Building a service that helps millions of people remember everything and accomplish anything takes hard work. It takes technical skill, massive coordination, and fresh ideas. But above all, it takes people, and a commitment to support those people through the ups and downs of the software industry, the pandemic, and their lives.
That’s why we’re so proud that Inc. magazine has recognized Evernote as one of 2022’s Best Workplaces, the result of a comprehensive measurement of thousands of U.S.-based companies to uncover those that excel in creating exceptional working environments.
In the words of Scott Omelianuk, Inc.’s editor-in-chief, “Proving to the world that you’re a magnet for talent and have a culture that keeps teams engaged, productive, and proud to come to work is truly a remarkable achievement.” But for us, it’s not about proving anything. It’s about building a workplace that puts people first.
Because when everyone feels supported, they can do their best work. And that’s how we can help customers like you do your best work.
The strongest support comes from the foundation
Inc. conducted an anonymized survey of Evernote employees, gathering candid comments, praise, and constructive feedback that aligns remarkably well with recent research on what today’s workforce wants.
The responses also show how our culture of listening, transparency, and support has had a broader impact, speeding up product development and helping us make meaningful improvements to the Evernote you see and use every day.
That starts with making people the priority in every part of our organization. It guides everything—from professional development coaching and speaker programs to our peer-led Employee Resource Groups; and from the way we listen and respond to customers to the way we listen and respond to each other.
As one employee told Inc., “I am regularly given opportunities to tackle new challenges. I get to collaborate and learn from others that come from diverse backgrounds and I directly participate in the growth of the company.” Another employee had similar feedback, saying: “I recently had the opportunity to switch organizations [within the company]. The faith that everyone in leadership had in me to do this new job was so appreciated, and I have felt extremely supported, like everyone wants to see me succeed.” I don’t know who said that, but I can guarantee they’re right: we do want them to succeed, at work and everywhere else.
Staying flexible and adaptable
When the COVID-19 epidemic upended everyone’s ways of working, circumstances demanded we adapt quickly and build more flexibility into our team. As I noted in my previous update, “It was a logical step for us; we were already accustomed to collaborating with colleagues in different locations and time zones. All we did was expand the possibilities.”
We worked hard to support the entire team through the period of remote work, and welcomed dozens of new hires in areas where we didn’t have a physical office. But we recognize that remote work isn’t for everyone. While many companies are ditching offices entirely, Evernote is not going “full remote.” We have reopened some of our offices and are in the process of re-imagining others.
For example, in Austin (set to reopen any day now), we have about half the square footage we previously had, and dramatically different furniture and facilities: fewer individual workstations, significantly more collaborative and gathering spaces.
In the Bay Area, the change will be even more significant. We are leaving our landmark five-story building and experimenting with smaller space, in recognition of the fact that our Bay Area teams are happy and productive working from home (or from anywhere) but also want a space to gather and collaborate from time to time.
Evernote offices will continue to adapt—in size, layout, and location—to support the ways our teams choose to use them. Because at Evernote, we’ve empowered our employees to decide if, when, and how to return to the office.
A culture of transparency and listening
Back to that employee survey. As one person told Inc., “Evernote consistently listens to its employees, whether it be product feedback, opinions on new features or improvements, or ways to improve its diversity and culture. The collegiality among every member of the team ensures that everyone’s contributions are deeply valued, and that this is vocalized often.”
Transparency is one of the pillars of our culture, and we value a work environment based on openness and mutual trust. One where everyone has a shared understanding of the business and every voice can be heard. That openness starts at the top: with our CEO, with me, and with the rest of our leadership team. And it resonates, encouraging others to do the same. “From the CEO down it is easy to see what is being worked on across the company, what the objectives are, what the expectations are, and why we are prioritizing what we are prioritizing.” said one team member. Another added, “Our senior leaders openly encourage accountability, high quality work and communications, and responsibility for contributing and delivering value to the company. Transparency is the way the Notable Herd does business. It’s inspiring.”
Benefits that support the whole person
What happens during the working day is only one part of the puzzle. We strive to support the whole person, at work and at home, so employees can be happy, get the breaks they need to stay fresh, and reduce the added stresses that come with the territory in this “new normal” (yes, I said it).
For example, our Flexible Time Off program is supplemented with an annual $1,000 vacation stipend that encourages people to take real breaks of five consecutive days or longer. And our company-wide Wellness Weekends mean everyone can recharge at the same time, coming back rested and ready for the next challenge.
Partnering with Modern Health, we encourage our people to reach out when they need help navigating mental health challenges at work, at home, or in their personal relationships. And to keep everyone’s body in tune along with their minds, we offer $1,200 in reimbursement each year for employees to choose exercise equipment, gym membership, or other wellness expenses that work best for their needs.
We also recognize the challenges that come with forming and raising a family. We support new parents with 6 weeks paid leave for baby bonding, help with access to fertility and adoption resources via Carrot, and give employees a hand balancing work and family responsibilities though Cleo and Urbansitter.
When folks are at work, they can find the same sort of whole-person support by joining a peer-led Employee Resource Group (ERG) to socialize or talk things out in a safe space, stretch their creative muscles in our Hack Weeks and “Evernote Academy” classes, or loosen up in a purely fun event like our recent virtual celebration of Star Wars Day. All of this comes directly from our commitment to put people first, and the benefits come back to us in the form of a more satisfied, creative, and productive team. And that means a better Evernote for you.
Join our Notable Herd
If what I’m saying sounds good to you, you’ll be glad to know that we’re hiring! And if you need a little more proof that Evernote really is one of 2022’s best workplaces, take another employee’s word for it:
“I can recommend Evernote as a place to work because Evernote is committed to building a company, culture, and product that is genuinely great. Our leadership empowers us to succeed, and we are doing just that. Everything just makes sense. It’s still a smaller company than most know or would believe, so that both gives teams and employees the autonomy to work how they believe best. Like any place to work, it’s not perfect, but it is a genuinely great place to be employed and I am thankful to be here.”
To that person, I say: we’re thankful to have you, too.
See our job openings and apply to join the Evernote team at evernote.com/careers.
Susan Stick is SVP People and General Counsel at Evernote.