Why Work Sucks and How To Fix it!

From the MRW Water Cooler

Q. When I was flying out to Wisconsin last month, I came across an article in the NWA World Traveler magazine on board the plane.

It was titled, “Where every day is Saturday,” and it immediately caught my attention because of a single word that appeared in it, “ROWE.” No, it wasn’t referring to Mike; it stands for Results-Only Work Environment.

Two women have written a book called, “Work Sucks,” whose premise is, “as long as your work gets done–as long as you get results–then your life is your own.”

To quote the article, they feel that, “in a Results-Only Work Environment, people can do whatever they want, whenever they want, as long as the work gets done.” Basically they are saying you get paid for what you DO, not how long it takes to do it. Because this is in direct opposition to the theme of MRW, and especially because of the use of Mike’s last name as an acronym, I gave him a copy of the article when I met him in Wisconsin at the PDS conference. He was, needless to say, not very happy.

If you want more information on this, here is their website:



Hi Liz,

The relevant thing here is not the premise, which is rational enough. (Results are more important than Effort.) It’s the marketing spin, and the title.

The authors have chosen a title that confirms my theory that we have come to view Work as the Enemy. They go on to define Work in a way that justifies that belief, and then suggest a solution. The problem of course, is that they confuse Work with Bad Management and Bad Policies. A more accurate title, based on the content of the book, would have been Why Certain Companies and Bosses $suck, and How to Fix Them.

Not quite as snappy, is it?

Far easier to confirm the prevailing attitude. In fact, I’d love to see a list of books that share a similar title or theme. The one I most often reference is The Four Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferris, but this one may take its place. Thanks Liz. Any others?



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