OPM's ROWE program: What do you think?


Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry is a full-fledged convert to the Results Oriented Work Environment theory of employee management, under which employees are given complete leeway to choose where and when they work, as long as they get their jobs done. He’s even getting ready to experiment with the ROWE program at OPM headquarters and its facility in Boyers, Pa.

But will it work? We’d like to hear from employees and managers alike about the potential benefits and pitfalls of such a program, and the challenges that might come from trying to change an office’s culture so thoroughly.

E-mail me at slosey@federaltimes.com. We’re happy to keep responses anonymous if that’s what you’d prefer.


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  1. Jacqueline Young on

    I applaud OPM for coming up with something fresh and innovative. I think it is an excellent idea and hope it succeeds. This is something that I have always thought would be do-able in many positions in the government. Change comes slowly and usually not in the right way in the government.

  2. When I was in the Army, in one particular unit we had a similar work schedule to ROWE, but not as liberal. We could go home early if our work was done. It eliminated watching the clock until the end of the duty day and allowed us to take care of personal matters. It was amazing how well it worked. This is a really good idea for the government to try.

  3. When I was in the Coast Guard, several of my supervisors managed by the theory “work smarter, not harder”.

    I think giving incentives to complete tasks sooner, rather than later, is a brilliant idea – caveat: so long as quality is not forsaken for quantity.

    If non-supervisors and managers work together and develop more efficient, quality work habits and produce better results, this will go a long way to proving that the public sector does or can lead the way.

  4. I think it’s a wonderful idea and it would work well for me in my current job. Unfortunately, I work for an agency that won’t even permit telework (not really). So I suspect it will be a very long time before ROWE would be embraced.

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