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10 culture practices in Studio Present

Our developers need to be focused, relaxed and with a smiling face when they are coming to work. Our goal is to make surrounding for them to be home like as possible.

I am a user experience designer. Because of that I also care about the experience of my coworkers in the workplace. So, there are 10 cultural things I am proud of.

01. Motivation

It is normal that sometimes we have a project tension or things in coding does not go well. Of course there is always one difficult client time to time.

Core members of our company take an effort to make the atmosphere more pleasant. For that we use different entertaining techniques. In this way we managed to grow our team and to keep the best people.

Whether you a junior or you are in a manager position it is good to motivate yourself and your co-workers. When someone cares about you there is more self-confidence. The job is easier and the quality increasing.

So take your time and read what we are doing to motivate the team.

02. Seize the day

Our office time is half flexible. You must work 8 hours a day but you can show up in the office in 6, 7, 8, am or even 9. It is important that in some point we have overlapping time with each other.

We propose that people come early to work so they can have more time later afternoon. For sports, walking in nature, or some other personal / family stuff.

This is most important in the wintertime because a day is shorter.

Someone has adapted to start working early in the morning. Someone is still trying and few people are simply can not manage it, but that is fine.

Studio Present - ice skating

03. Fruit, bread, coffee and group meals

The company provides fruit, bread coffee and drinks for free.

Sometime, the week may pass that one person did not speak to other. That is normal because they may have been in different sectors. Because of that we nursed one social component.

We have group meals. When someone has a birthday, when big project is launching or when there is no obvious reason.

That meal can take place in our office or somewhere in nature. There is no strict rule for that but it happens about 15 times a year.

Our employees can choose to eat outside or to prepare their food in the office kitchen. That place is the best for charging your batteries for the rest of the day. There is always some talking about the current show, news, politics. Laughing is an essential part of it.

Studio Present - annual dinner

04. Music & Booze Friday

When Friday comes the music is on. We created a shared YouTube list so everyone can put the music they love.

We only have one rule for this: When someone asks for some song to be removed, we remove it. It may be because of genre or simple it is not suitable for clients.

Especially in the summertime, somewhere around 2 pm we serve beer, shots or juices. This is only one or two drink and that is the way our weekend starts.

Studio Present - booze on Friday

05. Summertime

Majority of our employees likes summer and swimming.

When it is a hot day we finish our job early on and take a ride to the nearest Wellness & SPA center.

Swimming sauna, and water-slides relax people. We have time to talk about stuff that are not the only job related, also good for bonding and learning empathy.

Studio Present - Summer time coctails

06. Different work types

If you are on some project management role try to mix task types you are giving to people. It is good for them not to be in their comfort zone all the time, change the routine sometimes.

Also with different kind of task developers are learning new skills. This is good both for the firm and for individual growth.

07. Courses for non-technical people

Last year we tried after work education seminars for our marketing department. The topic was basic knowledge of HTML and CSS. They always editing texts in WYSIWYG editors. Sometimes they must go into the source code to change stuff.

This course taught them how HTML works, and what is the basic markup. Now they can perform much better and we have a stronger relationship.

The next course will be about Photoshop. We will learn basic photo editing on real-life marketing examples.

Studio Present - in house courses

08. Conferences and traveling

In 2016 we took a trip to Prague for Drupal Camp. This was the first time we slept together in the same house for 5 days. Those kind of business trips is very good for better bonding. We can speak about life, about work and everything without interruptions from clients.

There was a waterfall of new ideas and improvements which we implemented later that year.

Same was this spring. One part of the company went to Zagreb and the other to Frankfurt, also to support the Drupal community. We plan to continue in this direction.

Studio Present - Conferences

09. Transparency

Several times a year our CEOs are presenting what is the major plan for the future. Those are general information everyone knows.

If you have a curious nature you can ask the manager for more details.

You can also take part when decisions are making.

A lot of developers do not care about long future and management plans. They don't want that kind of information and we respect that.

But it is good that if you are interested, there is always a person who will be there for answering your questions. Those people who ask questions may become leaders one day.

10. Offline organization

You Track, Active Collab, Slack those are for organizing online stuff and we use them always.

But in the offline world, in a company with 20+ people things also must be organized.

When usual offline stuff are organized the A-HA moments are coming. You strive to think out of the box and to search for a different approach.  So, when you do not look at your screen you do not like to see a mess.  

Dishes culture:

There is no person who likes to wash the dishes. But if we want our kitchen to be clean someone must to wash it. It is easy to tell people to wash their cup, but what when we have clients, who will wash their cups?

We came up with the solution which acceptance rate was a success.

At the kitchen closet there is a paper with our names and under each name there is a place for lines.

Every time you wash a bunch of dishes you draw a line. So everybody can see each other's lines. When you have 2 or 3 lines less than others it's your turn to wash the dishes.

Those kind of "divided jobs" are essential. You will make a less gap between roles and people will be closer to each other.

Conclusion

My intention was to provoke your thoughts. To reconsider if your company cares about your mental and physical well-being?

If you like the place where you work but some parts are missing, you can propose changes. It is easy, you need to find one person who will follow you.

Then the movement will easily spread in the firm. When people sense benefits of positive cultural changes you will have a successful company. It is true.

And remember, everyone is different, respect that.

Author:
Ćuković Miloš