As I fast approach my one year tenure as an employee at Isos Technology, I have gone through stages of involvement.  I was fortunate to come to Isos as a past Client, so when I first began I had a few relationships already established with many at the company.  I was already impressed with the caliber of people and the work ethic which everyone exhibited.  However I still had reservations about jumping into conversations and veered away from some of the extra activities that many partook in.  I was a silent observer, watching and learning in many cases.  Over time this changed, in large part due to the welcoming company culture here at Isos.

The culture I’ve learned to find is all about the spirit of the people that make up the Isos Technology team.  Everyone here cares about the team, and everyone is a part of the team whether your role is management, sales, human resources, accounting, marketing, engineering or services.  I’ve worked in many organizations, but none equal the camaraderie and family spirit found here.  I marvel at this really because we are scattered all over the world working remotely.  How does a company foster this close environment when the majority of us do not work together in the same office?

First and foremost, there is an environment of trust at Isos.  I can list many examples that foster this trusting environment, but the first thing that comes to mind is related to communication.  Open communication is not just preached it is practiced down and up the “chain” – there is no fear of reproach in speaking up if you see something that could be done better, more efficiently or differently.  In fact, there are numerous avenues that encourage open communication from daily stand-ups to chat rooms to ‘Great Idea’ tickets that anyone can open to team meetings to company meetings.

Second, we turn our webcams on for internal meetings. This allows us to feel connected as a team no matter how near or far we are all located from one another.  Now I have to admit using webcams from home has caused a mad dash at the last minute to make sure my hair is not exhibiting bed head too badly, but I always enjoy when out of the blue someone’s child pops into the background or a family pet decides to join the meeting. Additionally, to encourage interaction with one another we heavily use chat rooms, in our case Slack, for not only project work but also to create a bit of a ‘water cooler’ effect.  We chat about various topics from the coolest new technology gadget to sharing pictures of our family to chatting about the weather.  It enables us all to really get to know one another even though we aren’t sitting in the same office space. Over time we each have been stamped with a nickname that is used in our chat rooms that further give a little insight into the people we work with… we have names like NewGuy, SAFetydance, CaptainKirk, FirstLady.  I recently was given a new name of Semisweet.  I’ll let you figure out what that is all about:)

Third, twice a year the company flies everyone to the home office in Tempe, Arizona, and we get together as a team.  This holiday season we will be gathering for a company Holiday party, going hiking, and doing community service with Feed My Starving Children, writing letters to children who are in the hospital and participating in a Toy Drive.  We are also getting together in smaller groups having breakfasts and dinners.  Additionally, the company is sponsoring a family event at a bowling alley one of the evenings.  I list all of these to show how not only does Isos care about fostering the family spirit here but they also care about our community and our health.  Many of the activities we will be doing bring us outside our own busy lives to support the Atlassian initiative of Pledge 1% by getting out and helping our community.

I am no longer a silent observer just watching because the environment is such that you want to jump in and get to know your co-workers and participate.  Just now I was walking through the kitchen where a few were decorating the office for the holidays and overheard a small fraction of the conversation.  I don’t really know the whole dialogue but what jumped out at me was when someone said… ‘Well Isos is like family’.

That just about sums up the culture here at Isos…family.

Hope you are having a great day!  Thanks for letting me share.

My other family 🙂