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Forget about 9 to 5. These experts agree that the time is right for a results-oriented work environment
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Forget about 9 to 5. These experts agree that the time is right for a results-oriented work environment

Forget 9 to 5. These experts say the time has come for the results-only work environment

One of the architects of the system says the interest in the results-only work environment (ROWE), a management strategy, has increased during the pandemic.

“I believe that based upon the pandemic companies will be more ready now to consider something bold, look for something progressive,” Jody Thomson, who developed the concept with Cali Ressler in 2004, when they were both employed by electronics giant Best Buy.

LISTEN| Jody Thompson makes the case for a workplace where the clock doesn’t matter:

Cost of Living8:04Can you manage a workplace that doesn’t have time?

In a results-oriented workplace, employees have complete control over where, when, and how they work. Instead of being tied to a particular location or set of working hours, staff are held accountable for the outcome of their efforts, whether that means meeting a sales target, customer-satisfaction rating or productivity goal.

Although a ROWE doesn’t necessarily mean employees will choose to work from home for every job, task, or personal preference, it does give them some freedom about where they work.

Thompson stated that if Thompson is clear with someone about their measurable results, it doesn’t matter if they’re in an office or at the moon, it doesn’t matter. Cost of Living producer Danielle Nerman.

Jody Thompson, her co-founder Cali Ressler, and Jody Thompson were both working in corporate roles at Best Buy when she came up with the idea for the results-only workplace, also known by ROWE. She stated that companies that operate under this system are able to adapt to the changes caused by the pandemic. (Submitted By Jody Thompson

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a shakeup in the world of work, especially for office workers who were forced from their offices to set up home offices. This was after public health measures began to take effect in March 2020. Since then, many have been affected. Companies embrace remote workThere are many. Making plans to downsize your office space.

Some employees have been granted more autonomy in their work hours because of the juggling they had to do as they dealt with issues like school closings and elder care.

Thompson explained that this has led to a significant rise in inquiries at CultureRX in Minneapolis, which she co-founded with Ressler. These inquiries mostly came from Canadian companies looking to implement ROWE within their organizations.

This approach has not always been well received. After Being featured on a 2006 Businessweek coverYou can beat the clock! Maclean’s article from 2013ROWE was declared “failed.” It was noted that Best Buy’s new leadership had abandoned the policy earlier in the year. This was because it gave employees too many autonomy and created a two-tier system between corporate employees as well as store employees who did not have the same rights.

‘More feasible, possible, imaginable’

COVID-19 has compelled “a global experiment in working from home,” so the idea ofROWE isn’t as new as it was then. Souha Ezzedeen, an associate professor in human resource management at York University, Toronto, teaches a graduate course on work-life balance.

“It is much more feasible, possible and imaginable because we’ve practiced so many working from home,” Ezzedeen, who holds an MS in organizational behaviour development, said.

“People have discovered ways to work from home. They have set up their home offices, planned how they would talk to a team, and invested in the technology that will support them. There is no turning back.

Thompson stated that a results-oriented workplace requires a shift in how management is done.

“The manager does not manage me anymore. Managers manage work. Not me. I don’t need to ask permission to visit the dentist. I don’t have to say “Oh, I’m coming in at nine this morning instead of eight.” Is it okay if I go to my child’s play? All that junk is gone.”

Souha Elzedeen, an associate professor at York University in HR management, stated that the idea for ROWE was a little ahead of its time, but that the pandemic has normalized more flexible working hours. (Submitted by Souha Ezzedeen

Thompson stated that the organizations Thompson works with report higher productivity, increased revenue and lower turnover. They also report more successful recruitment and staff engagement.

Mabel’s Labels is a Canadian company that prints custom name tags on clothing and other gear for children.

Julie Cole, cofounder of the organization, stated that CultureRX helped establish a formal ROWE program about a decade back. She said it was “a work philosophy that resonated with us since we started this company as busy moms.”

Cole, the Hamilton-based senior public relations director, said that those early days involved them holding meetings over playdates and getting work done after children were asleep.

“She did it. I don’t care how’

It made the business more efficient and profitable, she stated. Furthermore, the autonomy that employees have contributes to a better culture, and employee retention.

Cole said even production staff have been able enjoy some autonomy in how they work. Cole recalled the example of one employee who came in on a holiday Monday to order labels so that she could chaperone her child for the school trip the following Tuesday.

“Her goal, she said, was to get printing done. She did it. I don’t care how.”

Proponents argue that the best thing about a results-oriented workplace is that employees can choose when they feel most creative. (

Cole stated that the company does not have a formal ROWE program in place since it was purchased by CCL Industries in 2016 to be operated under its Avery Division.

“Our people were already set up when the pandemic struck. Their tech was set up for work from home,” she stated. “They were already able manage their kids and do their work. We didn’t have to stress about not everyone being there. It was our turn to shine.”

Ezzedeen stated that a well-managed ROWE program is essential.

“When we refer to a results-only workplace, it almost sounds utopian. But, in reality, we have come to understand that there must be richer interactions.

Cole stated that the approach forced her and other leaders at Mabel’s Labels to be very clear about goals, priorities, and metrics for measuring success.

The truth is that you’re not being paid to sit at your desk between eight and five p.m., but to do a job.– Ashley Nunes, Harvard Law School research fellow

“I think sometimes lazy management and lazy leadership can make it difficult to do this. You think that everyone is coming; they are here. This forces you to set up touchpoints to ensure that these results happen.

Ashley Nunes is a Harvard Law School research fellow and says that workplaces should be more product-oriented than time-based.

“The truth is that you’re not being paid to sit at your desk between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., but to get a job done,” Nunes, who is also the policy director at R Street, a Washington, D.C.-based research institution.

“We must empower workers to be able to perform that work in conditions that maximize productivity.

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