ROWE Your Way to Peak Productivity

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A Results Only Work Environment -- often shortened to ROWE -- fosters productivity and boosts employee health, according to a new study. Sociology professors from the University of Minnesota studied over 600 white-collar employees and found that ROWE initiatives improve several key factors in overall health: energy levels, sleep quality, emotional exhaustion, personal mastery and psychological distress.

"Our study shows that moving from viewing time at the office as a sign of productivity to emphasizing actual results can create a work environment that fosters healthy behavior and well-being," said professor Phyllis Moen. The team's research was published in the December 2011 issue of Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

What's in a ROWE?

Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler created the concept of a ROWE for Best Buy; the two have since founded the CultureRx consulting group. A ROWE has several moving parts, but the most important tenet is that businesses focus on results rather than time or place. Although this might include flex time or working from home, a ROWE doesn't require either.

Does your business have a ROWE in place?