Son of Five Rivers Blog

For the advancement of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability & the Ecology of Everyday Life

ROWE, or Results-Only Work Environment

ROWE, or Results-Only Work Environment, (also known as Results Oriented Work Environment), is a management strategy created by CultureRx and adopted by Best Buy.[1] In this model, employees are paid for results (output) rather than the number hours worked. The goal is to keep workers who deliver results while firing those who are not productive.

ROWE in practice means “each person is free to do whatever they want, whenever they want as long as the work gets done.”[2] Employees control their own calendars, and are not required to be in the office if they can complete their tasks elsewhere.

ROWE seems to have some connection with The 4 Hour Work Week.


  • Flexible work hours
  • High employee satisfaction
  • Emphasis on bottom line results


  • Output measurement is harder for some jobs (overhead, administration)
  • Management can be challenging
  • Some people have a harder time working with people without face-to-face interaction
  • Can be destructive for individuals that don’t have the discipline to hold themselves accountable for what they should work on.
  • Increased litigation between employer insurance and personal insurance companies due to an unclear definition of “on the job.”
  • Increased litigation between business and clients/consumers when information is stolen.
  • Proprietary information is more vulnerable to competitors.
  • Can be used by upper management to determine which jobs are best suited for outsourcing to third world countries.
  • Increased possibility of serious or life-threatening injury to managers or employees because of the lack of regulations.
  • Can be used to transition from full-time positions to part-time positions without benefits.

August 29, 2009 - Posted by | Business, Business Model, Human Resources

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