Two major Fortune 500 employers have made headlines recently by announcing that they are eliminating or significantly reducing opportunities for their employees to work remotely.
Yahoo!® led the way when CEO Marissa Mayer instructed her HR department to have all remote employees return to working in company offices. The reason given was that the company believes face-to-face employee interaction fosters a collaborative culture that can’t be developed among remote workers.
A few weeks later, electronics retailer Best Buy® also announced changes to its policies about telecommuting. The company isn’t eliminating remote work across the board, but instead of it being an option that employees can decide for themselves, they must consult with their managers to discuss whether the arrangement is working.
Some employees at both companies have hailed the changes as positive, saying that more in-person collaboration and innovation will boost morale and nurture the company culture that is essential to maintaining a strong corporate brand. But many workers believe working remotely allows them to be more productive, because they can concentrate on their work without the distractions of an office. While Yahoo! and Best Buy wait to see how their changes play out, the discussion and examination of remote work continues to heat up.