03/12/2013 01:27 pm ET

Work From Home Still On Offer At Most Companies, Despite Recent Yahoo Dust-Up: Survey

Don't sell your home office equipment just yet -- even as a few major companies have put the kibosh on remote office time in recent weeks, most plan to allow employees to continue working from home, according to a new survey.

Both Yahoo! and Best Buy recently changed their telecommute policies to limit how often workers can punch in the clock from home. Yet these companies could still be outliers. According to a recent survey of 120 human resource executives, 80 percent of those polled said their companies let employees work from home -- and nearly all of those who offered the option said there were no plans to eliminate it.

"If a company is having success with its telecommuting program, it is unlikely it will pull the plug on it simply because Yahoo! did it," John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the outplacement firm that conducted the survey, said in a statement. More than 3 million workers considered their home their primary office in 2011, according to the Telework Research Network.

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to change the company's long-standing telecommute policy has come under fire from critics who charge the new rule sets a poor example and is a step backwards for policies looking to support better work-life balance.

Best Buy will still allow some corporate employees to work flexible hours outside the office, but earlier this month it announced a policy shift to make those decisions on case-by-case basis rather than offer a blanket policy for all workers. Like Yahoo!, the policy shift was made by a new, incoming CEO faced with turning around a struggling company. Hubert Joly took over Best Buy in August 2012 and has said he plans to cut costs by $725 million.

Both companies have said the policy changes are meant to put more focus on innovation and collaboration as a result of increased face time with coworkers. However, work-at-home advocates say more workplace flexibility leads to more productivity.



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