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Mark Cuban Says Kill The Suit...

No Need to Show Up In the Office - Just Perform...

Was looking at the stack of mail this week and the cover of Business Week immediately caught my eye- previewing an article detailing an lofty experiment Best Buy HQ is conducting in their workplace - encouraging their workers that office hours and "face time" don't matter as long as the work gets done.  Here's a except from the story -

Bw_cover_4 At most companies, going AWOL during daylight hours would be grounds for a pink slip. Not at Best Buy. The nation's leading electronics retailer has embarked on a radical--if risky--experiment to transform a culture once known for killer hours and herd-riding bosses. The endeavor, called ROWE, for "results-only work environment," seeks to demolish decades-old business dogma that equates physical presence with productivity. The goal at Best Buy is to judge performance on output instead of hours.

Hence workers pulling into the company's amenity-packed headquarters at 2 p.m. aren't considered late. Nor are those pulling out at 2 p.m. seen as leaving early. 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.

Could this experiment work in your workplace?  For most, the answer is a resounding "NO".   The BW article is a good read, but it seems to focus on the barriers that the "old school" managers put up - secretlyOld_school  wanting to scrap the program and looking for opportunities to derail it - so they can get back to things the way they used to be.  That means meetings where everyone is there, walking around and seeing all the peeps, etc.   While these barriers to such a program are real and can't be understated, the article really doesn't focus enough on what is need to make it work - a super-solid performance management system that enables managers to feel like they can measure performance regardless of where the employee is located or at in a given hour/day/month/year....

From an HR perspective, if you want to experiment with something like this, Performance Management is your first stop - making sure your system focuses on true objectives that are measurable and force accountability across the organization.  If you are an employee and want to get away for a little quiet time where you can actually get some work done, start by asking to take it off site one project at a time, then deliver results and above all else - make sure your manager knows you delivered and the off-site time was key.   And of course - answer the phone every time it rings and hit email's at least once an hour....  The quickest way to lose the priviledge is to not be responsive when it matters most - when your boss is calling...

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