Friday, December 9, 2011

Let's go ROWEing

This recent study by two University of Minnesota sociology professors looks at the effect of the the Best Buy headquarters switch to a ROWE, or "Results Only Work Environment."

The study found that, as a whole, employees working in the ROWE format were overall more invested in their work and had a lower turnover rate.

Reading the piece by Fast Company, I couldn't help but be reminded of our PW&WCBA presentation by Terri Dickson, "Soft Skills in a Virtual Team Environment." In this presentation, Dickson discussed ways to work with a team when you aren't meeting in person regularly: specifically how to maintain accountability and avoid trust issues or project slippage.

In her experience, when the team used specific strategies for maintaining good communication working virtually was as or more effective then working on site and meeting in person. Much like an environment where employees have more freedom with their hours, working remotely can allow team members to have better work/life balance, and feel more in control of their work.

Would you ever consider moving to a Results Only Work Environment? Do you think this would have a positive or negative effect on your overall ability to accomplish projects? How does this approach mesh with Agile methods?

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA and the voice behind the @Project_World twitter. She may be reached at

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