Flexible Work Environment – Ask JP #001



Question #001: You have a company that allows for flexibility and working from home. Is creating that trust something you have always had or something you have had to work develop?

Hi there, welcome to Ask JP!
Question today: you have a company that allows for flexibility and working from home. Is creating that trust something you’ve always had or something that you had to work to develop?
Man, that is a great question. Let me give you a little bit of background on the whole telecommuting and flexible workplace that we adopted. Hey, here’s the main reason why we started this. I was tired of driving into Washington DC and wasted my time doing it. I wanted to be much more productive and efficient and we’ve seen that in spades. We save so much time on travel, we can focus on the main task and that is getting the job done for our clients. So that was the main thing.
The second thing that I didn’t recognize until later: we were able to attract and retain great employees and great team members because of that flexibility. People’s lives may change, they might have to move, they may have to go somewhere else to work and we were able to keep some of our best people because we have that flexibility built into our culture.
The other thing that I found is you can attract people that need that kind of lifestyle.
They may have kids, they may have family, they may have folks that they may have to keep track of so offering that flexibility is important.
The third thing, though, is the core question. It was the trust factor. I don’t know if I had it built up, I felt like I had a good group of people, but here was the challenge… The challenge was that you had to really manage based on results and performance. There was no longer the proxy of, “Oh, Johnny must be really good and dedicated because he’s the first person in and the last person to leave.” Now, the fact the matter might be that Johnny wasn’t very good at what he did and took him way too much time. Right? So, the fact that you had to burn those cards and not evaluate people on that but based on their performance. And how they accepted the values of the organization was important because, let me tell you, you can telecommute but if I don’t see the work and I don’t see the activity… man, you’re gone. Right? That that’s just not going to work.
So, over time, I did start to trust that process, but it wasn’t innate. It wasn’t built into me. I had to learn it over time because, to be honest with you, I was from the old school. If you weren’t at your desk you weren’t working, and you were wasting time. So, it’s been a major transition, but it was transformational in terms of our company and our progress and our growth as an organization. Thanks for the question!
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