Keep it casual: Why these 3 startups offer an extra-flexible work environment

October 11, 2017

If Mark Zuckerberg can wear a t-shirt and run a billion dollar business, why can’t we all take things a little more casually?

Many local startups have embraced this logic in the form of casual dress, extra PTO and game rooms — but some companies take it even further. See how these startups have opened their offices to babies, puppies and yoga, and how doing so has made the team more productive than ever.

 

Doctor.com is a marketing automation platform for the healthcare industry. The service allows clients to focus less on marketing and more on their patients, which is essentially how the Doctor.com office itself operates. Manager of talent and development Nathalie Rodriguez described how their casual workspace lets employees put all of their focus into their work.

True or false: Casual work environments make employees more productive.

Not having to worry about what you are wearing to work every day leaves room in your mind for more important decisions that need to be made on a daily basis. It also can indirectly affect tardiness or how long it takes you to get dressed in the morning. How long does perfecting the knot on your tie take? Or fixing a tear in your stockings? That sounds like the start of a bad Monday morning!

What are your three most unique casual work perks?

Working remotely is certainly a big plus. It gives people the flexibility to travel or take longer vacations than they normally would. One of our onboarding specialists took a three-week trip to Greece, and never got behind on her emails while away. The office is also very family-friendly. A new mom on our account management team often brings her five-month-old to work when she can't find a sitter. Our office is also equipped with a dedicated mother’s room. And finally, our office is pet-friendly. Dog walkers get expensive, so many team members bring their furry companions into the office. The most eventful day at our office was when we had three puppies visit. Cuteness galore!

What’s one additional perk you’d love to see implemented? Why do you think that would be successful at your company?

We started a fitness community recently since we have a large population of fitness gurus in the office. Although we offer a discounted gym membership with New York Health and Racket Club and an assortment of healthy organic snacks, we are hoping to offer other health and wellness opportunities down the line that promote both physical and mental health.

 

DigitalOcean simplifies the cloud for technologists. The team works hard to solve challenges facing cloud computing, and does so in an office that values flexibility. Director of talent acquisition Loren Boyce let us know how that’s helped employees thrive.

True or false: Casual work environments make employees more productive.

True, if casual = flexible! Our remote-friendly culture and in-office environment (casual dress, slipper Fridays, stocked pantries) support folks being comfortable and taken care of  — wherever they work — so they can focus on producing their best work.

What are your three most unique casual work perks?

Every new hire receives a Kindle preloaded with some of our favorite books. And our employees can always request additional reads to further their own professional and personal development.

We also offer in-office yoga twice a week in the mornings, and a customizable workstation. Employees work from an adjustable desk and select their own computer. At DigitalOcean, the choice is always yours!

What’s one additional perk you’d love to see implemented? Why do you think that would be successful at your company?

We provide transit stipends and cover gym memberships and classes, but it would be cool if we also offered Citi Bike memberships. Our office is in the heart of SoHo — who wouldn't love a mid-day bike ride with your work buds?

 

JW Player provides users with a content creation service that’s flexible — much like their office culture. Talent acquisition manager DeQuaina Washington told us exactly how they’re able to keep things casual without sacrificing productivity.

True or false: Casual work environments make employees more productive.

True! Casual work environments definitely bolster productivity. When I'm speaking to prospective team members, I always make sure to tell them how our focus is on the work our people do and the goals we're working to reach, not on how we look or what we wear. We value expression in all forms and, of course, comfort which makes everything a little easier — especially in the mornings when the last thing some of us want to do is worry about stringent dress code guidelines.

What are your three most unique casual work perks?

We offer the option to work from home, as well as unlimited PTO and flexible daily schedules. We know our team members don't work in a vacuum — sometimes life throws things at us and we need to leave early or come in later from time to time. Leadership always sets expectations regarding projects and deadlines, and our employees manage their own calendars — which ensures that productivity doesn't fall victim to our culture of flexibility.  

What’s one additional perk you’d love to see implemented? Why do you think that would be successful at your company?

One more thing that would be cool to see is the freedom to bring pets to work! So many of us are out of our homes for hours a day, be it for work or travel. JW Player has a lot of pet lovers and being able to spend time with our pets during the day would be awesome — if not a logistical nightmare. One day, though, I'm sure we'll get there!

 

Images via featured companies.

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