Before the time of Covid, workers were hard-pressed to get work-from-home solutions approved by their employers.
How times have changed! Now, quite the reverse is true. Employers now have difficulty in many cases justifying why employees who have been working successfully from home should have to re-enter the conventional workplace.
In fact, many employers are now reconsidering the overhead costs of the real estate used in the past to house employees. While there are still challenges in maintaining the creative and collaboration of the water-cooler environment that can’t quite be captured via Zoom sessions, the change in work location has prompted other considerations, such as how we place value on an employee’s contribution.
A recent CBC Radio article, touted the idea of ROWE, a results-only work environment, as the way of the future. In this type of environment, employees have complete autonomy to work where, when and how they wish as long as they produce the results needed by their employer.
Jody Thompson, who co-pioneered the ROWE concept for Best Buy, has discovered that “organizations they work with have reported higher productivity, increased revenue, reduced turnover, more successful recruitment and better engagement from staff.”
While it will not be a successful approach for all organizations, it may well be that as we have become more accustomed to working from home and finding ways to do so successfully, and as managers find ways to track employees’ accountability and support their autonomy away from the office, ROWE could well be a concept whose time has come.