We have spent a lot of time together outside of work, for example when the entire team relocated to participate in Y Combinator in the summer of 2017 and lived together in a 3-bedroom for 3 months. Outside of work many people from the team coordinate different social events, but many people also meet on their own time to go concerts, trivia nights, parties and other activities. The last event was a dinner together at a good restaurant in Copenhagen, and the next two are watching the Eurovision Song Contest together and a trip to a local park in Copenhagen for a picnic. Everyone is always invited, most people participate but participation is not required.
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It’s not uncommon for people to play board games or video games together after dinner, or just hang out before heading home. We have company-wide events every quarter (think a weekend in Tahoe, escape rooms, white water rafting, or flying trapeze) and people at the company are constantly organizing outings of their own. One of the best things about being a small company is that everyone knows one another and social connectedness makes coming into work something to look forward to.)
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Building healthy relationships between our team members is the main reason why the people that work here love what they do. Since we are in the alcohol industry, it’s safe to say that we drink together from time to time. This past year, one of our sponsors gave a few team members some free VIP music festival tickets. Speaking of tickets...we have company Whitecaps tickets! After we finish a big project we always have a big party because we realize that taking time to celebrate is important. In addition to our other “outside of work” events, every year we donate time to a non-profit. This event in particular seems to bring the team closer together with the common, united goal of helping others. And if you like to play games, we have a Settlers crew as well as an online gaming group that would love to meet you!
We hang out on weekends and holidays, and we get to know one another as friends would. In fact, there’s a question we ask the team before we decide to hire someone: “Does he or she pass the Sunday test?”
In other words, would you come into the office on a Sunday to hack and hang out together? If the answer is ‘no’, then it’s a pass. If the answer is ‘maybe’, that’s still a pass. It’s gotta be one resounding ‘YES!’ These personal connections help us with building trust, being vulnerable, and ultimately achieving what we hope for as a team.
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Five of our earliest hires loved working at Labelbox so much that they brought on their best friends, so we literally have a lot of best friends at the company. Of course, as the company grows, we don’t know if this will continue to be true, but it’s definitely true now and we hope we’ll continue to be the type of company where people want to recruit their friends to.
We generally enjoy each other’s company and like organizing events for us to do together. We pass around The Burrito Ring every month, which is essentially us taking turns to organize a company event like camping at Yosemite or throwing a boat party (we have three DJs at Labelbox, a complete coincidence, we swear). The only rule for the event is “Be Responsible,” which hasn’t been abused yet, but we’ll see. 😂 Every other Friday, we have company demos (where everyone shares what they’ve worked on), and then after, we have a BBQ with music, snacks, wine, and hang out on our patio. Every quarter, we have a Magic the Gathering night where we all get starter decks and play together, and every year, we have a Christmas party. Really, we like finding reasons to hang out because we really do like each other.
To be clear, you do not need to be friends with anyone here in order to join us! While we do two culture interviews, they’re not about shared interests or who you know. We care much more about your communication and conflict resolution style. That said, there are no promises that you won’t end up making lots of new friends once you do join.
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