Best Buy, Yahoo are right: Work is best at office

  • Article by: Joshua W. Carlson
  • Updated: March 6, 2013 - 8:39 PM

When it’s all about the employees, it’s not about the enterprise. The results show it.

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lizworth1000Mar. 6, 13 9:37 PM

Where is the data and analysis to support your arguments? The Accretive debacle at Fairview did not involve remote workers. There are less than 5 departments that are on ROWE at Fairview, none of which were directly involved with the Accretive consultants. Targets' business growth has been driven largely by their groceries. They have a different segment of the retail market than does Best Buy. Are the Best Buy remote workers responsible for their failed expansion into Canada? Your understanding of ROWE and managing to results is painfully obvious. Yes, there are employees who take advantage of ROWE. They are not being properly managed. I can assure you that there are plenty of employees who show up in the brick and mortar style companies who do a whole lot of nothing and stretch their work out amazingly well, and they wear professional work attire doing it. They're not being properly managed either and those leaders are not being held accountable for poor results. I'm not on ROWE, my department is not on ROWE. So I have no particular stake in this one way or another. But from what I've read about Yahoo and Best Buy, it was an easy fix in the mind of new CEO's wanting to make their mark on their new companies. They're throwing out the baby with the bath water. I don't suspect either Yahoo or Best Buy will be successful, even if they replace all their workers with remote foreign workers making pennies on the dollars compared to their US counterparts as you threaten. The mistakes Yahoo and Best Buy have made in their business decisions are what got them in the messes they're in. The remote workers are being scape-goated for those decisions.

stanleysaysMar. 6, 1310:13 PM

Target allows their corporate employees to home office, not 5 days per week but from time to time.

luxaeternaMar. 6, 1310:38 PM

I'd like to see what the correlation is between ROWE and corporate success. One or two companies is not enough to make an informed decision on the merits of this.

callmeronMar. 7, 13 1:03 AM

Happy employees are productive employees. If working from home makes people happy (and it makes me very happy)... Think about the time it takes to get ready for and to commute to and from work. How many people working from home have to get up early to shave or put on makeup or iron their clothes for work? None. Think about the cost of riding the bus to and from work ($6 a day). Think about all the groggy employees who would do anything to be able to work from home. Maybe they should ask their employees what they like instead of just the CEOs. Huh? Oh I forgot: Managers come and go as they please and when they are in the office they spend much of their day in "meetings".

furguson11Mar. 7, 13 5:03 AM

I wonder if Hennepin County Human Services is going to jettison ROWE now?

kkjerMar. 7, 13 8:57 AM

I wonder if the author of this article knows how thousands of employees are terminated each year for being a few minutes late for work? The company I work for is in Denver and I have never been to the main office. My co-workers are spread across the country.

ninetyninerMar. 7, 13 9:21 AM

The beatings will continue until the morale improves. Yahoo and Best Buy are pointing the finger at remote workers because the leadership has no vision of where they're going and what they want to do. Best Buy is getting killed by internet retailing and it's becoming increasingly difficult to compete with the expense of maintaining all their stores. Yahoo has been around forever and no one knows what the hay they do as a business to make money. Both of these companies have deeper problems that have nothing to do with working remotely.

bannedmuggsMar. 7, 1310:31 AM

As one who has been on both sides of the ROWE model, I would agree with the author. Its unfortunate that it turns from "we" to "me", but the fact is, it does. No fault of anyone. Its human nature. I

zekim09Mar. 7, 1311:10 AM

Corporations love the concept of "we" until it impacts the bottom-line. Corporations don't have a problem involving "we" when it comes to asking its employees to work extra hours, over weekends and to skip spending time with friends and family as an "important" deadline needs to be met. Corporations seem to forget "we" when they start doing layoffs in order to make the stock-price look better.

The best example that I know of occured at one of our local medical device companies. They had a team working 70+ hours a week for a few months in order to finish a project before the end of the fiscal year. A week after the project was completed, the company laid-off the entire team. The only reason for the deadline was the company wanting to lay-off the team before the end of the fiscal year in order to boost its numbers.

wildmnMar. 7, 1312:09 PM

Consider this....."Results Oriented (or Only) Work Environment". Where are the "Results" with Best Buy performance as of the last two years? Not where they need to be.....just ask anyone (but of course you should know this)! Now take that down to a personal contributor level. Yes, there are many factors to the declining comps, reduced margins, employee layoffs...etc. but no single factor becomes more clear to me than Team BBY needs to stand one...and prove naysayers WRONG, by addressing the challenges we face, some of which I mentioned above. As a Best Buy Employee, I have seen first hand the way ROWE is taken advantage of by some, and rarely (or not at all) used by others. I would go as far as to say that I notice a correlation between performance and ROWE. Performance is not only at an Individual Level, but is, in its truest form, at the level of the Enterprise. Further, there is a vast understanding of exactly what ROWE means. So, back to this..."RESULTS"....! Therefore it seems to reason that the time for ROWE (at least in BBY) is NOT NOW. There indeed is a necessity to balance to one's personal life, keeping folks happy and as or more important, engaged. That is not being taken away from us. We can take our children to the Dr, Dogs to Vets, Home Deliveries, you name we are all still OK via Work from Home as we are equipped to do, with appropriate consideration given.. People-Get the FULL story, and add some business sense to it. I am in the middle of this...have been for many years...and am not as unhappy as those that (probably) don't even work for this once great, still great, will be greater again, Company.


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