is a concept known as cost of capital. Meaning that, if you have something worth money, it has the ability to be sold and reinvested. If the asset earns less than what it could earn using a simple investment like a mutual fund, then in the grand scream of things, it is losing money.

Just goes to show how flawed the management at these places is, its poor management in the first place that allows non productive (or those who slack off) to keep working from home when they should be reigned in to the office.

The good workers who value this perk will just either find another job that provides the all important flexibility or a higher paying job in lieu of that perk. Meanwhile yahoo and bestbuy are stuck with a bunch of weak/poor management and non fully productive workers.

As I have said before, this will just cause upcoming talent to just find other positions that offer telecommuting per my research on the generational workforce for my MBA. I don't agree with staying home all of the time and working, but it is a perk esp. with inclement weather or sick children. I'm not coming into the office to patch 500 servers on a Saturday evening, driving 30 minutes to risk hitting a deer or falling asleep at the wheel.

Nah, Sys Admin, which is more of a Data Center monkey. Can't complain as the pay is good and I can telecommute. MBA and Masters in IT Mgmt were free since I taught IT-level college classes for 5 years.

When you get my age, you'll find that sleep is easier in the middle of the night, driving in pitch black, rural roads.

I wholeheartedly applaud this move. These younger, crazed, self-entitled, morons need to learn some freaking work ethic for once in their sheltered little lives. And being forced into the (what they think) tragedy of having to go into a place of work is absolutely necessary for them to wake the f up.

Nogib said,
I wholeheartedly applaud this move. These younger, crazed, self-entitled, morons need to learn some freaking work ethic for once in their sheltered little lives. And being forced into the (what they think) tragedy of having to go into a place of work is absolutely necessary for them to wake the f up.

Sounds like someone is jealous.. Love how you make a bunch of crap up and then people upvote you. I see people at offices who don't do a lick of work.. slackers will be slackers everywhere and if you feel the need to micro manage or be micromanaged, you fail.

You sound intensely jealous, Nogib.

I happen to work from home as a software developer and it's clear you have no idea what you're talking about. I work more from home than I ever did when I was in the office. I've worked as much as 3 solid days/nights to get a project completed on time. To clarify, I didn't sleep during that time. I had a pretty healthy crash when I was finished though.

Although it's not common for me to work that long, it's extremely common for me to work through the night. Although she doesn't like it, luckily, my wife is also understanding when I need to get things done.

So, I assure you that I don't need you to educate me about "work ethic".

**** that. I'm still gonna telecommute. Then again i'm self employed and work for myself! i'll be celebrating my 10 year this August.

Having said that, the photo used in this story, looks like the guy is telling a story... I think he is saying ..

"Dude, last night, I hooked up with this woman, she had some MASSIVE jugs!.

Edited by warwagon, Mar 6 2013, 5:22am :

I drive to work in both of those places fairly regularly (Calgary weekly, St. Paul maybe once or twice a month). While that may generally be true, Alberta has had bloody fantastic weather this year: I was out on a motorcycle last week and my neighbors started taking theirs out in mid February (they're more daring than I am).

chconline said,
I drive to work every day and Minnesota winters have nothing on Alberta.

Come to Thief River Falls. We'll show you a winter this year.

Fezmid said,
Nice to see a lot of fellow Minnesotans here!

Transplant from Jacksonville, NC. I met my wife in Ely at summer camp and moved to S. Minneapolis and then to Montrose, MN where we lived for 11 years before moving up to Warren, MN. Some people ask why the hell would I want to live here when I could be enjoying warmer temps in NC and I tell them less humidity up here and there are actual seasons.

briangw said,

Transplant from Jacksonville, NC. I met my wife in Ely at summer camp and moved to S. Minneapolis and then to Montrose, MN where we lived for 11 years before moving up to Warren, MN. Some people ask why the hell would I want to live here when I could be enjoying warmer temps in NC and I tell them less humidity up here and there are actual seasons.


Transplant from Niagara Falls, NY -- so not much different for me (colder, but less snow in MN).

chconline said,
I drive to work every day and Minnesota winters have nothing on Alberta.

I walk to work everyday in 2 feet of snow 7 miles, uphill each way. No, not really :-)

Sometimes as a species we take 1 step forward and 2 steps back. This is one of those occasions.
I'm not a telecommuter, but I hope to be. I work remotely some days from a different office, and just by having less “oversight” and distractions, I'm far more productive.
Not everyone works this way of course. Some people thrive in social environments, which is great too. The point is blanket policies of stopping everyone telecommuting are wrong, when some people are certainly more productive when they work to their own schedule.

Pardon my apparent ignorance, but how does this help to make them more profitable? Do they pay you more or give you some added incentives to working from home and they are just taking this away? Don't understand..

Slackers will be easier to catch. It will hurt some of the good employees who were telecommuters, but the company is struggling bad and bringing folks in the office brings more accountability in some areas.

zeke009 said,
Slackers will be easier to catch. It will hurt some of the good employees who were telecommuters, but the company is struggling bad and bringing folks in the office brings more accountability in some areas.

This^ The fortune 100 company work for, made this change about 2 years ago. Many so called upper-management/mid-management(slackers) were let go. It was actually a good move because the bottom of the barrel people who did actual work, got promoted.

Easier to catch people not working. You can watch them and get better performance. People working from home also have (sometimes) kids or other people in there and they do not have the focus you would at the office.

I called a co-worker that works at home. He put me on hold while he had his cable installed and his kids running around.

You basically get more work per hour out of the employees when they are in the office. In my experience, very few people have good working from home habits. In many cases people who work from home take an on-call approach to their job, they will take care of whatever needs to be done, but if nothing is going on they disengage. Problems start to happen when they get too disengaged, you call them and they are out of the house, or they take several hours to reply to an email. You also don't develop as an employee as much when you are only doing the minimum expected work.