Imagine a workplace where your performance is judged solely on your output—not the hours you log in. A place where, as long as you get the work done (and done well), you can come in when you want, leave when you feel like it, and make your “office” wherever you choose. It’s not Office Space Heaven. It’s Best Buy headquarters in Minneapolis.
BusinessWeek devoted its Dec. 11 cover story, “Smashing the Clock,” to Best Buy’s “radical reshaping of the workplace.” The article talks about the company’s successful efforts to transform from a 1930s-style assembly-line mentality to a new way of working called ROWE: Results-Only Work Environment. As soon as I read this article, I thought, “Yes! This is so, so right!” Pretty much exactly what I’ve always wanted in a job.
My favorite part of the article is a picture of happy, satisfied, productive employees (moms included) living their lives guilt-free and doing their jobs:
There are no schedules. No mandatory meetings. No impression-management hustles. Work is no longer a place where you go, but something you do. It’s O.K. to take conference calls while you hunt, collaborate from your lakeside cabin, or log on after dinner so you can spend the afternoon with your kid.
The story explains how the concept of ROWE originated as a “covert guerilla action that spread virally and eventually became a revolution.” By two HR guys, no less! That blew my freakin’ mind. Anyhow, what helped sell the idea–other than the fact that the employees who tried it loved it–was that it actually worked.
Yeah, that’s right, old-school Bill Lumberghs of the world. Turnover plummeted. Productivity and employee engagement soared. That’s why all 4,000 corporate staffers will be on ROWE by the end of 2007. The company is even looking at ways to bring ROWE to Best Buy retail stores. How’s that for revolutionary? I’m not sure how they’re going to make it happen, but I’m all for trying.
So if all this sounds as awesome to you as it does to me, do something about it! Start a revolution in your own workplace. And if that doesn’t pan out, click to see if Best Buy is hiring.