The Uber-Flexible Schedule

This is a bit off topic for this blog, but this article fascinates me.

At the Best Buy corporate headquarters, there are no schedules and no mandatory meetings. Come and go at whatever times are best for you. Feel free to participate in a conference call while you are out on your boat fishing. If you want to come in at 2:00 PM, do so. If you want to head out at 2:00 PM, ditto. If you can get your work done in 30 hours, yipee - we’re paying you to do a job, not work a certain amount of time.

They’re calling it ROWE, or results only work environment. Their goal is to judge employees by what they do, not by when or how long they do it. The result: productivity and output increased to all-time highs. Job satisfaction levels shot up to stratospheric heights as well.

Flexible scheduling has been around for a while. From the article:

Best Buy did not invent the post-geographic office. Tech companies have been going bedouin for several years. At IBM, 40% of the workforce has no official office; at AT&T, a third of managers are untethered. Sun Microsystems Inc. calculates that it’s saved $400 million over six years in real estate costs by allowing nearly half of all employees to work anywhere they want. And this trend seems to have legs. A recent Boston Consulting Group study found that 85% of executives expect a big rise in the number of unleashed workers over the next five years. In fact, at many companies the most innovative new product may be the structure of the workplace itself.

While Best Buy didn’t invent flex schedules, they are taking it to an extreme I hadn’t read about before for a large corporation. And it seems to be working.

It’s a lengthy article, but it’s worth a read.