Browse Definitions:

Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE)

A Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) is a human resource management (HRM) strategy that places emphasis on setting and meeting objectives. A ROWE does not require employees to work a certain number of hours per week as long as they get the job done on time and do not cause bottlenecks that hold up other employees' work. How or when work is accomplished is not important.

Former Best Buy managers Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson developed the ROWE paradigm at the company's headquarters in Minneapolis. Ressler and Thompson created the model to address problems they saw with the typical work environment that affected both productivity and employee satisfaction.

Studies have found that putting in long hours at work does not necessarily equate to productivity. For example, according to a study by Microsoft, the average worker puts in 45 hours a week, 16 of which are not considered productive, and research by found that people were productive for what amounted to three days out of five. Although employees who work in a ROWE are free to come and go as they please and work hours that suit them from any location, involuntary turnover (employees being fired) typically increases. This may be because putting the focus on meeting objectives allows managers to easily see which employees aren't pulling their weight.


The ROWE strategy is popular with many startups, particularly those that are technology focused. In 2013, however, Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly did away with the company's ROWE strategy. Joly felt the approach put too much emphasis on delegating work to employees and not enough emphasis on other leadership tasks such as coaching, motivating or directing employees.


This was last updated in August 2016

Continue Reading About Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.


File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:


  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...


  • cloud ecosystem

    A cloud ecosystem is a complex system of interdependent components that all work together to enable cloud services.

  • cloud services

    Cloud services is an umbrella term that may refer to a variety of resources provided over the internet, or to professional ...

  • uncloud (de-cloud)

    The term uncloud describes the action or process of removing applications and data from a cloud computing platform.


  • federated identity management (FIM)

    Federated identity management (FIM) is an arrangement that can be made among multiple enterprises to let subscribers use the same...

  • cross-site scripting (XSS)

    Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of injection security attack in which an attacker injects data, such as a malicious script, ...

  • firewall

    In computing, a firewall is software or firmware that enforces a set of rules about what data packets will be allowed to enter or...




  • bad block

    A bad block is an area of storage media that is no longer reliable for storing and retrieving data because it has been physically...

  • all-flash array (AFA)

    An all-flash array (AFA), also known as a solid-state storage disk system, is an external storage array that uses only flash ...

  • volume manager

    A volume manager is software within an operating system (OS) that controls capacity allocation for storage arrays.


  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.