A company’s culture can tell more about a company’s beliefs and core values than anything else. Company culture is something that develops organically and changes over time-especially with the addition and subtraction of new team members and office space changes. In 2015, Markerly moved from California to settle down in Austin, Texas and has since developed a culture as unique as the city it now calls home.
The Markerly office space is anything but traditional. A small office divides a large open space into two creating an “office within an office” Inception-like feeling. The small office inside of the greater office space is where team members can go to get some quiet–most frequently to take calls and meetings. The larger space is where most of the daily work is done. Employees work at shared tables in lieu of individual desks–sitting in groups facilitates communication amongst team members. Interns, campaign management, sales development, and company founders sit side by side–something unheard of at most marketing agencies. Not only is creativity and individuality allowed, but strongly encouraged. Each person has decorated the space around their seats. A Harry Potter banner and a shelf full of Game of Thrones figurines decorates one corner while another is painted pink and adorned with metallic social media symbols. The individual personalities of each team member are celebrated, allowing everyone to feel important. On the other side of the space are couches, a coffee table, and the snack area. When someone needs some quiet time or a change of environment they’re encouraged to spread out on the couch or put their feet up. Statements of company vision and values are blown up on the walls- quotes like “Think Like A Proton. Always Positive” are there when reminders are needed. When a sudden craving kicks in the snack corner is there to please. It is restocked frequently with team favorites like Goldfish and Topo Chico mineral water–an Austin favorite with seemingly addictive properties.
When lunchtime rolls around employees almost never feel the need to escape the office (complimentary lunch is ordered for the team and delivered every day). Trendy or up-and-coming restaurants make up the list of weekly options and are written on a miniature wheel of fortune every Monday. The entire team looks forward to the daily spinning of the food wheel. Whatever it lands on will be lunch for the day! This eclectic way of choosing where to order lunch from brings fun and excitement to the day and is another way Markerly squashes traditional office norms. When lunch arrives it is like a team bonding experience. Employees continue to work on assignments while they eat. Food is passed around and shared while work continues to get done. Sticky fingers and queso spills are common.
In addition to the physicality of the space, the employees who work in the company office day to day contribute largely to Markerly’s company culture. Almost half of the current Markerly team members were born outside of the United States, bringing a diverse perspective to the workplace and making for an office melting pot of sorts. A small team works in tandem with the Markerly cofounders which allows frequent communication up through the top of the company and discourages the traditional office hierarchy. Employee ideas and suggestions are encouraged and often incorporated into Markerly’s software. The fastest and easiest way to communicate amongst the group and keep everyone updated on Markerly happenings is by calling out to one another–office memos or bulletins are unnecessary. Working closely means that yelling budgets, stats and editing tips across the room is common. The atmosphere in the office is more relaxed than most, in part thanks to the absence of a dress code–jeans and t-shirts are a daily staple at Markerly. Productive afternoons are often interspersed with chatter about weekend plans made together and employee birthdays are always celebrated with a “surprise” birthday cake and rendition of “Happy Birthday.”
The friendships made at Markerly are one of the reasons that the team is able to get the same amount of work done as a much larger group of people. When a member has a problem or needs a favor the rest of the team is always quick to jump in and ideate possible solutions to the issue. One of the keys to Markerly’s success is the way employees are able to work together so efficiently–coworkers aren’t only coworkers but friends who genuinely enjoy spending days in and out of the office together. Markerly has successfully created a collaborative environment that fosters employee creativity and growth.