Sunday, October 5, 2008

B*A*G Book Notes - Why Work Sucks Chapter Four

What Time Feels Like in a ROWE

Trey was somewhat anti-corporate before taking a job at Best Buy. His friends could hardly believe that he could work when he wanted and wherever he wanted. This isn't the corporate America they knew.

You know those neighbors that you don't know, but casually observe their comings and goings. The ones that don't seem to have regular work hours. Well if Trey was one of those neighbors you would think that he was independently wealthy or a secret agent that has a mission every 2 weeks or so. Well he's not independently wealthy with money. He's independently wealthy with the freedom of how he spends his time as long as he gets the results expected at his career at Best Buy.

Their team works smart in ROWE. They go with each other's strengths. I hear playing with your strength is very fulfilling and rewarding. Before ROWE their team completed 12 projects a month. In ROWE they complete as many as 43.

Trey has followed his favorite bands 2 weeks straight, spent a weekend in Chicago and stayed over until Monday, camped in a state forest and back to Chicago for Lollapalooza, all without taking a day of vacation??????????? All this and tripling their production. Sounds too good to be true, but it's not.

As ROWE was being implemented they felt they needed to shake things up with 13 guideposts. Here they are directly from the book Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It, by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, Page 89, Chapter 4. They had to get management's attention and let them know they meant business.
  1. People at all levels stop doing any activity that is a waste of their time, the customer's time or the company's time.
  2. Employees have the freedom to work any way they want.
  3. Every day feels like Saturday.
  4. People have an unlimited amount of "paid time off" as long as the work gets done.
  5. Work isn't a place you go-it's something you do.
  6. Arriving at the workplace at 2:00 pm is not considered coming in late. Leaving the workplace at 2:00 pm is not considered leaving early.
  7. Nobody talks ab out how many hours they work.
  8. Every meeting is optional.
  9. It's okay to grocery shop on Wednesday morning, catch a movie on a Tuesday afternoon, or take a nap on a Thursday afternoon.
  10. There are not work schedules.
  11. Nobody feels guilty, overworked, or stressed-out.
  12. There aren't any last-minute fire drills.
  13. There is no judgement about how you spend your time.

How easily we get used to the fire drills at work. We don't even question them. They so scream, "lack of focus on results" and "we have been running around like chickens with our heads cut off for so long we don't know how to stop". "Look at me, I am so valuable and needed I am the first one they call. Here I am to save the day, from what I am not exactly sure, but damn I feel pretty important."

Employees in ROWE don't take advantage of their new found freedom. They feel so advantaged that they reward their businesses with more results.

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