In 2007 Best Buy implemented a Results Only Work Environment or ROWE.  They took the bold step of allowing their employees to work when they wanted, where they wanted, and to measure only the results and not the time spent in the office. The result? 40% more productivity, and a 90% reduction in voluntary turnover.

The ROWE is a hot trend in management and with the explosion of remote access technology over the last 10 years, it’s become possible to introduce flexibility into almost every job and industry. So here’s what you need to know before you jump on the ROWE bandwagon.

  • An effective ROWE is all about the metrics. How do you measure your team’s performance? What are the key performance indicators that employees need to produce in order for your team and your organization to be successful? If you want to be able to manage people to results, you have to know what results are important.
  • Communication is the foundation of a successful ROWE, and that may mean implementing new tools and new ways of managing goals and targets. Technology allows us to be connected nearly anywhere, but beyond just connectivity you will need status updates, real time information and effective feedback tools to keep your team on the same page. From project management software such as Central Desktop to CRM solutions like, your team will need tools to communicate when they are not physically in the same space or working at the same time.
  • Clearly defined goals are a must. Start every goal planning session by reviewing the SMART criteria – when results are king, everyone needs to agree on the definition of success.

I will be posting more on the subject of managing a remote team later this week – I’d love to hear from you if you manage a remote team, work in a ROWE now, or have any insight that you’d like to share!

Looking for more ideas on how to grow your management and leadership skills?  Why not join the Survive Your Promotion group on LinkedIn?  Share management and leadership resources, ask questions, make connections and help other emerging leaders!

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