A job at a startup is definitely one of the hottest new positions in the tech industry for young professionals looking for a unique work environment. And in a recent interview with The New York Times, it’s not hard to see why Evernote would be one of the coolest places to work ever.
Phil Libin, the chief executive of Evernote the note-taking productivity app, told the NYT that the startup encourages an open office where no one feels more or less senior than the next person. Based in Mountain View, Calif. and Austin, Tex., employees all sit and work together in the same room so there is a sense of cooperation and no status symbols. Live web-cams allow both offices see each other in real time to help connect the spaces. To rid of the bothersome noise, Evernote also got rid of phone lines and pushed people to speak in-person as the preferred method of communication.
“We strongly discourage lengthy e-mail threads with everyone weighing in,” Libin says. “It’s dangerous, because it’s way too easy to misread the tone of something. If you want to talk to somebody and you’re a couple floors apart, I kind of want you to get up and go talk to them.”
Another unique perk about working at Evernote is unlimited vacation time. Employees can take as much time as they want as long as they get their work done. The idea is similar to letting workers log onto Facebook or browse for personal things on the Internet at work. Libin hopes a policy that lets employees decide their own length of mental breaks will result in increased productivity, and that employees are mature enough to realize when they should reward themselves with a vacation after a job well done. He says at first, he actually worried employees would feel less inclined to take advantage of this unique policy by taking less time off.
“I don’t want people not to take any vacation because that’s just bad for them, and it’s bad for me,” Libin explains. “So we started rewarding people for taking at least a week at a time on a real trip by giving them $1,000 spending money.”
Another thing employees don’t have to worry about is housekeeping, a complimentary service that comes to their homes twice a month. If you can’t make it into the office, an Anybots robot is also around so you can log into the web and control the bot remotely. To help provide telepresence, Anybots is a two-wheeled robot that’s six feet tall with eyes, ears, and a screen for the user to use as a web-cam.
“You can have casual conversations at someone’s desk through the robot. It’s got a laser pointer, so you can shoot lasers, which is just good design,” Libin says. “You shouldn’t build a robot without a laser.”
At this point, you might be wondering how to get a job at Evernote. While Libin did not say he was hiring for the company that is already at 160 employees, he did say his favorite qualities for hiring are articulate communication skills and reliability. If you’ve got something to offer, keep your eyes peeled on the company’s jobs section!