ZL Technologies has seen a lot of changes during the past year. We moved our headquarters to a brand new office with tall windows that let in all of the Californian sunlight but keep out the faintly gamey South Bay aroma wafted along by sea breezes… courtesy of the nesting bird populations in the marshes (but also a nearby landfill). I regress, however. The new office is open, sleek, and illuminated with the energy of daylight and busy inhabitants.
The move didn’t just provide a superficial facelift, though. We’ve also undergone some structural business changes, forming new internal department processes to improve the efficiency of our ever-growing organization. Our newest hires recently finished five weeks in a completely revamped rotational program that provided them with a comprehensive look into each of ZL’s business departments. We’ve been steadily adopting more organized procedures been increasing accountability across workflows. In short, we’ve been architecting the framework that will continue to help us scale up smoothly and effectively as we expand – not unlike our Unified Archive® product. As we progress in our journey towards setting higher standards for ZL internal processes, more changes are sure to come… and we’re all excited for the benefits that will be reaped.
But dear reader, do not be alarmed. For this doesn’t mean that ZL is expanding into some sort of bureaucratic corporate sprawl. These changes have only helped us grow and improve as a business, and the only cultural changes that have occurred have been an increased level of energy and collaboration. We still remember to maintain a positive atmosphere and still take time to speak to each other about things outside of work. Communication is key to our business and there is always a free flow of information, including in-person discussions and the dedicated collaborative tools we use. We maintain a high level of transparency between departments and between different layers of management, and we definitely encourage sharing of knowledge. This approach helps us to not only be on top of our respective duties, but also to get to know each other and interact with different people every day.
This brings me to ZL’s favorite form of exercise: walking. When we are not at our computers, we are constantly walking – or occasionally, running – around the office. The account and project managers are definitely getting their exercise in when hustling between meetings. Outside of formal meetings, ZL employees love to blow off steam by taking a stroll under the sun. People walk in pairs or larger groups, usually with a coffee in hand, and take a few minutes to unwind by doing casual laps around the office building. Our CTO is famous for spontaneously taking employees on these walks in order to get to know them better, and countless one-on-one meetings have been conducted in long, meandering loops around the manicured business park.
At ZL, we strive to better understand each other not only on a business front, but also on a human level. People are more effective at their work when they live balanced, flexible lives… and our office policies increasingly strive to reflect that. Department bonding outside of work isn’t just encouraged, it’s officially subsidized and built into quarterly objectives. We never forget to treat each other with respect even during stressful situations and try our best to understand individual perspectives. We are a team, first and foremost. Our roles, positions, and departments do not dictate our worth within the company. We are not just cogs in a faceless machine; we are humans working together to ensure that ZL and its clients achieve long-term success.
The end result, ultimately, is a team that is happier, more effective, and more responsive to customer needs. But this is just the beginning. As we gradually scale as an organization, we foresee these effects will become only become more fruitful overtime.