“You’re wearing jeans to work?” asked my roommate. I responded, “Everyone where I work wears jeans, almost on a daily basis. In fact, I think I am the only one who doesn’t.”
Shortly after securing my internship position at the David All Group, I asked about the dress code. I was met with the response: business casual/trendy, but err on the side of professionalism until you get a feel for the office. It took me three and a half weeks to personally accept the notion of wearing jeans to work. Not to mention the one morning previous to my above example where I got dressed in jeans only to get overly anxious and change back into dress pants before heading out the door. Looking back, I laugh that I felt too uncomfortable to work in jeans when the office dress code boasts that there is absolutely no reason to wear a suit.
The dress code of my office reveals only one portion of the office culture I encounter every day.
Beyond the dress code, everything about my office shares a story. In a space often met with awe and jealousy, each piece of architecture is unique, interesting and adds to the space. Here are just a few examples:
· wood floors from a barn in Pennsylvania from 1906 complete with original hand saw markings
· custom built media wall with 9 video screens that can work altogether or individually
· rough, exposed industrial style ceiling
· giant iPhone look-a-like conference table
· lockers from Clyde Middle School in Ohio
Every aesthetic component relates to the professional work we produce. Take for example our “interactive gateway.” Within the space is a giant round couch called the conversation pit to display the importance of conversation. We want people to come and everyone is on an equal playing field so that everyone is facing each other which is a more open way to communicate with someone. Similar to the approach we present to our clients. We encourage them to engage their customers but also listen. And our conversation pit reflects what we do with brands. We demonstrate the value of creating a conversation pit with customers.
Furthermore, the organization operates under a team mentality. Even though our company has people in offices all over the country, we still stick to our principles and are still connected. We value quality over quantity and base hits rather than striking out. More to illustrate how we operate:
· Growth is based on merit;
· Positive attitude and energy are proof of pride in the office;
· Victories are celebrated with high fives.
My coworkers exert massive energy and always wear smiles. One principle is to focus on being in a position to win and always putting each other in a position to win. It’s okay to say no to a client if we can’t win. At the end of the day, we strive for a high five and a win rather than fighting and backstabbing.
The positive and friendly environment is full of Jesus. My coworkers do not discuss their personal views on faith often, but their actions reflect what is important to them. Each person plays a large part in an effort to change and define an industry operating in an office environment that looks like community or even shalom. To me, this is the way it ought to be.