Most of us have worked in several environments over the course of our professional tenures. Every office is different, with individual subcultures, expectations, “vibes” and jargon. And with those differences come preferences. And with those preferences come challenges. I’m sure you have a running mental list of things you’ve loved and not-so-much loved about your job settings over the years.

The crew at Nine Labs has been around the block too, and as a result we decided to build an environment that best encompassed all the things that inspire and build us up in a work setting, and to get rid of all the garbage that brings us down.


Luckily for us, the model we wanted already exists… enter the Results Only Work Environment (ROWE, for short). In a ROWE, employees are paid based on their results and output, rather than the number of hours they work in a week. This strategy calls for each employee to be 100% responsible for themselves, the quality of their work, hitting their deadlines, and so on. It means that team members are expected to be proactive, innovative and focused on getting s*** done (another of our mantras) rather than punching a timecard.

ROWE works remote, too

Another tenant of ROWE we have embraced is the ability to work from where and when you want. We don’t require our team members to be in the office from 8a - 5p, Mon - Fri, with a 30 minute break for lunch. We’ve given a significant amount of freedom to our team to decide the best times and locations for them to do their best work. Prefer to get up at the crack of dawn and crank out a few hours of coding? You do you, morning coding guru. Like to sleep in and then burn the midnight oil writing some content at your local coffee shop? Write on, content owl connoisseur.

To be clear, this approach doesn’t allow team members to disappear for hours at a time without accountability. With great freedom comes great responsibility, and our team is responsible to each other to ensure individuals can get in touch quickly and easily so that one person’s work preferences don’t hinder another’s efficiencies.

“But don’t you worry your team is going to slack off or game the system?”

Ah, yes, the crux of the matter.  None of this is possible without trust… buckets of it. And trust isn’t possible without a team of reliable, hard-working, honest individuals who are personally invested in their work and display an internal drive for excellence.

Got the right team to give ROWE a go? Sweet, we’ll see you on the other side.

Need a little more guidance as to how ROWE could come to fruition in your workplace? Take a look at some of our other process driven posts. And, while you’re at it, learn more about us, the values and mantras that drive our team.