Imagine this – not getting rewarded for face-time in the office but instead for getting projects done, all meetings are optional, work from the beach, work while hunting, work from the road, you chose – as long as your projects get done!
This new work environment at Best Buy is called Results-Only Work Environment, or ROWE. By next March, 75% of all Best Buy corporate employees will be on the program. A modified version of the program is also under development for people who work in stores – although it is a little harder to imagine how face time will be eliminated in those customer-facing positions.
Sure, there are a lot of companies that have gone virtual over the years, including pioneer HP, IBM and Sun Microsystems. But no company of this scale has ever taken it to this level – allowing for a great deal of employee self-organization.
Interestingly enough the program did not come from the top down but instead began as a covert guerrilla action that spread quickly and eventually became a revolution within the company. The top brass at Best Buy really needs to be commended for embracing this change instead of killing it. These practices have been tried in many start-ups, only to be killed when VC’s bring in the “professional” or “seasoned” “senior” managers.
Come to think of it, many innovative things get killed or never see the daylight when those “guys” move in…