As the newest member of 14 Oranges, I’m excited to write about my time here and why I chose to join the team.
Given the increase of the mobile workforce, telecommuting is becoming increasingly popular and 14 Oranges embraced that, even on my first day of work. Since I’m the newest addition to the team, I showed up on my first day expecting the typical 8 hour day of reading binders and being introduced around while I make the same lame joke to each person I met. To my surprise, after going through expectations and paperwork, I was encouraged to finish off my first day at home. That’s when I knew 14 Oranges was different than every company I’ve ever worked for.
I am used to planning work from home days in advance or going into the office to fulfill an unspoken amount of time that ‘should’ be spent at work. I’d like to believe that my water cooler banter is that thrilling but even I know it isn’t (although if you want to discuss Breaking Bad or the zombie apocalypse, I will bring refreshments). Working in a place that accepts and encourages work life balance is something that has been so invigorating and it feels incredible to be trusted to make a schedule that works for me. Every employee at 14 Oranges has the freedom to come and go based on their individual circumstances which now makes sense why there is no turnover.
The benefit of having been in the throes of job hunting during the Great Recession is that my work experience took me everywhere from enterprise organizations to offices with nine employees, so I’d like to think I’ve seen it all. One common trait from my experience has been the suspicion of new technology. Suggesting something like Google Docs was typically met with some form of ‘that’s not how we’ve always done things around here’ and a vague promise to look into it at a future date. Disheartening, yes, but not a deal breaker, which is why it’s so unique to be in a place that is already using newer technology platforms like Trello.
There has been a lot of research regarding Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers in the workplace but it’s hard to understand the dynamics until you’ve experienced it yourself. Some generational challenges I have experienced first-hand include a 65 year old director asking me how to access the internet on his iPhone and management’s terror of everything social media or in the 21st century. Working with the 14 Oranges team has been new for me because it involves people of all ages who are very adept at using technology but more importantly they are enthusiastic and open minded about learning and trying new things.
I ultimately chose to join the 14 Oranges team to leave behind old boy’s clubs, out of touch management and aversion to new ideas so that I could gain flexibility, trust, work life balance and freedom.