Feds To Test Results-Only Work. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

It’s not as if government sector positions are getting paid far more than their public sector counterparts, so, hey, let’s find a way to let them work less

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will soon implement a pilot that moves 400 agency employees into a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) — where employees can work when and where they want, as long as they’re meeting their predetermined goals and results.

ROWE is a management strategy in which employees are evaluated on performance, not presence, according to CultureRx workplace consultancy, whose founding members have expertise in ROWE. “In a ROWE, people focus on results and only results — increasing the organization’s performance while creating the right climate for people to manage all the demands in their lives … including work,” according to CultureRx’s Web site.

On one hand, do we really think government employees will actually be held to those goals and results while spending less time working? On the same hand, different finger, do we think that government employees will game the system to earn more overtime pay with less results? On the thumb, how safe do you feel about government employees taking their work “where they want,” possibly proprietary and confidential information, the better to be lost/stolen?

During a White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility on Wednesday, March 31, OPM Director John Berry said the pilot could serve as a model for the rest of government. “If flexibility can succeed in the federal government with the unrivaled complexity of our missions … as well as our red tape,” he said, “quite frankly, it can succeed anywhere.”

Here’s a novel idea: reduce the red tape!

Truesdell said she was excited to learn that the Obama administration is looking at flexible work that allows for life balance. “I believe ROWE is a culture change that can fit in any organization, and have it be a win-win for the organization, as well as for the employees.”

Is anyone truly shocked that Obama would be in favor of a program that allows for less work and more play for the same pay?

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4 Responses to “Feds To Test Results-Only Work. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?”

  1. gitarcarver says:

    While I know that this is an over-generalization and a stereotype of government workers,……

    I am having problems reconciling “government employee” and “work.”

    In the real world, seldom do those words come together in a substantive manner.

  2. Julia says:

    I think it’s a good idea.

    Maybe they can take the time/energy they were spending making sure everyone is in their seat, and hold people accountable for RESULTS instead. High performers will thrive in that kind of situation. Slackers will stick out like a sore thumb because they can’t get by just “putting in hours”.

    If employees are less stressed and able to perform better, well, that’s great!

    And, like John Berry said, if it’s doesn’t work, back to the drawing board.

  3. Tamara says:

    Think of it as if the employee were a college student. In ROWE, attendence no longer counts as part of your grade. Employee/Students will now be graded based on the work they turn in. Remember how much you hated group projects?

  4. Armando says:

    This is a big step in history. Federal employees are going to have an opportunity to work in an environment that will enable them to balance their work and home. I like the idea that you will be measured only by the RESULTS you produced. This will have a big impact in Government. The most important thing is that this change will be IRREVERSIBLE. Future governments either Republicans or Democrats will not be able to change this big achievement.Once the people taste freedom they will never go back to the past.

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