BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Misbehavin’ Notification: BPW Foundation Demonstrates Commitment to Successful Workplaces

Posted by sherrysaunders on May 19, 2010

Non-profit Moves to Virtual Office and Results-Only Work Environment

Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation CEO Deborah L. Frett announced today that the organization has taken a major step towards its commitment to successful workplaces by moving to a virtual office and a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE).  “There is the old saying- you need to ‘walk the talk’- and BPW Foundation is doing just that,” Frett said.    

“We have been researching the process of going virtual over the last year and have determined that this change will work best for both our employees and the organization as a whole,” Frett continued. “This is just one more step in a process that started more than three years ago: to find the best and most successful business model, so that BPW Foundation can increase programmatic spending, improve productivity and increase employees’ flexibility in managing work and life.” 

The virtual office concept is growing.  Inc Magazine reported when it conducted its virtual experiment in February 2010 that according to the research company Forrester, 34 million Americans are working from home at least part time.

There are many reasons that businesses are considering virtual or telecommuting options today including decreased rental costs, cutting down on commuting time and costs for employees, the ability to hire from a more geographically diverse talent pool and more satisfied and productive employees. However, BPW Foundation cautions that there is a vast difference between telecommuting and a virtual organization. 

“BPW Foundation is chronicling this journey and will be developing promising practices for businesses to move to a virtual environment,” said Roslyn Ridgeway, BPW Foundation Chair. “It is part of our commitment to a successful workplace. Additionally, the operational move to a results only work environment will allow staff to be evaluated on their productivity,” said Ridgeway. “Utilizing ROWE should allow our employees to increase the organization’s performance while managing all the demands in their lives – both personal and work. This is integral to BPW Foundation’s mission.

As a result of its research on going virtual, the organization recognizes the importance of social interaction. BPW Foundation will maintain two small offices within a flexible office suite in downtown Washington, DC to host social activities, as well as conduct in-person meetings with staff, board members and business and coalition partners. Employees have been provided the necessary equipment and technology in their home offices and the employee handbook has been updated to include the new reality of working at home.  The organization has been working with a consultant to help with the transition as the employees and management learn new ways of communicating and working effectively remotely.

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