Yes, ROWE Works

Results-Only Work Environment. It’s simple, yet brilliant. At the same time, there are people who don’t get it. Some think ROWE means Remote-Only Work Environment. And that is far from what it is. Focusing on results means that people will be where they need to be to achieve their outcome. Sometimes that may be at home, sometimes it might mean being in the office.

Some think ROWE is too radical for government. On GovLoop, there was great discussion when OPM announced the end of their ROWE pilot. Here is the link to the announcement from Director Berry if you missed it. http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20120313/PERSONNEL01/203130304/1001. If I was in charge of OPM, I would be embarrassed as they have publicly announced they cannot focus on results. And as a tax payer, it makes me extremely frustrated. Government resources should be focused on results.

So, can a government entity be successful by focusing on results? Absolutely. At CultureRx, we have seen great success with city, state, and county government. In October 2011, the publication Governing did an overview of ROWE within Hennepin County’s Human Services and Public Health Department (HSPHD) where they have approximately 2,700 people working in a ROWE. Working to focus on the needs of Hennepin County. Here is a link to the article: http://www.governing.com/columns/rowe-rollout-successes-challenges-hennepin-minnesota.html. In the article, Deb Truesdell, ROWE Manager for HSPHD, shared “In our eligibility area, people are waiting less for their cases to be processed, and I would say there’s a higher level of client service.” A higher level of client service. Doesn’t that sound great?

ROWE does work in government. The key is having leadership that can step up and support the initiative. Leadership that stands up against antiquated policies from 1952 and looks to the future of work. Leadership that wants to make government the cool and trendy place to work.

Yes, ROWE works.

To learn more about Results-Only Work Environment, visit gorowe.com

Stacey Swanson can be followed on Twitter @StaceyMSwanson

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