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Summary:

In their December 11th cover story, Business Week profiles a new way of working at Best Buy corporate headquarters in Minnesota. It’s called ROWE, the Results-Oriented Work Environment. The thirteen commandments of ROWE include these: No.1: People at all levels stop doing any activity that is […]

In their December 11th cover story, Business Week profiles a new way of working at Best Buy corporate headquarters in Minnesota. It’s called ROWE, the Results-Oriented Work Environment. The thirteen commandments of ROWE include these:

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’s O.K. to take a nap on a Tuesday afternoon, grocery shop on Wednesday morning, or catch a movie on Thursday afternoon.

BW calls it the “post-geographic office” and, borrowing a favorite Web Worker Daily phrase, mentions that tech companies have been “going bedouin” for several years. Few companies of any sort, however, would be willing to go as far as Best Buy has, banning mandatory meetings and allowing workers to work wherever, whenever, and how much they want, so long as they complete their work.

This is a welcome development in the corporate landscape. Post-geographic work, going bedouin, virtual teams: they’re not just for freelancers and tech startups anymore.

Do you see any revolutionary or evolutionary steps towards results-oriented work in your own business life?

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  1. Lol. Great post. Yepp, profits over people =>

  2. This is a really interesting and neat idea for such a large company to implement. I think that this will definitely increase worker morale and productivity. Now get all these happy folks back in for Hawai’ian Shirt Friday and it will be a regular party over there in Minnesota. Good post,

    Ryan

  3. How on earth do you think they will manage it in a retail setting? (The article mentioned this might be part of their plans for the future)

  4. strategicalliance Tuesday, December 5, 2006

    As a matter of fact I do, It is a great personal assistant. ;)

  5. paperbacks – I was wondering the same thing… I have no idea how Best Buy will deal with staffing their stores under a ROWE program! Perhaps the lure of commissions will get workers into the stores? But what about when everyone decides to take a day off?

    Ryan – only problem with your Hawaiian shirt Friday idea is how darn cold it gets in Minnesota during the winter. But I guess they can wear them over their turtlenecks ;)

  6. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  7. “a new way of working at Best Buy corporate headquarters in Minnesota”

    Not stores, but corporate.

  8. i read this article the day it came out in business week – it was a real good read. subsequently i posted it on my work internal blog at a major computer company for reviews. didnt get much but those that did said its a great idea and for the most part that we were already doing them.

    anyway, i like the ROWE idea. i also enjoyed the accompanying articles regarding meetings and ??…forgot the other one. i hate meetings and think most of them are wastes of time. well done business week!

  9. As the article mentions, a lot of Tech companies have been utilizing flex-time systems and virtual office systems (e.g., telecommuting, etc) and they have been quite successful at this. I think that allowing team members to work anytime/anywhere they wish is an added benefit that should be considered a competitive advantage and should be seriously considered by non-tech companies across the country.

  10. Brown Consulting Group Wednesday, December 6, 2006

    [...] Prior to reading the new Businessweek (Dec 11th 2006), I ran across Web Worker Daily’s (WWD) post about the article and the way in which Best Buy is “revolutionizing” the workplace with their “Results Oriented Work Environment” (ROWE). [...]

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