skip to Main Content
MSJ NEWS see latest news

Pursuing Worker Autonomy and Sustainability in Post-COVID Remote Work

  • “Results-only work program” offers guidance on how companies can adopt to remote and hybrid work schedules after the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Program adopted well before the pandemic allows employees full autonomy as long as they complete their tasks
  • Regular training to encourage the new mindset and avoid pitfalls are a key part of the model

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

One positive outcome of the prolonged shift to remote work that many companies adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic was that managers generally came to regard their employees as more trustworthy. Despite fears that people would be more prone to distraction and less productive when working from home, employees were still able to fulfill their responsibilities.

It likely came as no surprise to participants in a “results-only work program” (ROWE) adopted as a pilot program by Best Buy between 2005 and 2007. ROWE, which allowed employees full autonomy in when, where, and how long they worked as long as they completed their tasks, remained in place at Best Buy until 2013 and was also adopted by several other companies.

A recent New Yorker article looks at the ROWE program and how it offers a model for companies seeking to build more sustainable remote and hybrid models after COVID-19.

  • ROWE proved successful in reducing employee turnover and improving worker productivity and satisfaction; one company that had the model in place during the pandemic was able to seamlessly adapt to the crisis as well as the reopening of its office
  • Companies that have successfully implemented ROWE include routine training of employees and managers to help encourage a new mindset (such as incorporating errands into the workday) and combating “sludge,” or negative comments on employee work ethic that could compromise the strategy
  • Companies must shift away from traditional employee monitoring and focus more on measurable results in order for ROWE to survive

Spread the Word

More To Explore

Expert Summaries

Know Your Competitors

By Denis Jakuc 

There are tons of benefits to knowing who your competitors are—what they’re offering, their strengths and weaknesses. That knowledge can help you make your products and services stand out,

Latest News

Join with Free InnovatorsLINK Account

Start accessing all the free member benefits and valuable content on the InnovatorsLINK platform. Create a BizLINK listing to boost brand exposure, receive the weekly Main Street Journal newsletter, engage in forums, get full access to free content, and more.