When you are looking for a job, the office environment and company culture has tremendous impact on your overall well-being and productivity. The office is a place where you spend a majority of your waking hours, especially if you work in a startup. We can’t work in a vacuum. It is important that the place feel nurturing and open. This was especially important to me as I tend to feed off of the energy of people and places around me. That is why I was excited to work in a startup – I was looking forward to being in a dynamic, collaborative, non-bureaucratic environment, surrounded by smart people who challenge and support you at the same time. Indix has delivered on all counts.
Culture has been of paramount importance to our founders from the beginning. Read this post by Sridhar Venkatesh (co-founder and VP, Product Management) for more on that. The founders consciously established an open and transparent value system, which has since been nurtured by the employees.
How do these values get exercised in reality? One of the most powerful ways of doing that is through the organization of office spaces. We have offices in Seattle, San Francisco and Chennai. Our biggest employee base is in Chennai (50+ as of today) as it houses our engineers and product development teams. Last November, we moved to the prestigious Ramanujan IT City in Chennai. We wanted a huge unrestricted space that allowed engineering and product teams to sit together and have plenty of scope to collaborate.
“What a great space!” I’ve heard this interjection from pretty much everyone who walks into our office. I think a part of this response is owed to the fact that people can see company values being manifested in the physical space. This is something you can only experience in a culture like ours – to sit three feet away from the CEO, co-founders, executives, and be able to pull them into any and all conversations. There is no room for cryptic communication. We’ve grown tremendously in numbers over the past year and a half and the values of transparency and clear and honest communication have permeated to new teams and employees as well.
Just yesterday, Indix co-founder and VP of Engineering Satya Kaliki spoke at a startup spotlight event organized by YourStory (in association with Nexus Venture Partners and IBM). The panel was on fund raising, hiring and scaling, and Satya stressed the importance of a strong culture here as well.
— NexusVP (@NexusVP) June 4, 2015
When people have access to other people, they will speak up. Closed cabins and layers of bureaucracy between coworkers don’t encourage honest conversations.
Another appealing aspect of our office spaces is the aesthetics. Indix founder and CEO Sanjay Parthasarathy is an avid collector of art, and has discovered and patronized many new artists. The two murals below were done for our Chennai office lounge area and conference room by a young artist Harshavardhan Kadam. You can see more of his work here.
Both the Seattle and Chennai offices display hand-picked pieces from Sanjay’s personal art collection. The resulting aesthetic creates a warm and inspiring ambiance. I mean, wouldn’t you feel good getting your first cup of coffee in the morning standing in front of the stunning celestial peacock?
Office ambiance and aesthetics isn’t just about embellishing the space. It’s about what the company stands for and how it wants to make its employees feel. I feel our design and layout encourages transparency and agency at the same time. You have the freedom to take ownership; you are also vulnerable and exposed, but in a good way. It’s very conducive to personal growth. I know I have benefited tremendously from being in such a space for the past 17 months. Is your office space nurturing and fun? Does it reflect the values your company stands for? Do share your thoughts.