Thursday, 21 August 2008


There is a movement coming over from America called ROWE (Results Only Work Environment). There's plenty of good stuff to it, however its basic premise is that 'face time' for face time's sake is pointless. I understand the sentiment, but actually I don't agree.

How many times have you been at work and met someone in the corridor, jogging your memory and reminding you that you needed to ask them something. As the conversation continues you both realise you're missing an important bit of information and together you walk to the department who can help you.

Or else at lunch you sit down next to someone you don't normally talk to. You start to swap stories about the hellish morning you've had and the beginnings of a new working relationship are forged.
Maybe you're struggling with a new client. A friend tells you that actually Mike, the new business guy, has worked with your client before. As it happens Mike has some time right away, so that you go and have a coffee together and you've got the inside track on how to deal with your client within the hour.

There are lots of great reasons to work from home - sometimes you end up working much more efficiently. Emails, webinars and conference calls mean there is a technological solution to pretty much every communication need you can think of. However there is a serendipitous element to life in an office (a good one) that one loses when one doesn't have 'face time'. As Mike the new business guy might say, 'you have to be in it, to win it'.


Billy said...

I agree about the social aspect of what you are saying but we have had ROWE from day one in our business.

We never do overtime and we activly throw employees out at home time.

Our client is a big fan of face time and is stressed out as a result and stresses his staff too.

We have lunch together and will all chip in to move a wardrobe or celebrate an exam result.

What we don't do is sit around and wait for things to happen or impress someone by pretending to work hard. Life is far too short.

Sam said...

Hi Billy,

That's interesting. I think there's a benefit of having this kind of atmosphere from the get go, rather than bringing it in as a change initiative.

It sounds though like you do have an office space, to send people home from? I like the idea of all chipping in to do the heavy lifting, in both the real and the metaphorical sense.

Sounds like a great place to work. Chip in if you have any more thoughts, or if there's a topic you'd like to see covered.