The other day, our family was gathering and chatting in the living room after dinner. The topic turned to my internship at AhaMove, with questions about the company, my jobs and people at work. During the talk, my parents asked me to show photos of where I sit in the workplace. “I don’t have a seat!” – I told them. Understandably, my parents were quite surprised – I used to be as well during my first days at work.
Technically we have places assigned for each team, with our Operations team at one corner, Business Development in another, Marketing next to the wall etc. It was not really mandatory, however, and member of the teams are not required to be at a particular table for a whole day. We can sit wherever convenient for our work! For me, some days I sat with Marketing to discuss with them about new advertisements for courier recruitment. Other times when I needed to work on my analytic projects, I grabbed my laptop and move next to Business Intelligence team, in case I might need their help.
This is not the only difference between AhaMove and a typical company whose office culture is often very organized and structured. A typical work day at AhaMove starts from 8:30 AM and ends at 6 PM, but we employees don’t have be at office for all nine and a half hours long. Some occasional absences from work are no big deal as long as we have reasonable excuses and our jobs are still finished at the end of the day. In addition, there is no mandatory dress code in our company – no suits, jeans, business casuals or anything. I myself wear shorts and t-shirts (mine, not the company’s) with flip-flops to work everyday. Even my supervisor does too!
Such a work environment with so many extra “freedoms”, from my experience so far, seems to be beneficial for the company. At AhaMove we can do what we like, where we like and when we like it! It helps make our office less ordered, structured and systemized – less office-like, making the workplace just as enjoyable as a place to hang out. Moreover, with less restrictions, it reduces unnecessary pressures and distractions and focuses us on what more important – the work and results.
Such a work environment with more flexibilities goes beyond matters about clothes and work time. It transcends into an office culture of freedom, where we have more opportunities for personal development and career exploration. In the Operations team, my jobs are supposed to involve heavily with recruiting and training couriers and almost nothing with data analysis. Knowing my interests in data science, however, the company has given me chances to delve into the field. My supervisor the company usually constantly gives me jobs that are more analytic and data-related, ranging from researching on our new incentive programs to collaborating with the BI (Business Intelligence) team on their other projects.
I’ve also gotten to know other people whose positions in the company have changed based on their interest. Mr Binh Do, a BI team’s senior data analyst who is close with me, was first a member of the Business Development team and worked with customers.
Such a “culture with more freedoms” has been one of the reasons why I think AhaMove is a perfect fit for me. I wonder if a workplace with less rules and restrictions, more flexible working conditions is typical for every start-up. Anyway, I hope to learn and enjoy for the one and a half month left of my internship.