The Office Matters
Our portflio company Etsy has a person who is focused on the office, company culture, and making the work space as comfortable as possible. They have a chef come in and cook a healthy lunch for everyone three times a week. They called that program Eatsy.
Etsy launched in June 2005 and is over five years old. The company has well over 100 employees and is growing fast. They can afford to invest in things like the office and feeding their employees healthy lunches.
Every time I visit Etsy, I am reminded how important the "vibe of the office" matters. You walk in the door and you are hit with the company culture right in the face. You feel warm, cozy, happy, and comfortable at Etsy. And that feeling lasts well beyond the first steps inside the office.
When I was at Etsy earlier this week, I saw that they have been covering the air conditioning ducts with knitted covers. I took a photo and posted it to my tumblog.
You may laugh and say this stuff is frivilous and a waste of time. But I can assure you that is not true. Etsy is a recruiting machine. They are getting the best talent in NYC to come to their company now. It is not just the vibe for sure. They have big and interesting engineering challenges. They are doing cutting edge things in marketing and customer service. But little things like socks on the ducts and fresh and healthy food for lunch three times a week also makes a big difference.
When you are less than ten people, it is hard to invest in stuff like this. All you can do is focus on getting your product right and launching it. You will work out of any space that is warm and hopefully quiet.
But as your company grows, you need to pay attention to the office and the culture. It matters.