ROWE Reality: Our Results-Only Work Environment™

When interviewing for an Account Executive position at JP Marketing, I was presented with the theory of ROWE™(Results Only Work Environment). It sounded too good to be true– work whenever, wherever I want? My boss trusts me enough to let me work from home? These types of questions flooded my mind for weeks. After working at PR agencies in Los Angeles, I was so accustomed to long hours in the office. Could ROWE be real?!

To gear up for ROWE, team JP held months of training sessions. We looked to our fearless ROWE leaders, Jeanna Antonino and Bryan Pickens, to answer questions like: “What if I’m out of office and someone needs me?” or “What if I go on vacation for an extended period of time?” The answers were simple and logical: ensure you have a backup for the times when you’re unavailable, and set clear expectations of when you can be reached if on vacation. We had open, honest conversations as a team, and worked together to understand the then-difficult concepts that make up the ROWE method.

Now, nearly two months into ROWE, team JP has seen numerous positive outcomes from our new operating method. Our productivity has increased, our efficiency is nearly perfected, and our work-life balance has dramatically improved, all while keeping JP’s ultimate outcome in mind: happy clients.

I can credit ROWE with encouraging me to serve my clients with a bigger-picture mentality. Since I’m not expected to work between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., I no longer assume my clients should be working at these times, as well. ROWE has encouraged me to become a more efficient client manager, and I’ve seen great improvements in my client-facing communications as a result.

ROWE has also given me the freedom to have a better work-life balance. For example, if I want to attend an exercise class in the late afternoon, I can! I make sure to handle responsibilities prior to logging off, and address remaining work once I get home.

I’m thankful to be a part of an agency that has fully embraced a ROWE. We trust each other, we support each other and we get results– it’s truly our team effort that makes JP Marketing a success.

As a ROWE™ Certified Organization, JP Marketing is formally recognized as adhering to the following standards:

  • Every meeting is optional. Being accountable for delivering results is not.
  • People are where they need to be, when they need to be there based on agreed-upon results and measures. Managers address performance issues, not attendance and tardiness issues.
  • Core hours or schedules are not dictated by managers.
  • Vacation/time off is unlimited as long as results are achieved.
  • Every person is 100% autonomous and is expected to make the right decisions about how, when and where they work in order to achieve results.
  • Every person is 100% accountable to clear, measurable results.
  • There are no flextime, telecommuting, or other 1990s flexibility policies in place.
  • There is no judgment about how you spend your time. People know what Sludge™ is and they actively use the established eradication strategies to keep it out of the workforce.
  • ROWE™ is not a program; when business gets tough ROWE™ is not something that is taken away. The focus is always on clear, measurable expectations and managing performance.
  • Efficiency is rewarded with control over time (autonomy), not punished with piling on more work.
  • Non-performance is swiftly addressed. Continued non-performance means termination of employment.
  • Performance management and performance conversations are ongoing and not relegated to a quarterly, bi-annual or annual review process.
  • People never talk about how many hours they work.

Alene Istanboulian, Account Executive 

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