Striving for the “Clockless” Work schedule
Striving for the “Clockless” Work Schedule
Results Only Work Environment
How many companies you know supports naps on a weekday during regular working hours? Or rather that you leave work earlier and attend to your personal life than to stay at your desk and blankly stare at your monitor in a semi-comatose state?
IBM, Sun Microsystems and Best Buy are part of the growing number of companies that have successfully implemented a new age work structure called ROWE (Results Only Work Environment).
ROWE is a buzz word that spread like wildfire in the HR world. ROWE shatters old corporate theory: the longer you stay at the office the higher your productivity. Its principle belief is that you get paid for only the work you accomplish, not how many hours you clocked. You are no longer required to stay chained to your desk when all your work is completed.
Three of ROWE’s 13 Commandments Include:
- No.1: People at all levels stop doing any activity that is a waste of their time, the customer’s time, or the company’s money;
- No.7: Nobody talks about how many hours they work;
- No.9: It is okay to take a nap on a Tuesday afternoon, grocery shop on Wednesday morning, or catch a movie on Thursday afternoon.
Best Buy’s Chief Executive, Brad Anderson a ROWE advocate explains how it all started, “ROWE was an idea born and nurtured by a handful of passionate employees. It wasn’t created as the result of some edict.” “Orders processed by people who are not working in the office are up 13% to 18% over those who are.” As a result, productivity increased, work engagement, satisfaction scores and retention were at its highest. It was so well received by Anderson’s team that they began to use it in their recruitment pitch for new hires.
ROWE’s Common Concerns
1. Lack of face time equates to a loss of team work and camaraderie. It seems to be imminent but, as managers who have implemented ROWE have said the positive results far outweighs the cons. On the upside, technology allows easy communication between co-workers and management as well as a readily available access to the database of information.
2. People without supervision may not be as productive and the theory relies too heavily on the honor system. In reality, everyone has deadlines to meet, even those who work remotely. Employees who adopted the ROWE system are continually being monitored for their productiveness. The system stems from the belief that you will get paid for the results you produce.
3. Not everyone will embrace this new age work structure and find value in staying in an office and they take comfort in working their personal schedule around the allotted work hours.
The workplace is slowly adapting to the change in workers priorities. There is a growing desire for a flexible work schedule. A traditional 9 -5 office setting can longer support this need and, the “clockless” work schedule has the capacity to produce greater productivity and quality of work and is a step forward to a more adaptable workplace structure.
Business Week, Podcast cover stories, Smashing The Clock
Suite 101, Understanding a Results-Only Work Environment: The Pros and Cons of a Clockless Workplace, Christine Mosnik