ROWE: trial month one – results
Actually, it’s more than a month now. A month and 21 days and the results are looking good! Most of the metrics are going in the right direction. Defects reported and time-to-fix is down. Engagement and acceptance rates are up and everyone is much, much happier.
First two weeks
I have to admit, when I walked to work on the first day of the trial, I was a bit anxious. I had visions of the office being empty and then never seeing anyone again. But I needn’t have worried. There was about 70% of the department in work at 9am and most of the rest rolled in around 10-10:30. Work was getting done, there wasn’t a big party and no one was getting drunk.
So, business as usual.
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but nothing happened. It felt like a regular day, people did the same things, went to lunch together, played Fifa on the PS3 at lunch time, then went back to work. Things were still getting done, meetings were still happening and everyone seemed to be relaxed and comfortable. Everyday after that was the same for a while too until people found a pattern.
After the first two weeks
After the novelty had worn off and people found a pattern, I’m seeing less and less people in the office. Lots of the team work from home, regularly, especially those who live outside of London, but there is still a handful that come in every day. But generally, they keep their own hours. A couple of guys get in early and leave before the rush hour and some get in after lunch and work late into the evening. Those who, pre-ROWE, were sticklers for just working their contracted hours are now happy to put in time at the weekend, this is what the freedom of ROWE allows. They wouldn’t do it otherwise and they know they need to get the work done and they know that they’re not being held accountable for how many hours they work, or where they do those hours, just on the outcomes.
It’s not even as if people are working in order to make the ROWE measures look good, they’re just getting on with their work – which is perfect, just what we need!
The next few weeks
We’ve only got five weeks of the trial left – I’m not expecting much to change between now and then, perhaps with the exception of things improving. When I do the measure for month two, I’ll post some stats so you, dear reader, can see some data.