Even for those of us who love what we do, work can at times really suck! But why and how can we fix this? Ressler and Thompson have outlined these reasons and how we can fix them in their enlightening book ‘Why Work Sucks’.
It seems that we all have the wrong beliefs about work. Firms think that by implementing time management, flexitime and creating a work/life balance they will get the most out of their workers and be more efficient, they could not be more wrong.
People hate being controlled and told what to do. It’s what you experience at school as a child and do you really want to be treated like a child? No I didn’t think so. So why are firms controlling our time at work and dictating how we spend that time?
Ressler and Thompson seem to think that firms believe in the myth: results = time + physical presence. If you think about todays globalised world and virtual working communities this belief is truly outdated. If we want to we can literally be available anywhere at any time. But it’s not just managers who think this way; workers are thinking this way too. Time and ‘presenteeism ‘is becoming the killer weapon in the office. The guy who stays at extra hour after everyone leaves is automatically labelled as keen and hardworking. The workers who leave early to collect their kids from school are the envy of those without kids.
This belief focuses on efforts, activities and inputs rather than what actually matters which is results and outcomes. This is where Ressler and Thompson suggest that the perfect solution for true productivity and valued results is a ROWE, results only working environment.
ROWE is literally like Tivo for your job. As long as you produce the results required then you can have complete control over your schedule and working day. There is absolutely no catch. You might be thinking that this is an easy system for workers to take advantage of and it is. However, ROWE members become more responsible because they are rewarded with time and freedom.
In a ROWE everyone will become more innovative. We all want to finish our work in the quickest way possible and not be judged for leaving the office a few hours earlier. So in a ROWE we will think how best to get the results we need quickly so we can go and enjoy the rest of the day doing whatever we like. Perfect!
Ressler and Thompson prove that work doesn’t have to suck. Creating an environment where people can work at their own level, find their place and understand their purpose within the company is not just a ‘nice’ thing to do but it makes ‘business sense’ and if it makes business sense then it must be efficient and ultimately make business easier.