What is Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE)? - Definition from WhatIs.com

Definition

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 Salary.com 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
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud)

    - Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud is an Amazon Web Services cloud server hosting tool that allows a business to provision resources for public cloud IT projects. (searchAWS.com)

  • cognitive computing

    - Cognitive computing is the simulation of human thought processes in a computerized model. The goal of cognitive computing is to create automated IT systems that are capable of solving problems with... (WhatIs.com)

  • causation

    - Causation, or causality, is the capacity of one variable to influence another. The first variable may bring the second into existence or may cause the incidence of the second variable to fluctuate. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Business intelligence - business analytics

    - Terms related to business intelligence, including definitions about business analytics and words and phrases about gathering, storing, analyzing and providing access to business data.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.