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What works for you?

. Jason Walley

What works for you?

The discussion was on and UXSears team members weren’t shy about sharing their opinions. The topic: Results-Only Work Environments (ROWE) and other management philosophies to help increase productivity in the workplace. There were some immediate cheers for taking “all the vacation you want” and some good points made about how our “production concepts” should “shift towards one of the models that is proven to support” our creativity. However, the talk fell silent almost as quickly as it ignited. I would like to help keep the conversation going.

Work environments are changing, all for the sake of productivity, morale and growth. Employment and growth are no longer following industry standards. And these new strategies for getting work done means employees now have the opportunity to work how they want, when they want.

The buzz word phrase that leads this new way of thinking is “creative problem solving.” Nearly every successful business has their own specific way of harnessing creativity—removing unnecessary structure to create an environment that fosters innovation and encourages productivity. The companies that are failing to adjust are being left behind.

It comes down to motivation. Whether it comes from strategies like ROWE or the how-it’s-been-done model, we look to our company to motivate us. Without it, the work suffers. It’s quite possible that when motivated properly, people don’t need that forced structure. They can successfully function in a self-determined structure. I think we all know what that would be for us individually. And chances are it still involves a fair amount of office time.

With the good, comes the not-so-good. One of the biggest concerns with ROWE, as it should be, is the possible loss in productivity. Giving an employee complete control over his or her time can quickly weed out the weak from the herd. A ROWE isn’t going to make productivity soar all on its own. But it does present an interesting management tool for employers when it comes to evaluating an employee’s contribution. ROWE could be THE magnet for the kind of talent your company wants to attract.

So the thought of creating your own hours, deciding where you’ll work, and how much vacation time you get sounds like a dream. Right? It does, but we can probably all admit that we benefit from a certain amount of structure as part of our work environment. It’s what we know and what has helped us to be productive. Structure is our check point.

For a company to provide me the freedom to determine my own creative structure and establish motivational strategies that make me want to engage with my work and identify with the company long-term requires more consideration and effort. But the results are worth the effort.

So, what works for you?


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