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Results-Only Work Environment

A new acronym has been shaking up the workplace over the last few years—ROWE—which stands for Results-Only Work Environment. The concept seeks to demolish the decades-old business concept that equates physically being at work with productivity. 

Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson (who came up with the idea) created ROWE to promote a workplace based solely on results. Best Buy Co. took this idea and ran with it. At the end of 2007 all 4,000 staffers working at its corporate headquarters were on ROWE and starting in February 2008, the new work environment became an official part of their recruiting pitch and orientation for new hires. The company is so excited about the concept, they even formed a subsidiary called CultureRX to help other companies go clock-less.

According to the CultureRX website, in a ROWE work environment, people do their jobs whenever they want, just as long as the work gets done. With ROWE:

  • There is no need for schedules
  • Nobody focuses on “how many hours did you work?”
  • Nobody feels overworked, stressed out or guilty
  • Work is not a place you go, it’s something you do
  • There’s no judgment on how people spend their time

A BusinessWeek article explains that Best Buy Co. tracks performance metrics to ensure productivity in the new culture is headed in the right direction. So far, results include a decrease in employee turnover and, surprise, an increase in productivity.

ROWE is now a global movement that is based on the simple truth that people want to excel and deliver on the job, and, use technology to free them from only handling work based solely in an office location from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. 

Will the old ways of managing work and people continue, or, will this new concept take hold in companies around the world? I vote for ROWE. What’s happening where you work? Type a comment and let others know what’s happening in your workplace.

By Work Her Way Expert Lisa Quast