On Sept. 2, 2009, in the Centresource company meeting, our CEO had the staff break …
July will mark my one year anniversary at Centresource, and I’ve been inclined lately to write about the effect of this transition on my life. When it comes to professional development, I could go on and on about the growth I’ve experienced or the challenges I’ve faced as a developer (both worthy subjects and ones that Centresource has excelled in providing). But the thing I’ve realized lately is the profound effect Centresource has had on my life outside of work. I’m talking about life/work balance, happiness, healthiness – things often unmentioned in business success stories but that arguably have the highest impact on our lives in the long term.
Logistically speaking, Centresource made a huge decision when choosing ROWE (Results Only Work Environment). For those unfamiliar, the core principle of ROWE is this: Performance over Presence. This means that when it comes to measuring success, a person’s work matters more than anything else – more than the time they fill a desk, more than their ability to schmooze with the right people, etc. ROWE workers are encouraged to work wherever they want/whenever they want, as long as the work gets done. It’s a system that is radical but insanely practical at the same time. It’s also one of the main reasons I chose to work at Centresource. Not only do I believe in it as an employee who reaps the benefits; I also believe in it as a smart business strategy, particularly in our industry.
At the heart of things though, ROWE is a system and what really matters are intentions. The intentions of leadership will shine through regardless of work environment and set the tone and purpose of a business. I even believe these intentions can impact the financial health in the long-term. What is truly admirable about Centresource is that the leadership deeply cares about their workers. So, even beyond the well-earned publicity of things like ROWE or being nominated for Best Places to Work, the leadership is constantly and genuinely struggling to mold an environment where workers are deeply satisfied in their jobs and lives.
So how has this changed my life? Firstly, as a father of two young children, the Centresource work environment makes it possible to do things like eat lunch with my kids, wake them up from nap – even assist with their care sometimes during daytime hours. It means I can spend more time with my family as a whole because my work can often be spread throughout the day and evening. It also means I can work remotely throughout the week, enabling my family to live closer to our extended family – something very important to us. And finally, it has freed me up to get back into an exercise routine – something which I struggled to do after our second child was born in a traditional 9-5 office job. Although these are just a few specifics, what is harder to capture are the subtleties of how this kind of work environment changes your outlook over time. I am happier both as an employee and as a person. I also am deeply proud that we at Centresource work this way – the way we should be as leaders in our industry.
One of Centresource’s key goals this year is “Bank on People, Not Process”. Of course, this goal doesn’t seek to downplay the importance of process. The leadership and employees at Centresource care deeply about our processes and are constantly seeking to refine them. Rather, I think the intention behind this goal gets at what I am saying here. That what should matter most to a business is investing in its people – creating an environment where they can thrive, both inside and outside of work. Where they are inspired and invigorated by a team that cares about them. After all, what is a more powerful asset to a business than happy employees who love what they do?