I was listening to a radio program - I can’t believe I’m actually writing that, but it was what the last person in my car share was listening to - about a new idea called results only work environment The basic idea is to pay people for “results” rather than simply being present. Workers are then free to decide when and how long they are in the office.

They report a government organization that implemented ROWE where the workers had two roles: (1) process applications and (2) respond to window queue. They department apparently saw a 90% reduction in application backlogs and also a reduction in the queue wait times. Sounds impressive, but is this really more than marketing for a consulting company? There appears to be a fundamental flaw in their example. Lets assume that all workers are required to spend 50% of their time working at the window. In ROWE, what is there to prevent all workers from electing the same time, and then all electing to process applications at the same time? Seems to me that with this philosophy, things can go downhill pretty fast. The reality is that most jobs involve teamwork of some kind, even if it is simply ensuring a window is staffed at all times. This doesn’t even consider whether most jobs can be evaluated so simply.

Seems to me to be nothing more than all talk and no substance.