By Elizabeth Friedland
After being with Appirio for precisely one year, I can confidently say that working here is a truly unique experience. Not only do we help the biggest brands in the world perfect their Customer and Worker Experiences, but we also “drink our own champagne.” We continuously strive to perfect our own Customer and Worker Experiences, and as an employer, that means a radically different (and amazing) way of working.
What has one year of a superior Worker Experience taught me?
- It feels good to have your head in the clouds.
I’m a bit ashamed to say I was a cloud rookie when I came to Appirio. My previous employers utilized old ways of working; files were kept on servers or (ack!) a single person’s desktop, documents could only be worked on and viewed by a single person at a time, and many of my essential portals could only be accessed from within the boundaries of the physical office.
While it took a few days to adjust to the power of the cloud, I can’t imagine ever going back. I’m a far more productive, efficient, and successful employee now that I can work anywhere, at anytime, with nothing more than my Mac and an internet connection.
- Engagement doesn’t have to be tied to a cubicle.
My biggest fear about working at Appirio was feeling connected to my remote teammates. How was I going to make friends if I couldn’t just pop by their cubicle and say hello? Wasn’t I going to be incredibly lonely?
As it turns out, I feel more connected to my team than I ever have before. Between video meetings in Google Hangouts and constant conversation in Salesforce Chatter, I’m able to continuously interact with my coworkers around the world in real time. There’s a certain level of intimacy in having a video call with a coworker remotely; when you’re meeting first thing in the morning wearing a baseball cap and no makeup and your cat is meowing in the background, barriers are quickly broken down!
- Facetime matters.
Connecting virtually is at the very core of Appirio’s DNA — and it’s incredibly effective. Even so, nothing can replace sitting across the table from a coworker. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time in our San Francisco and London offices, and play host to my colleagues from every corner of the globe when they travel to our Indianapolis headquarters. When we do get a chance to spend time together in person, it feels a bit like a family reunion, just reinforcing how close you can become through virtual and collaborative technologies.
- Culture is more than just a ping pong table.
Sure, we have fully stocked kitchens, beer taps, and foosball — but none of those amenities should be confused with our culture. Rather, our culture is how we all treat one another, from our CEO on down to the newest of interns. We’re transparent and open; we have bi-weekly all company calls during which the executive team takes questions from the staff — and anything is fair game. We believe in taking care of each other and our communities; our countless Silver Lining activities are proof of this belief in action. We stand for diversity; our new Lean In Circles are just one way we encourage this at Appirio. Our values aren’t lipservice; we walk our talk.