Work: A Thing You Do, Not a Place You Go

Check out this article at about ROWE: Best Buy’s conversion to a flexible workplace. From the article:

Welcome to Best Buy’s Results-Only Work Environment, or ROWE, a radical experiment whose aim is to reshape the corporate workplace, achieve an unparalleled degree of work/life balance and redefine the very nature of work itself. In ROWE, most of the rules, restrictions and expectations within which corporate workers traditionally labor—such as keeping regular hours and showing up at the office each morning—are discarded.

Instead, employees are allowed to decide how, when and where they get the job done. Whether they choose to work in the office or somewhere else, such as a spare bedroom, salaried employees are required to put in only as much time as it actually takes to do their work. (Hourly employees in the program have to work a set number of hours to comply with federal labor regulations, but they still get to choose when they do it.)

Physical attendance at meetings usually is optional. As for supervisors, they no longer give the hairy eyeball to anybody who lingers too long at the water cooler or occasionally dares to leave in the middle of the afternoon to watch a child perform in the school play. The only yardstick for evaluating employees is whether they meet goals for productivity.

I guess the greatest barrier will be related to the last sentence of the excerpt, above. There would actually have to be GOALS established, in advance, as to what needs to be accomplished.

So, in what year do you forecast law and CPA firms will be adopting such an approach? Any bets professional services will be the LAST industry to adopt?


  1. Of course the simple answer for the “goal” from the hourly billers will be 1800 hours.

    Ignorant fools!

    While I am on ignorance let me quote from Dickens, it being the Christmas season.

    “This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom.”

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