Best Buy is the latest company to tell its employees, they can no longer work from home. The news comes a week after Yahoo's CEO and Wausau-area native, Marissa Mayer, announced there would be no more telecommunicating under her watch.
The decision set off a heated debate. Can people still be productive if they aren't in the office?
"With the cloud services we provide, it really makes it easy for people to work from home as long as they are meeting deadlines and the work is getting done in a timely manner," said Isak Rasmus, an internet marketing consultant with Virtual Vision. The Wausau company's 13 employees design and market websites. With the click of a mouse, they're able to access and save documents, information and images virtually.
"If I have all of my toys at home, in the basement where my office is, it's nice," said web designer Rainy Day Worzella. Worzella juggles a number of different jobs that are located around the country. If she couldn't work from home on occasion, she'd be out of work.
"I can go home and if someone from the Credit Union calls and says, oh hey we need that annual report by tomorrow, I can quick shuffle stuff around, get it out the door," Worzella said. "And then if a client from here calls and says this is wrong on my website, can you change that, I can really flip from one to the other."
The latest data shows putting in hours from bed or the kitchen, or the family room at least one day a week has gone up 34 percent in three years, even more so among people who are in some kind of science or technology-related field.
Hospitals like Aspirus Wausau have also in recent years allowed medical transcriptionists, people who type up medical documents from providers, to do the job from where ever.
"The staff are eligible to go and work from home when they meet the line count requirements that we have and the accuracy requirements that we have," said Rhonda Gilles, manager of transcription services at Aspirus. "It allows them the flexibility."
Gilles says the hospital also benefits because it saves a lot of money since there doesn't need to be space, computers and desks set aside for the 45 transcriptionists.
For people who are easily distracted, working from home might not be the best option. But for those who do it, and do it well, they say they can often get more work done from home than at the office.