We starting working in a Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) on the 1 February 2011, and to start with life didn’t change. I only worked part time hours prior to moving to ROWE so I was still coming to work on my usual days for my usual hours through habit mostly but also through necessity as that was when I have childcare.
The first noticeable change was that I started having conversations with other team members as to how we were getting on with hitting our targets. Now we have had targets to hit before but now they were the main focus and not just something we looked at the end of the month. They are an everyday item and discussion point.
I carried on like this for another couple of weeks until one Sunday night my daughter was unwell and had me up until 4am! The next morning I obviously wanted to take her to the doctors so I got up, and rather than rushing to phone the office to let them know I was going to be late, I could sit on the phone trying to get my daughter an appointment. After taking her to the doctors I dropped her off at her grandparents as I knew I had some work that I needed to do in the office.
I went to the office and did what I needed to and then found myself ‘being present’. I wasn’t working effectively as I was so tired and I was not working on anything that was urgent for that day yet I was still sitting at my desk because I was used to having to be there until 4pm. So at 3.15pm I thought to myself why am I sitting here? I can do this work tomorrow or from home later in the week. At this point I got up and put coat on and went home and spent some time with my daughter.
From that point on I have found the flexibility that being in a ROWE offers and now find that when I am working I am fully focused. However if I have any issues in my personal life that need dealing with I can do it. I am learning to be flexible even with my fixed childcare hours and it can be done it just takes a little more thought.
Finally, the icing on the cake was I had my best monthly results ever and I am happier at work.