What's the future of workplace flexibility?

Rose Buer
Rose Buer lives with her husband, Brett, in Dawson, Minn. She telecommutes to her job as a software engineer in Bloomington every morning.
MPR Photo/Chris Welsch

Best Buy recently decided to end its Results-Oriented Work Environment (ROWE) policy, which had been credited with raising productivity and lowering employee turnover. The policy allowed employees to work anywhere, anytime, as long as they got the job done.

Best Buy is not banning telecommuting outright, but spokesperson Jonathan Sandler said the company wants employees to spend more time at the office.

This news follows a recent memo from Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, banning workers from telecommuting. The decision has sparked a lively debate.

Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, the creators of the ROWE, wrote in an open letter to Mayer:

Your decision has rolled Yahoo! back decades. Why?

Your decision to ban working from home is uninformed, outdated, and most importantly, not focused on the results we all hoped Yahoo! had front of mind. Marissa, as the CEO of a tech company, you better than anyone knows that communication and collaboration can (and does) happen between and among people anywhere at any time. That's what technology has done -- it's made that possible. Your memo to Yahoo! employees stating that they need to be physically side-by-side to communicate and collaborate frankly blew our minds. Only the the most out-of-touch, old school CEOs would actually say that out loud in 2013.

They also responded to Best Buy's recent decision.

Ressler and Cali Williams Yost, CEO and founder of Flex+Strategy Group/Work+Life Fit, join The Daily Circuit Tuesday, March 5.


Best Buy phasing out telecommuting (MPR News)

3 Ways Yahoo's Marissa Mayer Did Us A Huge Favor (Cali Yost in Fast Company)

Out of the Office, on the Clock (New York Times' Room For Debate)

The Excessive Uproar Over Marissa Mayer's Telecommuting Ban (Bloomberg Businessweek)

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