JOBS / #Telework / Reversing Trends? Best Buy calls it quit on ‘flexible work’ … http://wp.me/p1SbJI-cB
Best Buy has become the second major employer within the last week to throw its telework/telecommute employee program overboard.
I have several interpretations of what is happening.
#1 – This is not an indictment of telework/telecommute as a form of workplace participation. It is appropriate for some forms of work and not others.
#2 – Companies are getting leaner and meaner (hopefully ‘efficient’). These companies seem to believe that the ‘remotely connected workforce’ is disconnected from the reality of corporate culture (how we make money).
#3 – Organizations really can do much more these days with fewer people on the payroll.
When you are trying to do more with less it is hard to throw someone into the fight when they are not exactly there, physically present.
‘Hey you!’ has long been a useful policy in most industries and organizations: when something needs to get done then now is good … so who is available to get it done now?
A counterargument is that these organizations (Yahoo! and Best Buy) just need to manage their workforce better. I agree. However, I run a virtual company myself and have often found it difficult to get my remote telework/telecommute folks (12 out of 18) to appreciate the business challenges that we face: their life is usually a set of well defined tasks and ‘hey you!’ doesn’t work well at all.
Abandonment of the flexible workforce by two very large firms does not make a trend … but it should tell us something about where BIG business is going: doing more with less requires far more interaction than perhaps our current telework and telecommute approaches may be able to deliver when it comes to corporate teambuilding vice task teambuilding.
by Bill Golden