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26t1mrops The employees of marketing research firm MRops say they keep the office casual and enjoyable. The Perrysburg office employs about 40 workers and operates with a work hard and play hard approach.
The employees of marketing research firm MRops say they keep the office casual and enjoyable. The Perrysburg office employs about 40 workers and operates with a work hard and play hard approach.
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Published: Sunday, 1/26/2014

TOP WORKPLACES OF 2013

Flexibility, fun key at Perrysburg firm

No. 1 small business: MRops

BY CHIP TOWNS
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Work hard and play hard.

That philosophy is one of the things that helped MRops be named the winner of the small business category for the Toledo area’s 2013 Top Workplaces competition.

The company's name — it is pronounced M-R-Ops — comes from “market research operations.”

The business has two facets. One is the executive interviewing center, a team of professionals who survey top executives to get their opinions on industry topics.

The other side of the business helps clients with brand tracking, brand and product testing, and new product development.

Tim Murphy oversees the Perrysburg office, which opened in 2012 and has about 40 employees.

“We have a high emphasis on a fun and dynamic work environment,” Mr. Murphy says. “Everybody has an equal chance to succeed and advance.”

He says employees are given the power to make decisions on their own, which gives them a sense of pride and ownership.

“I’m empowered in my role to do what is necessary to get the job done,” one MRops employee said in an anonymous survey used to determine the top workplaces.

But it’s not all about work.

“We have what we call a fun room,” Mr. Murphy says, referring to an employee lounge that has a Wii gaming system, a basketball hoop, and other fun activities.

“Sometimes we schedule a half-hour meeting in there just to play the Wii,” Mr. Murphy said.

“The work environment is just about perfect,” one anonymous survey respondent wrote. “People are fun and relaxed, but know when to buckle down and get the job done and get it done well.”

Another factor lauded by employees was the ability to adjust schedules if necessary.

“I have flexible work hours that allow me to balance work and family life, I enjoy the team that I work with and know that my contributions are appreciated,” one employee said in the anonymous survey.

Mr. Murphy says employees can occasionally work from home and can feel comfortable leaving the office for medical appointments or other reasons.

He says people don’t abuse the privilege.

“We emphasize a team atmosphere in which people know that what one person does affects the whole team," Mr. Murphy said.

The entire philosophy seems to be working.

The company started in the Philadelphia area in 2007. In addition to Perrysburg, it has added offices in Minneapolis, England, India, and Hong Kong. In 2011, it made Inc. magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing companies.

Mr. Murphy said that while MRops is very selective in who it hires, it doesn’t worry much about whether somebody will fit in.

“The group is very welcoming,” he said, with a good mix of introverts and extroverts.

“Anybody could fit in,” he said.



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