The article “Smashing the Clock” by Michelle Conlin discusses benefits and advantages of flexible working hours and what it means to work clockless in Best Buy Company. The central argument is that workers need rest hours and flexible working day as, otherwise, they become restrained and depressed. Even people, who work all day long without breaks feel necessity to take a rest and to go to a matinee. Therefore, the author describes risky experiment aimed at transforming working culture.
It is called ROWE or ‘results-only work environment’. The experiment was seeking to demolish old business dogma denying the associations between working productivity and physical presence. Instead, performance should be judged by outcomes, not by sitting in the office for particular set of hours. The rules are simple: no mandatory meetings, no working schedules, work is something you do, work is not a place to go, etc. Of course, not all businesses, especially big businesses, can allow such working experiment.
Actually, it is location-agonistic way of working meaning that people are allowed to work anywhere, when they want and how they want. Moreover, the experiment was not imposed from the top. Instead, experiment was started “as a covert guerrilla action that spread virally and eventually became a revolution”. (p. 63) Despite criticism and cynicism the experiment has proved to be working and working effectively. After program implementation the company observed significant increase in average voluntary turnover.
Moreover, the productivity is reported to increase up to 35%. Employee engagement and commitment have increased as well. It means that employees are satisfied and it goes without saying that ROWE experiment has helped Best Buy to pay for the customer centricity campaign. The author writes that endeavour is expensive as it includes tailoring to local markets and employees’ training. New approach allows Best Buy to reduce the need for corporate offices and to spend saved money on service initiatives.