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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

3.8 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 29, 2008
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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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (May 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591842034
  • ASIN: B001OMHV0K
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 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: #1,808,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
Best Buy's journey to a Results-Only Work Environment is a provactive real-life story that shatters our assumptions about how work gets done (assumptions that might have made sense for an industrial-age workplace, BUT not today's knowledge-based economy). Ressler and Thompson make the case with humor by showing us how ingrained and outdated some of our work notions are and they provide powerful stories from Best Buy employees about how their lives, both professionally and personally, improved dramatically under ROWE. But that's not where the story ends. Not only did employees' lives improve, but so did Best Buy's bottom line (through increased productivity and retention).

At the end of the day ROWE is not a corporate program or package, but an effort to challenge our notions through "Eradicating Sludge" (as Ressler and Thompson fondly call it). Many companies have taken small-steps to address the challenges of the 21st century workplace (experiments with telecommuting, flexible work hours, etc.). This is the story of a quantum leap to where the workplace needs to be. A place where all businesses will ultimately be when our old notions of work are shattered. Best Buy shows that companies that lead this transition have lots to gain!
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