Federal employees are well aware of “ROWE”—the term, meaning Results-Only Work Environment, is one that the U.S. government has utilized frequently since its coinage. ROWE was designed to encourage both the public and private sector to telework and to place more emphasis on employees’ results, or output, rather than how many hours they work.
The idea behind the program is a good one—what you produce matters much more than when or where you work. So why has the majority of the federal workforce been so hesitant to adopt telework?
Here at CHCI, we consider ourselves advocates of telework. But in designing our team’s telework structure, we felt ROWE was missing two key themes: accountability and reliability. Knowing you will be held accountable for your work and that you are able to rely on your colleagues just as you would in an office setting were huge variables that we wanted to incorporate into our program.
Enter, ARROW: Accountable, Reliable, and Results-Oriented Workforce.
The assumption is that by moving toward ARROW, as a team, we agree to be held accountable for the results of our work. The presumption is that people are being productive until they demonstrate otherwise, and the measure for being productive is simply the results accomplished. The pertinent question is, “were the desired outcomes achieved within the agreed-upon timeframe?”We strive in all we do to be an exemplar of ethical behavior; thus, ARROW is Results-Oriented, rather than Results-Only.
How we deliver our results and outcomes, like the results themselves, matters to CHCI.
ARROW is what works best for us. It might not work elsewhere, however. Just as ROWE might work in one agency, it could fail in another.
Telework is not one size fits all.
Do you agree or disagree? Do you think ROWE is lacking or is the federal government just not flexible enough to adhere to a results-only program? Does your company have its own take on ROWE?