Michele’s ROWE Reality

When I was asked to write a blog about my experience as a new team member for JP and my experience with ROWE, I thought to myself, “How can I write an entire blog post?” when the only word that came to my mind was AWESOME. But honestly, it’s so much more than that.

First, let me tell you a little bit about me.

I graduated college in 1997 and have been working in my field ever since. In almost 20 years, I’ve worked for two other ad agencies, four different in-house marketing departments, and a handful of outside sales positions with clients of all sizes in multiple industries.

Over the years, and for various reasons, I’ve made career moves. But the last two were for one important reason: I was having difficulty balancing being a full-time senior marketing professional, wife, mother, friend, family planner, chief cook and bottle washer.

Do you know how difficult it is to find a place where you can fully utilize your talents and experiences WITHOUT feeling guilty for having a life outside the office? I had just about given up and settled into the idea that this is just how it is for a female professional who chose to have a family.

Then JP Marketing posted a job opening.

From the outside, JP Marketing seemed like another really creative local marketing agency with an amazing office space; and then they explained ROWE.

ROWE, or Results-Only Work Environment™, is an innovative management style in which employees are evaluated strictly on performance, rather than on being present at an office or at a worksite. In a nutshell, employees can work from anywhere, at anytime, in any way they want. There are really only two requirements:
1. Do your work (and do it well)
2. Make your clients happy

Honestly, I didn’t think they were being serious. Mainly because what they were explaining was so far from what I’d known for the last 20 years, it just didn’t seem possible. And then it hit me!

What if they weren’t pulling my leg? What if this IS their reality and what if I could really work in an environment like this?

Finding out that I was interviewing with a Fresno advertising agency that decided to adopt ROWE was like someone telling me unicorns existed and that I could have my very own that could turn things to gold with his horn.

Fast forward to about 6 months later…

I’ll be honest, it took me a while to stop waiting for the other shoe to drop – it hasn’t. Just for a glimpse into my new work life:
I go to the gym in the middle of the day.
I work from home some days.
I get to pick up my daughter from school every day.
I cook dinner every night before 6pm (I used to not get home before 7pm every night).
I help my daughter with her homework.

Here I am with my daughter enjoying some shaved ice on a hot summer afternoon
Here I am with my daughter enjoying some shaved ice on a hot summer afternoon

My husband and daughter have me back – it’s a work-and-home life balance I never thought possible.

You are probably wondering what this does for the quality of my work. Frankly, I’m so very thankful to have a job where we work in ROWE, that all I want to do is excel at everything I do for JP. I work hard and smart.

Every JP team member seems to feel like I do and the commitment level is heightened. We all work really well together, and that cohesive, shared feeling/commitment is refreshing and rare in any working environment.

ROWE has changed my life. I’m so very thankful Jane and Paul had the foresight and understanding to realize a company is only as happy and healthy as its team members.

I know this sounds crazy, but if more companies adopted ROWE, I think we’d have a happier society.

One can only wish!

Michele Meisch, Account Manager

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