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Results, not hours, are focus of Best Buy clock-Smashing plan

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At Best Buy headquarters in Richfield, Minn., leaving work early doesn’t trigger a guilt trip for employees, as long as their work is finished. The Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) initiative makes it possible.

The organization pared back its meeting schedule and threw the 9 a.m.–5 p.m. workday out the door.

The new environment “gives employees complete autonomy,” says Jody Thompson of the consulting firm CultureRx. Thompson is a one-time Best Buy employee who helped create ROWE. “They have complete control of their schedule all the time.”

Under ROWE, if an employee finishes the day’s work by 1:30 p.m., it’s OK to punch out. The concept that face-time means getting ahead is gone.

“It’s like TiVo for your work,” says Cali Ressler, Thompson’s partner for the initiative.

At first, both employees and managers resisted the huge culture change. Managers were reluctant to believe their employees could be productive when they weren’t physically in the office full-time. But defined goals and expectations helped curb their fears. Employees, says Ressler, are more engaged in their work and report higher morale.

Contacts: Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler at info@culturerx.com. 

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