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March 21, 2013

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Josh Westbrook

It is interesting. There's just too many moving parts in this debate to honestly say which is better. It gets complicated and is obviously dependent on the company, the department, the manager, the culture, etc...

I think a key component is being very very (almost obsessively) specific about what's expected up-front. For example, if the manager is only going to discuss high level goals with the ROWE employee that need to be delivered far out into the future, it increases the likelihood of failure. This works better when there are short term, easy to understand deliverables that can be objectively seen on a regular basis. These short term goals should be leading indicators for the high level goals and objectives that the manager is likely responsible for. It's just easier to stay on track this way. Defining the work in a way where you judge people on whether they get first downs, and not just whether they get touchdowns is more effective when there is minimal face-time.

Also, if you have this ROWE set up, you have to eliminate people in a hurry that don't live up to the expectations. Being that the have an awful lot of time to be unproductive, this can create problems quickly. This is likely what's happening at Best Buy and Yahoo.

Sarah Charton, SPHR

I think Joly has missed the point. His criticism of "one-size-fits-all" applies equally well to working in the office. I've worked at several firms where it was widely believed that "face time" was productive, and I can assure you that this is not the case.

It's not necessary to approve remote work on a full-time basis across the board: we handle it on a case-by-case basis. As a result, we have employees who work remotely a day or two or three per week, and we also approve it on an occasional "as-needed" basis. These employees are all extremely productive.

74nlm

points to ponder...

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