Our ROWE reality started four years ago. First with a goal, then with a book – and shortly thereafter, a commitment.
Our goal was a modernized approach to employee retention and recruitment. After reading the book Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It, we were intrigued, and later spent hours on training and research. Finally, in 2015, JP committed to a new workplace culture for our team: ROWE (Results Only Work Environment).
The ROWE concept is simple: work wherever and whenever you want, as long as your work gets done. It’s 100% autonomy balanced with 100% accountability. ROWE focuses on actual results, not just showing up to the office and logging 40 hours to get paid. This focus on accountability leads to our ultimate goal of creating wins, cultivating relationships and ultimately building trust.
ROWE demands proactive planning, communication and creative problem solving. It allows for the highest level of productivity and efficiency. It fosters competency, not complacency. It’s the same way we’ve been evaluated by our clients for the past 25 years, so why not hold our employees to the same standards?
At first, the ROWE concept was difficult for some to grasp. They questioned, “If this ‘ROWE’ thing doesn’t work out, will you take it away?” Our answer was and still is no. We believed in the need for change, even if that meant losing a few team members along the way who couldn’t meet our new accountability standards. Now four years into our established (and modified) ROWE culture, we’ve remained committed to our original goals and have never looked back. The results so far? Increased productivity, profitability, and personal and professional satisfaction.
Personally, I appreciate the flexibility to work smarter. ROWE has allowed me to become an efficient life juggler and working mom, and I can prioritize my work and family commitments without guilt:
I work from my couch at 4 a.m. to get through more complex tasks with 100% focus and minimal distractions.
I work at the office to attend meetings that require valuable face time, and to be accessible for spontaneous training/coaching opportunities for my team.
I work from the stands of my daughter’s softball games so I can remain responsive during our clients’ “normal” working hours.
With my phone and laptop always within reach, I work wherever and whenever I want – and I have the flexibility to turn work on and off as needed. No questions asked, no permission needed and no judgments. Because regardless of my physical location or time of day, I’m 100% accountable to my team and have never let them down.
Hear from our other team members about their ROWE experiences:
Bryan, Art Director since 2011 (and my fearless ROWE co-trainer) –
ROWE has allowed me the luxury of being creative when creativity hits. At times it’s difficult to leave that creative switch on from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., so with ROWE, I can be more productive with my work. I’m a night owl and I do my best work from 8 p.m. to midnight. Kids are asleep, it’s quiet and I can really push my work to the highest level. ROWE has also given me full autonomy. I can leave during the day, see my kids’ performances and award ceremonies, be there for my family but also produce creative work that I’m proud of. I can’t imagine going back to working the typical 8 a.m. to 5.p.m. shift. The 1950’s work mentality is over.
Pablo, Web Developer and ROWE supporter since 2015 –
I love the accountability of ROWE and the fact that deadlines, my workload, and our clients’ satisfaction lies on my shoulders. If I get my tasks completed on time and clients are happy, I reap the benefit of more time off whenever I want. That freedom is priceless to me.
ROWE lets me be more productive and that is fruitful to me AND to JP. I know that generally I am far more efficient at night rather than in the early mornings. Prior to ROWE, my productivity before 11 a.m. was wasted, and that simply translated to money misspent for my previous employer. With ROWE, I can work efficiently at night and handle my personal life when I want.
Katrina, Copywriter and ROWE enthusiast since 2018 –
I love the flexibility of ROWE! When I need to really focus and write, I can work off-site without any interruptions. That’s made a huge difference in my overall productivity because I’m able to work more efficiently.
ROWE also allows me to “recharge” my creativity. Sometimes, just simply working in a different environment is the boost I need to think about a project in a new way. Overall, not feeling like I’m chained to a desk is liberating, and I feel like I’ve grown a lot as a creative writer thanks to ROWE.
Brooke, Digital Media Coordinator and one of our newest full-time team members –
The option to create your own working schedule is what most employees dream of but not all companies are on board with this idea. Personally, I have worked for agencies that believe if you’re not at your desk from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., you’re not working. It left me with built-up frustration because this “rule” was not applied evenly across the board. Working in social and digital media should give me the ability to work wherever, thanks to the internet.
Since then, my professional world has been turned upside down in a positive way! I joined the JP family in February and was introduced to ROWE, which has given me the freedom (within reason) to determine my own schedule anywhere, anytime. It’s crazy how one simple change has made me love what I do all over again. ROWE has helped me rediscover the passion and love I have for my job because of the sense of community and trust that goes hand-in-hand in this environment. If you are able to stay organized, complete tasks on time and help others, you will have the work/life balance most employees dream of.
Something amazing happens when you cultivate a culture of autonomy, accountability and trust: you get committed employees who want to do their absolute best work every day. We understand that ROWE is not for everyone – but luckily, it is for us.
— JEANNA ANTONINO, Operations Director