Work Sucks! But it doesn't have to...


Exhilarated might be a dramatic way to describe how I felt after reading "Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It" by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, but that's how I felt. It totally shifted my perception of work and how it 'sits' in my life. This ‘short read’ focuses on the work styles of a "Results Oriented Work Environment" or ROWE. The idea was conceived by Ressler and Thompson who were put in charge of figuring out a flex time program at Best Buy Headquarters. ROWE's are what they came up with and it's nothing short of brilliant and...exhilarating!

Most of Best Buy Corporate contains only ROWE departments and they are currently working to make the whole corporation a ROWE. Imagine not having someone breathing down your neck about keeping track of your vacation time, sick time, flex time. Imagine being a master of your own schedule and not getting the sweaty palms and anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach when you hit unexpected traffic or miss the bus. Or wonder if it’s a ‘slow morning’ and you just can’t seem to get going on time, but have zero worries about getting into the office? Ressler and Thompson take all the advantages of all the technology that's been created and take it one step further. Why don’t we take this technology like email, webinars, Meeting Maker, and not just use it to make our work life easier, but our LIFE easier? With the technology we have, most of us can do our work from anywhere in the world. We can join a webinar from a beach in Maui; no one would even know or, in a ROWE, even care.

Also, in a ROWE, since we’re looking for results only, not time logged, the guy who’s been getting paid the same as you to basically just ‘appear as if he’s working’ by schmoosing and staying late, gets weeded-out. The people who provide results are the people who have the job security. It doesn’t matter if they’re in the office or at the movies. As long as the work gets done, you have a job. Employees are happier and turnover goes way down in a ROWE.

I was raised like most people to believe that after you graduate high school or college you go out and you get the 9-5pm job. Put in your hours and maybe you receive enough compensation for what you really want to do with your life in your ‘free time’. Except, you can’t because you gotta do the laundry, take the kids to soccer practice, go grocery shopping… Ressler and Thompson opened up a huge opportunity to make a few changes and make work flow into your life, not something to which you schedule your life around. Give them a Pulitzer.

To read other reviews click here.

To read an Excerpt of “Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: No Schedules, No Meetings, No Joke—The Simple Change That Can Make Your Job Terrific by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, click here


Wow! I have to read this book.

I had heard of ROWE before, and I wonder if some jobs cannot be quantified into specific results. For example, sometimes I spend entire days just talking to people or emailing. No new documents have been created, no headway on projects has been made. And so how would those "results" be known to an evaluator (supervisor)?

I should read the book, and get a better idea of how this works. Thanks for the great review!

Definitely read the book.

Of course, it's up to a collaboration between you and your supervisor as to what's constituted as 'results' and what the deadlines are for those results.

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This page contains a single entry by mander published on August 5, 2008 10:11 AM.

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