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Off the Clock Flexibility is the workstyle of the future.

By Chris Penttila

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

At Best Buy's corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, employees can work whenever and wherever they want, as long as they get their work done. Welcome to ROWE, or Results-Only Work Environment, an experiment that started within Best Buy's communications and properties divisions four years ago and now includes about 80 percent of the company's corporate employees. Best Buy plans to bring ROWE to its retail stores in light of numbers showing that productivity of ROWE teams has increased an average of 35 percent over the past two years and voluntary turnover rates in the company's dotcom, sourcing, and logistics divisions are down 90 percent, 75 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Productivity is up at Best Buy because "people are not just putting in time--when they're working, they're working," says Jody Thompson, who implemented ROWE with co-worker Cali Ressler. They are now the principals of CultureRX, a Best Buy consulting subsidiary that's spreading the results-only gospel.

A results-only environment can work for a growing, teamwork-oriented company with processes that aren't highly complicated and clock-driven. However, it may not work for every job. "There are some jobs that are by nature time- and coverage-driven," says Marko Mrkonich, Minneapolis-based president and managing director of Littler Mendelson PC. Workers' compensation and compliance with federal wage and hour laws also present challenges.

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