Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It.
An intriguing title for a book isn’t it?
Regardless of how good your work environment is, we would all admit that there are parts of our work that suck. Maybe it is the constant interruptions by well meaning co-workers, the long pointless meetings, or the obsession your boss has over what time you arrive at the building and what time you leave, that are on your mental list of things that suck about your job.
Author’s Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson offer a simple, it perhaps unbelievable, solution: The Results Only Work Environment (ROWE), here is how it works:
In a Results- Only Work Environment, people can do whatever they want, whenever they want, as long as the work gets done.
Seems like a simple enough idea, but if you think about the implications on your work you begin to realize how radical this way of thinking about work would be. It could change everything.
For many people the nature of their work has changed greatly over the last few decades. In the past people needed to go to a building to work because the majority of jobs were in manufacturing, or in the case of office environments, the technology did not exist for people to work collaboratively without occupying the same space.
In recent years there has been a huge leap forward in communication technology that allows people all over the world to work collaboratively with one another, and their job has become more information based than product based; they are now pushing pixels instead of paper. Think about your own office or work environment, how much of what you do is based on ideas and digital information? Is there really a compelling reason for you to be at the office, or is it just expected that you be there to put in your “face time”? Does being at your desk at 9am and leaving no earlier than 5pm insure that you get your best, most creative work from your employees?
Here is an excerpt from the first chapter:
This book is based on a simple idea: Our beliefs about work—forty hours, Monday through Friday, eight to five—are outdated, outmoded, out to lunch. Every day people go to work and waste their time, their company’s time, and their lives in a system based on assumptions—about how work gets done and what work looks like—that don’t apply in today’s global, 24/7 economy. We go to work and give everything we have and are treated like we’re children who, if left unattended, will steal candy. We go to work and watch someone who isn’t very good at their job get promoted because they got in earlier and stayed later than anyone else. We go to work and sit through overlong, overstaffed meetings to talk about the next overlong, overstaffed meeting. We see talented, competent, productive people get penalized for having kids, for not being good at office politics, for being a little different. We go to work in the Information Age, but the nature of the workplace hasn’t fundamentally changed since the Industrial Age.
But most of all—most tragically of all—we play the game.
Does this sound familiar, if it does you’ll definitely want to pick up a copy at Amazon
Not only does it insightfully point out many of the difficulties we all experience at work, but also shows how a large company, Best Buy, has gone about changing their work environment by focusing only on results and giving their employees the freedom to achieve them however they think best. “Why Work Sucks” also includes many testimonials from Best Buy employees describing the difference it makes to employees when they focus only on getting results and not on work politics and upholding old methods of work.
You can read more on Why Work Sucks at Cali and Jodi’s Blog