Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly joined Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer in the media hot seat after the electronics retailer announced that it would end the company’s flexible work program, which was available to corporate employees.  Like Yahoo, Best Buy has been struggling for years and perhaps Joly and the team at Best Buy see this as an opportunity to right the proverbial ship.  

The Best Buy results only work environment (ROWE) was a flexible work option available at the company’s Richfield, Minnesota headquarters.  Employees participating in the ROWE program were assessed based on performance, not how many hours they worked, whether in the office or while working remotely.  Now, the ROWE program is going away in an attempt to help Best Buy get back on the right track.

Erin Kelly, a University of Minnesota professor that has researched Best Buy’s ROWE program is concerned about the move, “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.”  Source: StarTribune

Did the telecommuting and flexible workplace options lead to these two companies’ decline?  Perhaps a little; but if telecommuting was the root of all evil, companies like Cisco that employ a massive remote workforce would also be struggling.  Will bringing everyone back into the office be the one move that saves these two companies?  Maybe, but in my not so humble opinion it is going to take a lot more than warm bodies in office chairs for Yahoo or Best Buy to regain their former glory.

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