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Best Buy Follows Yahoo in Banning Remote Work

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the no-retailing-from-your-garage dept.

Businesses 317

bednarz writes "Is telecommuting the new scapegoat for poor performance? Best Buy, in the midst of a corporate restructuring, has canceled its flexible work program and expects corporate employees to put in traditional 40-hour work weeks at the retailer's headquarters (they used to be able to work whenever and wherever they wanted). The announcement comes on the heels of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to end telecommuting, which ignited a firestorm of criticism. It also follows news of Best Buy's plans to lay off 400 corporate workers as part of a plan to cut $725 million in costs and restructure its business. This could signal the beginning of a trend, or be an indication that telecommuters need to actively justify their preference for working outside the office."

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317 comments

Terrible move by a dying entity (5, Informative)

ModernGeek (601932) | about a year ago | (#43085105)

This is a terrible move by a dying entity that is showing its irrelevance by going back further into the dark ages.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (5, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#43085151)

Are you referring to Best Buy or Yahoo?

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (5, Funny)

afidel (530433) | about a year ago | (#43085263)

Yes

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43085593)

Yes

Indeed. BestBuy has been closing stores and laying off. I have a Yahoo! account, and haven't noticed any improvement in years. I started using their email service in 1998. Three minutes later I realized that, although I could put mail in folders, there was no way to create sub-folders. So I could have a folder for "Friends", but I could not have a folder for "Friends/Joe" and "Friends/Betty". I didn't see how that could work for any serious email user, so I sent off an email, and received a response that said plenty of people had asked, and it was a "top priority". Today, fifteen years and fourteen thousand employees later, still no sub-folders. I am curious what any of these employees actually do.

 

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085897)

I didn't see how that could work for any serious email user, so I sent off an email, and received a response that said plenty of people had asked, and it was a "top priority". Today, fifteen years and fourteen thousand employees later, still no sub-folders. I am curious what any of these employees actually do.

and yet you still have to pay $19.95 a year for POP3 access and there is no IMAP available (last time I checked). They did just recently bork their homepage so, yeah - there's that

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (1)

Wookact (2804191) | about a year ago | (#43085265)

It would be an apt description for both.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085289)

Are you referring to Best Buy or Yahoo?

Yes.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085299)

Yes.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (5, Interesting)

Radres (776901) | about a year ago | (#43085171)

It's just a way to lay people off without having to pay severance.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085449)

Pretty much this.. more extreme form of "Casual dress code is being removed for more 'professionalism' " only to be returned to after layoffs are complete.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085607)

Really? Why?

The only arguments I've seen along these lines have all been one flavor or another of 'I need to work at home. I have kids there, or a dying mother. I don't have any choice but to work at home. So if I can't I'll have to quit'.

But if this is the argument... then I don't have much sympathy... because what you're really saying is that when you're home, you're taking care of your kids, or your mom...

I'm a single dad. I work. When my kid is sick - I'm home with him. I take sick time or vacation for those days. I don't claim to be working...

- Peter

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43085829)

how about... "I am more productive from home" meaning...I don't really need 40 hours to do this 40 hour job you've proposed to me, but I'll do it better than the next schmuck you bring in, so hire me, your work will get done, I get paid, and business continues.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (2)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#43085963)

The only arguments I've seen along these lines have all been one flavor or another of 'I need to work at home. I have kids there, or a dying mother. I don't have any choice but to work at home. So if I can't I'll have to quit'.

How about "I was hired when this was allowable, live in another timezone, and don't want to uproot my family to get into the office"?

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (0)

Grekan (2349348) | about a year ago | (#43086089)

The only arguments I've seen along these lines have all been one flavor or another of 'I need to work at home. I have kids there, or a dying mother. I don't have any choice but to work at home. So if I can't I'll have to quit'.

How about "I was hired when this was allowable, live in another timezone, and don't want to uproot my family to get into the office"?

I guess you're fired then.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#43085175)

I would like to see some evidence of that, rather than what I have seen in response to yahoo's decision - which is an outcry by people who telecommute and want to continue to telecommute, mainly for personal reasons.

I work with people who telecommute. It is a justifiable accommodation for an especially good performer who would otherwise have to leave. But from my perspective, it doesn't seem as good as having the same person nearby, when that is possible to do.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (4, Interesting)

Radres (776901) | about a year ago | (#43085297)

There is no need for evidence, it's pretty obvious that if you tell your employees who live 1,000 miles away to either come into the office or quit, a good number of those will quit.

To the contrary, what is the evidence that remote employees perform worse than local? Why do we need more office space and people commuting generating pollution and congestion on our roads?

What industry do you work in and what occupation? I'm sure certain fields are more workable remote than others.

The problem with having it be a "justifiable accommodation for an especially good performer" is that everyone thinks that they are good performers and everyone will think they deserve it. It's either all or nothing.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (2)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year ago | (#43085459)

You live in a black or white world? No shades?

There are people for whom telecommuting works. I have one great one, working thousands of miles away.
There are people for whom telecommuting does not work. I had one who was in another office, away from the rest of the team.

My team can work from home any time they want to. But the office is the primary work location.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (0)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#43085795)

But the office is the primary work location.

I thought that the office was the place where the disgruntled ex-employee showed up and began firing at everyone in sight.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43086113)

"I thought that the office was the place where the disgruntled ex-employee showed up and began firing at everyone in sight."

No, that's not the office. That's the Post Office.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085635)

And they went with Nothing...

I work in software engineering... and telecommuting is terrible. The person you responded to is correct - there may be reasons in an organization to allow it, but it would ALWAYS be better to have that person in the office.

- Peter

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year ago | (#43085735)

There is no need for evidence, it's pretty obvious that if you tell your employees who live 1,000 miles away to either come into the office or quit, a good number of those will quit.

If it was transparent that this was the intention, wouldn't that make it constructive dismissal [wikipedia.org] ? Or could they weasel out of that by pointing out that it wasn't aimed at any *specific* employee, or that it was in the contract, or whatever?

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (2)

beowolfschaefer (2451564) | about a year ago | (#43085451)

I tend to agree. At my office a large number of employees live locally but work remotely often and it can be a big hassle when I need to get answers from them.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43086145)

"I tend to agree. At my office a large number of employees live locally but work remotely often and it can be a big hassle when I need to get answers from them."

Then it isn't being done right. If your office has a proper telecommute setup, the remote workers should never be more than an IM or Campfire message away, and respond as immediately as they would if they were in the office.

I worked in an office in which it was often easier and faster to get an answer from a worker in another state than from someone two desks over.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43086307)

The tools are there to help you - email, instant messaging, and voice and video chat. When I worked in an office, i would say about 30% of my day was spent on actual work, the rest was constant interruptions. I need to be in my zone to function. Once I started working remotely, my productivity level skyrocketed. Since most medium to large companies have a global workforce, the vast majority of knowledge workers are remote anyways. I deal with folks in India, China, Germany, and three time zones in the United States and Canada.

Consider all the open source software that is developed by remote teams, people who have never met, and yet companies that rarely allow remote work use and depend on this same software.

Just imagine of all the office buildings that can be turned into housing in markets like the Silicon Valley. I fill up my car once every 2-3 weeks. My carbon footprint is far lower. Rather than using 2 hours of transit time going to a doctor's appointment, I am only on the road 30 minutes. It is a win-win for me and my employer.

If employees are slacking, put them on a performance plan. If they fail to improve, terminate them.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (2)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about a year ago | (#43085499)

Also telecommuting is a very good option for talented people with medical conditions that make it difficult to get to the office every day.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (1)

Above (100351) | about a year ago | (#43086051)

I got forced into telecommuting years ago, and have been doing it ever since. To answer your question, there are two factors that determine if remote work is productive:

* The job you're doing.
* The manager.

Some jobs demand being in an office. Some jobs are more productive at home. Most are a grey area, some aspects are better at home, some are better in the office. When it comes to the grey area, the manger is the single biggest influence; they need to understand remote working and make an effort to make it productive. The same sort of effort they make to make in-office work productive.

That said, since this is a blanket ban I'm sure the baby is being thrown out with the bath water. I've done jobs and known people doing jobs for companies like these that cannot be done in the office. They travel extensively, and work from home when not traveling. They are the glue that ties them to their vendors, the people who go on site and fix issues, the people who live in some far off time zone and provide "coverage" far cheaper than staffing two shifts in an office.

Of course, I'm sure there were some freeloaders too; people who started working from home and have done less and less over time. They should go.

I would argue though, doesn't that reflect more on management, that they are unable to tell who is productive? If management can't even tell who's doing their work productively there's no hope.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43086091)

"I work with people who telecommute. It is a justifiable accommodation for an especially good performer who would otherwise have to leave. But from my perspective, it doesn't seem as good as having the same person nearby, when that is possible to do."

You are only looking at a very narrow segment of the job market. I am a freelance programmer and web developer. My job is 100% telecommute, all the time. (I have done lots of work for people in other states and outside the country, for example.)

In most cases there is no reason to hire someone full-time to do my job. So an on-site requirement would make no sense.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085193)

Agreed. Best Buy is circling the drain. I imagine the reason they are asking folks to come in to the corporate headquarters is because they have to see them in person to lay them off.

Re:Terrible move by a dying entity (4, Funny)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#43085551)

Agreed. Best Buy is circling the drain. I imagine the reason they are asking folks to come in to the corporate headquarters is because they have to see them in person to lay them off.

I thought the "in" thing these days was to lay people off by email or SMS. Right before Christmas.

Next moves by Yahoo and Best Buy . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#43085639)

. . . claim every Linux user owes them $699, and then sue IBM . . .

Sounds like a fine business plan.

Which is totally fine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085123)

If you don't mind losing 20% of your workforce in about a week. It's a buyers market for IT Professionals right now.

Re:Which is totally fine... (2)

karnal (22275) | about a year ago | (#43085135)

I don't think it's been a seller's market for some time now.

Re:Which is totally fine... (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43085249)

I think that's exactly it. It's a "we've got the power so frag you" type of move.

Re:Which is totally fine... (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#43085235)

"Will code for food" so says the sign the man on the corner street is holding. While a line of college students outside of Yahoo are saying "I will pay YOU just to work there for experience and references". Ok, not that bad -yet-. Getting there though.

As a former Employee (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085165)

I can tell you Best Buy treats their employees like total crap. I did not work in a retail store, I worked in one of their service centers. Worst run company ever. They actually had a VP come down one week and tell us we needed to tape yellow lanes on the floor to tell people where to walk and then 3 weeks later another VP came down and made them change it to red tape, then 2 months later another VP came down and wanted all the lines moved because he didn't think it was clear which areas were for walking and which areas were work areas. Ridiculous.

Re:As a former Employee (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43085251)

Choose color of tape. No wonder they make the big bucks.

Re:As a former Employee (3, Funny)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#43085555)

Seems the tape was red [wikipedia.org] long before they settled on the color.

Re:As a former Employee (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#43086009)

I suppose the yellow tape was meant to divide the corridors into two lanes,
so the employees who leave a little early don't bump into the ones that
arrive a little late.

Real motive (4, Insightful)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year ago | (#43085181)

has nothing to do with working from home. They need to get rid of a bunch of employees and this gives them a way of doing so without actually having a reason to fire them. They know a certain percentage won't be able to work locally, and will have to "voluntarily" quit.

Re:Real motive (1)

wangmaster (760932) | about a year ago | (#43085269)

Yup, this is it.
Whenever a company needs to cut jobs via layoffs, things like this allow them to take advantage of attrition without having to pay severance.

Re:Real motive (4, Informative)

Whatsisname (891214) | about a year ago | (#43085403)

Best Buy is headquartered in Minnesota, an at-will employment state. They can eliminate anyone at any time for any reason, and don't need a bogus excuse to do so.

Re:Real motive (1)

wangmaster (760932) | about a year ago | (#43085481)

Being able to fire at any time doesn't mean that employees do it.
I live and work in Minnesota and companies here do RIFs (reduction in force) all the time with severance payouts. If they can get people to leave on their own, that's one less severance package to pay. There are plenty of good reasons why companies pay out severance even if they don't have to. But if they can get away with paying out less than they have to, great.

Re:Real motive (1)

beowolfschaefer (2451564) | about a year ago | (#43085487)

They can still do it in the interest of PR even if they don't need to legally.

Re:Real motive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085575)

Just because they do not have to join a union does not mean they do not have other state laws protecting workers and does not give you a free pass from wrongful termination lawsuits.

Re:Real motive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085637)

However, all of their employees are not located in Minnesota. It's not where the company is headquartered, it's where the employees are, too. I've worked for California, Pennsylvania, Mass, and New York based companies while living in Illinois. Every time the do something against Illinois employment law that's legal elsewhere, a single email to HR fixes the problem.

Re:Real motive (1)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | about a year ago | (#43085749)

Best Buy is headquartered in Minnesota, an at-will employment state. They can eliminate anyone at any time for any reason, and don't need a bogus excuse to do so.

They do not need a bogus excuse to do so (as long as it's legal), but there's this little thing called "public relations". This thing is something they cannot afford to piss away and I guarantee you that BB was watching like a hawk what the potential fallout would be when Yahoo pulled this earlier.

It's one thing to tell the public "hey, we're firing all these people just because fuck you, that's why" and "we're sorry to all involved, but we need to cut back on our distance working infrastructure due to fiscal flow calculations."

Re:Real motive (0)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year ago | (#43085789)

This. Is. Slashdot! We don't confuse arguments in these parts by introducing facts that contradict our biases and opinions.

Re:Real motive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085849)

You mean, "hindquartered," don't you?

Re:Real motive (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#43085967)

I don't know Minnesota's local laws, but if they are like California (also a at-will) state, the company has to pay extra unemployment taxes for every person that makes a unemployment claim. If the employee quits, the company doesn't have to pay those extra taxes. It is common here in California to "encourage empoloyees to quit" instead of firing them. I assume it is the same in Minnesota.

Not allowing remote workers is the new way for companies to signal that they going bankrupt and they no longer feel there is a solution to avoid it.

Re:Real motive (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43086301)

I don't know Minnesota's local laws, but if they are like California (also a at-will) state, the company has to pay extra unemployment taxes for every person that makes a unemployment claim. If the employee quits, the company doesn't have to pay those extra taxes.

Correct, un-employment insurance has a federal component that is the same everywhere. There are state components but they tend to vary in the taxation percentage not the reasons for collecting it.

Also, every state in the union is "at-will" with only minor differences in the details. OP probably confused at-will with right-to-work which is the legal principle that an employer can not force an employee to join a union as a prerequisite for being hired. Right-to-work doesn't really apply here either, but it is really common for people to mix up at-will and right-to-work.

Re:Real motive (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#43085421)

It's similar to my rule of thumb when judging the health of a datacenter. When the sci-fi posters sudden''y come off of the walls in the office and tech areas, start planning your move, the ship is sinking and management is determined to take it out on everyone under them.

Re:Real motive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085701)

You're looking at things from the wrong perspective.

It's not about working from home, it's about not working at the office.

Those aren't companies that hire freelancers on a daily basis. You want their loyalty, then they have to care about their co-workers to some degree. There's crap like 37signals all over the place, but that's just it. They're good for companies that are the same, spread all over the world, that need to be physically spread out, but on an informational level, very closely knit. Still, they're very rare. And the only ones that mimic them, are the companies that outsource a lot of their production.

It's not globalization in reverse, but a damper on the stupidity called outsourcing.

Still, I really have no idea why people are so against this, numbers show Mayer is right.

Environmentalists? (2)

operagost (62405) | about a year ago | (#43085195)

Where are the environmentalists who should be protesting the increase in the use of resources, especially petroleum products, that will be required when all these employees return to an office? Especially when many of them took the job under the betrayed promise that they would not have to often commute to an office that was perhaps an hour or more away?

Re:Environmentalists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085293)

Because not that many people telecommute. Go talk to someone who's down a tax bracket and you'll hear lots of single parents saying, "cry me a river." Did I say single parents? I mean, the rest of the non-tech workers.

Re:Environmentalists? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085521)

Because not that many people telecommute. Go talk to someone who's down a tax bracket and you'll hear lots of single parents saying, "cry me a river." Did I say single parents? I mean, the rest of the non-tech workers.

News Flash. Tech workers don't make much money either

wondering aloud... (3, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43085229)

I just wonder if any agreements were made with employees at either Yahoo or BB that they would be allowed to do a certain amount of their work remotely.

Again.. it goes back to the current American belief that it's okay for a corporation to break their word or contract with an individual but absolutely wrong when it's vice versa...

Re:wondering aloud... (1)

runeghost (2509522) | about a year ago | (#43085349)

I'm not sure this is so much an American belief as something American corporations would desperately like their customers to believe.

Re:wondering aloud... (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43085383)

There is virtually no public outcry when a corporation violates their contracts with their employees in the U.S. That's why I make the statement. I can't speak for other countries that I don't live in.

Re:wondering aloud... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085447)

I am altering the deal, pray I do not alter it further.

Re:wondering aloud... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#43086073)

The traditional example of this would be that if you don't give notice, the company will try to blackball you from working by telling anyone calling for a reference that you did not give notice. On the other hand, they have no problems firing employees at 4:50 on Friday, telling them not to come in Monday. That, or when insisting that employees give notice, they respond to that courtesy by firing the employee at the end of that day if not escorting them out immediately.

Re:wondering aloud... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085863)

If you're going to have remote employees, they might as well be located in India, where U.S. unemployment laws won't apply. That way you can eliminate them all, and change to Thailand, or whomever is giving the best price that day.

MBAs and Investment Bankers ruin companies. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085237)

Look at the history of companies like DEC, Compaq, Dell, the list goes on an on.

They all did great until MBAs and Investment Bankers got control.

Then the value was squeezed out and the carcass disgarded.

Re:MBAs and Investment Bankers ruin companies. (3, Insightful)

bobthesungeek76036 (2697689) | about a year ago | (#43085377)

To be fair, those companies were on their way out before said financial minds took over.

Re:MBAs and Investment Bankers ruin companies. (1)

T-Ranger (10520) | about a year ago | (#43085423)

DEC is a great counterexample to "business interests" destroying a technology company. In fact, it was a company with great technology products which the market just didn't care about. An MBA in charge would have said "Skip this VMS shit, boys"

Re:MBAs and Investment Bankers ruin companies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43086003)

VMS was not the problem, as it was ubiquitous. BSD came in on Vaxen as well. The problem was blowing off the microcomputer and wondering what happened to their cash flow...

What firestorm (3, Interesting)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year ago | (#43085259)

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to end telecommuting, which ignited a firestorm of criticism.

There was no firestorm, just whining from unproductive Yahoo employees and media parasites.

Perhaps they didn't get the memo, but Google (which is what Yahoo wishes it was, and is where every Yahoo employee wishes he/she was working at) doesn't allow telecommuting either. Marissa was just putting in place policies that worked for Google.

Re:What firestorm (5, Informative)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43085305)

This while she was building a nursery in her office so she could spend time with her kid at work.

http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/28/how-yahoo-ceo-marissa-mayer-is-building-a-nursery-by-her-office-and-dissing-working-moms/ [time.com]

If that's not her giving her workforce the finger then I don't know what is.

Re:What firestorm (1)

mozkill (58658) | about a year ago | (#43085355)

It is probably that exact experience that gave Marissa Mayer the perspective she needed to make a call on this. She probably experienced first-hand that being at home was more unproductive (towards her job).

Re:What firestorm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43086019)

She is a CEO, that means her presence at the office actually damages the company.

She's the CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085509)

1) She's more important. There's only 1 CEO.
2) Other CEOs have private jets or helicopters (such as Brazil) to commute. Should lower management or coders receive those too? In perspective, a nursery only allows her to stay in the office longer. Yahoo folks take off like a swarm when the clock strike 5pm.
3) Yahoo subsidizes childcare for their employees. Just like most large companies.

Re:What firestorm (5, Funny)

c (8461) | about a year ago | (#43085561)

If that's not her giving her workforce the finger then I don't know what is.

She was at Google for a long time. Probably has a heck of a lot of pent up Evil she needs to burn off...

Re:What firestorm (1)

Lisias (447563) | about a year ago | (#43085375)

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to end telecommuting, which ignited a firestorm of criticism.

There was no firestorm, just whining from unproductive Yahoo employees and media parasites.

Perhaps they didn't get the memo, but Google (which is what Yahoo wishes it was, and is where every Yahoo employee wishes he/she was working at) doesn't allow telecommuting either. Marissa was just putting in place policies that worked for Google.

Perhaps Yahoo should do as Google on this also: opening facilities on third world countries to avoid paying too much on salaries. What do you think?

(I think it would be great! I live on one of these third world countries!)

Re:What firestorm (2)

Provocateur (133110) | about a year ago | (#43085631)

This whole thing could have been avoided if they had allowed us to work wearing our pajamas and bunny slippers

Re:What firestorm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085811)

but Google doesn't allow telecommuting either.

This is flat out false.

Desperate for Productivity (1)

Lije Baley (88936) | about a year ago | (#43085271)

Did you miss the news a while back about productivity levels having peaked? So now the weaker Corporations, faced with losing their least politically-damaging method of squeezing up short-term profit, are trying anything they can to shore up productivity.

Great way to lay off people without saying its (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085277)

Its a great way to lay off people without saying its a layoff, or paying for unemployment since quitting would mean no way to collect it.

Worthy of a Dilbert strip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085295)

Corporate culture is diverging? No one knows what the business's values are anymore? Productivity and morale are at an all time low? Gee, this sure sounds like a great time to fire several hundred employees and force the remaining ones to do more things they don't want to do!

Is it just me or is corporate management in America diametrically opposed to making decisions based on scientific findings?

Re:Worthy of a Dilbert strip (1)

Wister285 (185087) | about a year ago | (#43085681)

If you're going to make claims like that, you bear the burden of proof. It sounds like you're just throwing around opinions as facts because the Best Buy made a decision that you do not find convenient. I'd really like to see a study that working from home full-time is net beneficial to productivity.

Best salaried employee behavior (5, Insightful)

bobstreo (1320787) | about a year ago | (#43085307)

Work exactly 40 hours per week, and not at all from home.

Re:Best salaried employee behavior (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#43085571)

If I had to do this, my employer would find they'd end up getting significantly less work out of me. I end up doing a fair bit on "my own time".

But fortunately my bosses seem to understand the value of letting me work from home occasionally.

Re:Best salaried employee behavior (3, Insightful)

bobstreo (1320787) | about a year ago | (#43085915)

Yeah the problem is that if they "expect you to work 50+ hours per week" with no formal documentation or overtime pay, then
for every 4 employees, there is one other person who isn't going to be hired.

Then when times get "tough" there will only be 3 of you working 66 hours a week, for the same pay.

Just Do Something (even if it's dumb) Management (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43085323)

Person sits at desk from 9-6. Person taps keys. Appears to be breathing. It tells you nothing about whether they're doing their work, so if you can't tell by other means, you're an incompetent employer. And if you can tell by other means, then there's no problem with telecommuting.

Re:Just Do Something (even if it's dumb) Managemen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085587)

Totally agree. Good employees deserve some flexibility. Bad employees deserve to be fired.

It's ironic how we can hire people on the other side of the world and put up with their shoddy work, but in the USA we need to come to the office.

Companies have no idea what they are doing right now, so they just make stuff up and others follow suit.

Meh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085351)

Yahoo? Best Buy? I'll wait until a relevant company follows suit before I worry about my wfh job.

OT: /. drives traffic to corporate sister site (5, Interesting)

guanxi (216397) | about a year ago | (#43085373)

Should Slashdot include a disclaimer when linking to a corporate sister?

In case you don't know, Slashdot is owned by Dice Holdings (see the bottom left of the page you are reading), which also owns this link from the front page story:
http://news.dice.com/2013/03/05/yahoos-telecommuting-policy-could-find-fanboy-ceos/ [dice.com]

Re:OT: /. drives traffic to corporate sister site (2)

Jerslan (1088525) | about a year ago | (#43085759)

If I could I would mod this up.... I think the Slashdot editors should be obligated to stick a disclaimer in the summary when a link goes to a sister site (even when it was a user submitted summary/link).

what's 40 hours? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085453)

What the hell is a "traditional 40 hour work week"?

Best buy has had poor management for years (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43085473)

Best buy has had poor management for years. Maybe makeing big changes will save them.

Now the stores need to move off of judging people on how much they can sell and let them help people not up sell them till they walk out.

Re:Best buy has had poor management for years (1)

BLToday (1777712) | about a year ago | (#43086037)

Big changes? You mean like better customer service, good pricing, and management that doesn't have a burning hatred for customers? That's way too big of a change for Best Buy. I remember when they started to implement their "Angels and Demons" policy, that made me to never go Best Buy except when they have the absolute best price on something I want. I use to browse Best Buy all the time while waiting for my girlfriend to shop. I always ended up spending $10-$20 on random things I didn't need. Now, it's order online and in-store pick up. I don't want to browse because the staff have to hungry look. And I'm chubby.

No loss (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year ago | (#43085495)

I was never gonna work at either place, anyway. But now I do have to worry more that someone will try to upsell me to a 3 year warranty plan in person.

Very misleading headlines (4, Informative)

Wister285 (185087) | about a year ago | (#43085507)

Does anyone seem to realize that work from home is not being banned, but PERMANENTLY working from home? There is a huge difference. Casual work from home is much different than never seeing your coworkers. Is permanent working from home a scapegoat? Perhaps, but it's not unreasonable that troubled companies need all hands on deck while at their most vulnerable.

Lab book (2)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year ago | (#43085517)

Keep a bullet proof lab book with verifiable work and you'll be fine. The issue is that no one tracks what work they do so months after you finish everything there is no trace. Hence telecommuting looks back because how do you know who does any work. On the other hand if you can hand over a well kept book that is documented about the work you've completed then you look fine.

do they have 40-hours of work each week?? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43085581)

Where they pulling lots of overtime at home?

Had lot's of downtime?

This is worse than it sounds (4, Informative)

Saxophonist (937341) | about a year ago | (#43085615)

Best Buy headquarters is in one of the areas of the Twin Cities metro with the worst traffic congestion already, and it is not well-served by public transit. Public policy in Minnesota is starting to tend toward encouraging more remote work and/or flexibility because the cost of maintaining and upgrading roads and transit is becoming unaffordable. I don't know about other areas of employment, but competent programmers are not usually having trouble finding work in the Twin Cities metro. Granted, many of Best Buy's developers are contractors anyway.

This move is likely just to drive away people with other options, and with a company that's already a sinking ship, it's certainly going the wrong direction.

Who Cares (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43085649)

Does anyone really want to work for Best Buy? Or for matter Yahoo?

These are companies that are 20 years behind the leaders. Go to work for them and you will always be sitting around waiting for the defenestration.

These new polices are just a message to the wise - time to find a better employer.

Re:Who Cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085905)

Most people I know will be happy to work for anyone who pays well.

Missing the point (1)

robnator (250608) | about a year ago | (#43085663)

Mayers had a point, Yahoo needs the creativity inspired by water-cooler talks. Best Buy, well their point is hard to buy hats for...

Companies always do this sort (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#43085777)

of thing as cost saving when they are desperately looking for buyers.

The Bubble Has Burst Trolls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085803)

Get out of your basements and get to work or GTFO!

Sorry for the loss to the very few truly productive remote workers.

Telecommuting rocks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43085981)

Been telecommuting for just about a decade. Bosses couldn't be happier with me. And they don't even know what I look like or exactly where I live. I was able to move overseas to where a regular salary goes an extremely long way for maximum efficiency. Telecommuting is definitely the future.

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