13 Guidelines of the Stunning Results-Only Work environment and leadership

ImageI just read the book “Why work sucks“by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson.

(Ressler, Cali; Thompson, Jody (2008-05-29). Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: The Results-Only Revolution (Kindle Locations 1325-1330). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.)

They talk about the Results Only Work Environment, which gives the management of time back to the employee, resulting in a win-win for employer and employee. 
The idea is that people just decide for themselves how and when they work. The only measurement for management are the results. As long as the results are ok, then nothing is forbidden.
This, obviously asks for leadership for each of the employees. Everyone needs exactly to know what is expected.

Implementing this ROWE way of management, has a lot of challenges for both employees and managers. Are people going to work enough?
Are they focussed enough to do their work?
Do people really decide what is necessary and what not?

Experience with the ROWE principle in organizing at Best Buy, shows that (amazingly?) people can be trusted. The big break-through for the ROWE principle is that the calendar focus of time is lost and that all the focus goes to the results. 
People do show their capabilities and contributions by doing their job in stead of arriving early and stopping late.

the 13 guidelines for the ROWE principle are:

  1. People at all levels stop doing any activity that is a waste of their time, the customer’s time, or the company’s time.
  2. Employees have the freedom to work any way they want.
  3. Every day feels like Saturday.
  4. People have an unlimited amount of “paid time off ” as long as the work gets done.
  5. Work isn’t a place you go—it’s something you do.
  6. Arriving at the workplace at 2:00 PM is not considered coming in late. Leaving the workplace at 2:00 PM is not considered leaving early.
  7. Nobody talks about how many hours they work.
  8. Every meeting is optional.


  9. It’s okay to grocery shop on a Wednesday morning, catch a movie on a Tuesday afternoon, or take a nap on a Thursday afternoon.
  10. There are no work schedules.
  11. Nobody feels guilty, overworked, or stressed-out.
  12. There aren’t any last-minute fire drills.
  13. There is no judgment about how you spend your time

So please go through each of them as an employee or a manager, and think about how you think about these guidelines. Not all of them are easy to implement.
I had a lot of trouble with number 8, “every meeting is optional” . What if you really needed someone during the meeting? What if someone just decides not to come.

The moment I was thinking that I challenged my beliefs about meetings:

  • do I always invite the NECESSARY people to my meetings?
  • do I always attend meetings where I am totally present?
  • is someone who is commited to his/her job going to decide not to come when it is necessary/useful for the job?
  • are meetings always planned when needed or are meetings sometimes just held because they are planned
  • etc…

So I just let go the resistance and it immediately triggered the thought :” should people be trusted?”
I think this is the most important question we can ask when we would like to implement “ROWE”. Trusted that they will reserve their best performance for the job.
Ofcourse sometimes people choose jobs they hate, just to work for some money, but then again ROWE provides them the necessary flexibility to add joy and gratitude to their job.

What do you think of the 13 guidelines and do you think these could be implemented in your onrganisation?



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