Office Culture: Is ROWE the best way to go?

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There has been a lot of debate over the years as to whether or not the ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment) concept makes sense. Developed in 2003 by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson (co-founders of CultureRx® http://www.gorowe.com/ ), this framework has generated mixed reactions. Some feel it can lead to confusion and misinterpretation between employees and employers. Others think it’s a respectful way to work that allows for a work-life balance that benefits everyone.

At Connect&GO, we lean more towards the ROWE model. Since we work predominantly in the event space, our hours can be irregular to say the least. An employee may be asked to work a music festival for multiple days in a row (at 15+ hours a day), so it only makes sense to allow for time off when the festival is over.

Also, we understand that everyone has a different rhythm – some people are more productive in the mornings while others hit their stride in the late afternoon/evening. That’s why our hours are flexible. As long as the work is getting done, employees are free to create their own schedules. Sure, it’s recommended that we all touch base for a weekly scrum meeting on Tuesdays, and it’s great when we get the chance to eat lunch together as a group, but basically, everyone is encouraged to work in a way that makes sense for them.

The work environment at Connect&GO is meant to be liberating for employees. We’ve all had different work experiences in the past, but the general feeling is that it’s pretty refreshing to have employers who trust us to get the work done without feeling the need to micro-manage at all.

Again, this leap of faith can be difficult for some employers to take. There’s a general fear that people will take advantage of a policy like this and spend too much time on personal matters, and not enough time doing actual work. That’s where the title of a recent post by Yan Lhert makes a lot of sense:

“If you don’t trust your employees to work remotely, you shouldn’t have hired them in the first place” http://bit.ly/2iVp5ym

It’s important to have clear guidelines as to how an employee’s work, and contribution to the success of the company, will be measured. But in the end it does come down to trust. An employer needs to be able to trust that everyone on their team has the interests of the company at heart. When given the opportunity to work from home, it’s up to the employee to organize his/her time and be self-disciplined about actually getting the work done.

While it may sound great to be able to snooze a little more in the mornings and just roll out of bed when you’re ready to start your day…working from home comes with its own list of advantages and disadvantages. Jenny Holt explores both in her article; “Working from Home: More Pros than Cons?” http://bit.ly/2kSqSoI Definitely food for thought, but ultimately, finding the work style that works for each of us is a pretty personal matter.

For now, flexible time management seems to work for Connect&GO; but things change all the time. The company is getting bigger and bigger, so we’ll see what the future holds!

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