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Results-Only Work

Posted Nov 17 2008 9:10pm

Here's a neat article about how Best Buy is radically restructuring its approach to work.  The employees in their corporate headquarters have no set schedules, no set hours, and are held only accountable for work objectives.  The whole concept is called Results-Only Work Environment or ROWE.

Under this framework, employee productivity and satisfaction has soared.  Voluntary turnover has dropped to zero in some departments.  Things have gone so well, Best Buy is trying a version of this for its retail employees.

This approach struck me as a very logical, very healthy approach to work.  In this setup, employees are accountable for work produced, not hours put in.  The hours model is just a leftover relic from the Industrial Era.  Back then, more hours might have equaled more work.  But today, with intellectual and creative work, this relationship does not hold.

I would love to be able to work in such an environment.  Best Buy has created a spin-off company called CultureRx which offers consulting services for companies looking to adopt this approach.  To me, this is the future of work.  Being chained to a desk for a certain number of hours per day is an inefficient and ill-conceived way to structure a workforce.  It's time for a change.

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