When we moved into our current office in 2014, we were on a mission to make our new home reflect our company values and culture.
With office space running scarce in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, this was not an easy task. The majority of available real estate consisted of dark, closed layouts, and low ceilings. As a company who feeds people for a living, this was far from the look and feel we were after.
Then we found it: an old, vacant warehouse which once existed as a grocery store in the 1930’s (fitting, right?). While the open space and high, wood-beamed ceilings were exactly what we wanted; some work was required on our part to give it the Zerocater seal.
Our greatest asset has always been the people we employ. To help retain our top talent (and to make sure they love coming to work each day), we wanted our space to feel like a home away from home. Everything we included, we included for one reason: to represent our values as a company. Below, we’ve outlined our company values at Zerocater, and how we let them speak in brick-and-mortar form. If you’re looking to renovate your own office space, hopefully, this sparks a few ideas!
We recently gave TC Cribs the grand tour of our office, check out the video of their visit!
Our company values, and how they are seen throughout our office:
1. Create delight
We’re a practice-what-you-preach company—we believe great companies feed their people, so we feed our own team. Every day, our team of 100 gathers around picnic tables set up in our kitchen. We all enjoy a sit-down, family-style meal together before returning to our desks. [Side note, we had crepes the day TechCrunch visited our office…jealous?]
2. Talk to customers
Our second floor (affectionately called The Madmen Room internally) contains a library of whiskey, a lounge, and roof deck. It’s one of our favorite areas in the entire building (if you watch the video, you’ll see why), and it’s a great space for entertaining clients and vendors.
3. Be a beast
We believe victories should be celebrated. In ancient times a gong was used to announce ceremonies. We celebrate new clients with a ceremony of our own by ringing an iron gong we keep in our office.
4. Move fast and keep a sense of urgency
We’ve never been fans of the office cubicle, which is why you won’t find one in our office. Ninety percent of our employees work in one room—without any walls or dividers. We wanted our team to feed off one another’s energy, which is why everyone works within the same space.
We’re a company that promotes open communication. We have purposely designed our office space to include elements that spark conversation, from ping-pong tables to big comfy couches in the center of all departments. Rather than forcing the conversation in cold boardrooms, we wanted our employees to feel welcome and encourage them to host impromptu meetings.
6. Prefer simplicity
One of our first goals as a company is to make lunch simple. We carry the value of simplicity down to the very walls of our workspace. If you look out onto the ground floor, you’ll see the original wood beams from the 1930’s in the ceiling, with the walls consisting of woodwork and cement.
7. Don’t make customers think
We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships with our customers. As you look around our office, you’ll see memorabilia from our customers everywhere—including photos, thank-you notes, and notes they’ve sent us.
8. Do difficult things
We are a work-hard, play-hard company. We challenge each other every day, but we know how to celebrate when our hard work pays off. Our cupboards are always stacked with our team’s favorite snacks, our kegs are tapped with tasty beer, and our mugs are filled with Jittery John’s coffee.
Want to see more of our office? Check out the photo album from our recent Client Appreciation party on Facebook!