Much has been said about Best Buy ending its Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) and, particularly, Yahoo’s memo to employees ending regular work from home. Yet Best Buy’s decision was to drop an entire strategy, ROWE, that encompassed working from home among other elements, and Yahoo’s reasoning didn’t offer specific facts relating to its focus on quality and speed.
As for Best Buy, the company dropped ROWE, which compensated employees based on results rather than hours worked, in a management change. The company made the decision despite that other companies like Gap Inc., which prepared a brief management case study, found success with ROWE in helping employees do their best work. The decision by Best Buy goes to show why it’s so important to create more awareness and acceptance among managers of the benefits to their organizations as well as employees by letting them work from home or remotely.
Yahoo, in its decision that quality and speed would be sacrificed by working at home, didn’t offer specific facts or, if anything was affected, it didn’t address in its memo released to The Wall St. Journal whether the company considered how it was implementing work from home.
So, to use Yahoo’s decision as an example beyond one company’s choice would be amiss. HR survey data also points the other way for employee productivity, motivation and satisfaction, as noted at the link above.
The reality at many workplaces is that many employees work with people who are situated outside an office, like customers or clients, suppliers, or colleagues in other places. We all need to practice collaborating with each other – wherever we’re located, in addition to the substantial benefits of remote work for organizatons and employees.
An interesting, productive business conversation can happen at a cafe, meeting room, interacting online, or from the airplane seat. We’re more mobile-enabled these days and can converse, meet or do our work outside the office.