When many think about agency culture, they think: ping pong tables, beer, some guy carrying a longboard, and other miscellaneous hip decor. Well, we do have beer and awesome decor. As cool as having all of those things is, it doesn’t keep people employed at a company. When I started with Happy Cog, in June 2016, it was clear to me that having the appearance of a fun culture did not equal a good culture. Good culture is better. Happy Cog focuses on working hard and producing great projects for good people. We recently ditched the office, moved to a coworking space at WeWork, and officially became distributed. Staff rotate in and out of our office space throughout the week, with the bulk of the team being present on Tuesdays. It’s typically pretty quiet around here. So without people around, how does Happy Cog maintain its culture in the distributed workplace?
The greatest thing about working in operations is that it is a necessity in every industry. Your skills are transferrable. For me, getting into operations happened right after college. I started a career in mental health doing one-on-one support and casework at a non-profit. In my role as case worker I realized I was developing operational skills. Casework requires budget management, adherence to private and sensitive information, organizational skills, and great interpersonal skills. I found that I liked using those skills, and eventually, I chose to expand my experience in a different field, but with a focus on operations. The skills I’d developed in casework led me to an operational role with an advertising and branding agency.