Jeremy Hiebert

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Best Buy Smashing the Clock

Inspiring and detailed article from Business Week: Smashing The Clock. On one hand this seems so logical and obvious that it's bizarre that most organizations aren't set up this way...on the other hand, it's the opposite of the usual command and control model and represents an impossible change for most organizations (or so they think).
"At most companies, going AWOL during daylight hours would be grounds for a pink slip. Not at Best Buy. The nation's leading electronics retailer has embarked on a radical--if risky--experiment to transform a culture once known for killer hours and herd-riding bosses. The endeavor, called ROWE, for "results-only work environment," seeks to demolish decades-old business dogma that equates physical presence with productivity. The goal at Best Buy is to judge performance on output instead of hours."
Later in the article, a simple paragraph sums up the initiative:
"But arguably no big business has smashed the clock quite so resolutely as Best Buy. The official policy for this post-face-time, location-agnostic way of working is that people are free to work wherever they want, whenever they want, as long as they get their work done."
I've been doing a version of this for almost four years already, working for a company, but setting my own hours and going into the office once or twice a week (or less if there's no reason to go in). It's brilliant, and I wish more people could do it. I'm more productive and my quality of life is better. I don't waste time commuting, but I also have the security of a steady job. Like a Best Buy employee said in the comments to the article, "If offered double my salary at another company I would still refuse to leave." That's how I feel whenever I see a job posting somewhere -- no matter how cool the work, how good the salary, or how well-matched to my skills and interests...as soon as I envision having to go to an office at the same time every day, I just laugh and shake my head.

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