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Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: No Schedules, No Meetings, No Joke--the Simple Change That Can Make Your Job Terrific Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 29, 2008

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 29, 2008
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (May 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591842034
  • ASIN: B001OMHV0K
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #948,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“If you work, you need this book! Cali and Jody share the secrets of the most radical workplace experiment the Fortune 500 have ever seen. Want 35% greater productivity while going to the movies on a Wednesday afternoon or taking Fridays off? Make the switch from hours to outcomes.”
—Timothy Ferriss, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek

“ROWE is a chance for everyone to learn a better way to work. It encourages people to contribute rather than just show up and grind out their days.”
—Brad Anderson, CEO, Best Buy (from the Foreword)

“Now, this changes everything. Buy this book. Act on what you read.”
—Cindy Froggatt, author of Work Naked

“This is like TiVo for your work.”

“It is a fundamental shift away from ‘face time’ or ‘chair time’ to just one consideration: Did the employee get the job done?”
Minneapolis Star–Tribune

“The freedom, employees say, is changing their lives. They don’t know if they work fewer hours—they’ve stopped counting—but they are more productive.”

“A remarkably persuasive and mind-bending book. Family-friendly, too.”
—Joan Blades, cofounder MomsRising.org and Moveon.org

About the Author

Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson are the founders of CultureRx, a company that promotes their passionate belief that there is a better way to work. They met at Best Buy, where they first created the Results-Only Work Environment. They live with their husbands and children in the Twin Cities.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By EMM on June 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Solid concept, well-written in an entertaining style, but the content is pretty straight-forward and could have easily been 25 pages versus 180 pages. For those from the traditional workplace, you'll find fear and reassurance alternately as you make your way through the stories of the ROWE environment. Ultimately, the book provides emotional reassurance to people ready to take up the mantle of this new style.
The book is simply 'Work wherever, whenever and however you want as long as you produce the desired results. The hardest part being Sludge, the desire to judge co-workers by how long or how much they are in the office working.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Wehr on June 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I can not recommend this book highly enough.

Cali and Jody have a done a wonderful job of sharing with us what the "work environment" should and can be.

I had the good fortune of starting my own consulting/training at 25. My three partners and I grew the company to 180 employees. Like in Cali and Jody's Results Only Work Environment (ROWE), a key was TRUST. My partners and I trusted each other, we trusted our employees, and our employees trusted us and each other. Everyone worked hard, had fun, and, for the most part, thrived professionally and personally. We were a family.

At the beginning of the book I thought a ROWE sounded wonderful, could work in small entrepreneurial organizations, but I was skeptical a ROWE could develop in larger organizations. As I progressed though the book my skepticism diminished.

Cali and Jody clearly state their case;
* the importance of RESULTS over time worked
* the impact of negative comments, aka SLUDGE
* the 13 GUIDEPOSTS that make a ROWE
* stories and insights from Best Buy employees working in a ROWE.

You owe it to yourself, your coworkers, company and family to read this book. I suggest you read it with a "why not" attitude. You may want to read it quickly, think about it for a week or two assimilating the benefits of a ROWE and then read it again when the concept seems less radical.

As Jody and Cali point out, a ROWE can't be mandated from the top down, it comes from the bottom up and grows organically throughout an organization. You could be the Jody and Cali in your organization.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Stinnett VINE VOICE on August 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've seen a number of reviews that say, in a nutshell, "The book doesn't tell me HOW to do this". This book was not meant to tell you how -- it was meant to get you thinking, talking, sharing and collaborating with your co-workers and management to take action in your workplace. The authors are giving you ideas; it is up to you to get the dialog flowing with co-workers and management. ROWE is not something that happens overnight, it is something that develops. ROWE is a perfect example of "bottom-up" change; time has shown again and again some of the worst, most ineffective change, comes from the top-down.

Having said all that, after reading the book (and visiting their blog) I ended up ordering 8 additional copies of the book. I'm lending them to co-workers, and even upper management, for them to read. I'm not influencing them whatsoever, but simply state they are free to read the book and form their own opinions.

Guess what? So far, the ideas and discussions are flowing non-stop!

A good deal of us work in jobs where we put in "face time". We all know people who got promoted because of face time and not because of results. We are entering a period where the global economy and the fast pace of change in the world are not going to let companies get by with this. Why? Because the new generation of workers (Gen X and Gen Y) aren't going to put up with it. They will simply leave for greener grounds.

As a company, you can either be scared of what is happening and do nothing and go out of business, or you can adapt to the change and not only survive -- but THRIVE. ROWE is one of those changes.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Glynn Brooks on June 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While reading the book, I frequently found myself considering my career and how differently things would have turned out if only the work had been managed in a more intelligent manner. "Work Sucks" shows what can happen when the management focus is on employee contribution versus conformity to company rules and social expectations.

The book is tantalizing introduction to ROWE, but skimpy as a guidebook or recipe that could be followed elsewhere. Especially lacking is a description a ROWE project: how management and workers decide how a project can be broken down into tasks, how the task estimation effort is handled, and how manager and worker come to an agreement on what is a reasonable completion time for each task. These are all essential ingredients to making the plan work.

At several points the book mentions that in a ROWE, the rules for hourly workers and contractors have to be different, but the details are never spelled out. Is a ROWE only feasible for knowledge workers vs. clerks/laborers? The book left me guessing in too many places.

The key to whether a ROWE can succeed is management, at all levels. The book answers many of the tough questions that managers would ask, but makes no mention of how the managers are retrained to be effective in a ROWE.

It would have been illuminating to read about the employee and management turnover during the time that Best Buy was implementing ROWE. My guess is that it caused a tremendous amount of upheaval. I was surprised that the book was silent on this topic.

Despite the shortcomings, I still consider it one of the better management books I've read the last few years. I like books that make me think, consider, and reflect, so in that respect it was interesting and enjoyable.
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