POV: Working from amo’s office

By Kristi Edleson

If I offered you a job that required you to be in the office 5 days a week, would you take it? I did, and here are my thoughts 6 weeks in:

I already feel like I’ve worked here for a lifetime

I get to see everyone day in and day out, have small moments at the coffee machine, or around the lunch table where I can just talk to anyone – not just for the first two minutes of the zoom call before diving into something work related. And let’s not forget that means I also get to know people on teams that I wouldn’t normally interact with.

I accomplish an insane amount in one week

I’m not sure whether it’s the ability to run over to someone’s desk to unblock something in two minutes that would have taken a full day asynchronously, or the energy that reverberates from us all being in the same room working toward a common goal, but holy shit, we move fast and I love it!

I know why I’m here and I never forget it

It’s easy to get sucked into the microcosm of our daily routines and short term objectives, especially when we’re only connecting for broader company meetings once a week or less. I’ve definitely felt this in the past, and when times get tough it’s easy to be like why the heck am I making myself crazy over this problem? At amo, I sit in a pod together with our Head of Mobile, Head of People, and one of our product managers. I get to hear bits and pieces of everyone’s challenges whether I ask for it or not; and it reminds me how we all align on the greater mission as a company. We make jokes to lighten the mood when we get a bit bored of a repetitive task that is inevitably part of anyone’s day, share ideas, and hold each other accountable to consistently deliver progress each week.

I own the strategy of my vertical but I’m not expected to do it alone

Our unique seating arrangement that I just described, is a function of the internal task force we built to prioritize hiring. Our recruiting objectives are aggressive, and while I’m the only recruiter here, it’s not me alone who needs to deliver the results – it’s us as a task force. I’m convinced this would only work IRL because, at home, I’d be constantly questioning whether I’m asking too much of people, or giving clear enough guidelines, or spending my time documenting processes rather than just getting it done. Since my task force members are not recruiting experts, it’s just easier to have an open dialogue all day long, and more than that it feels good to belong to a team.

I’ve revived my social life and rediscovered interests

I get out of my apartment and interact with the world. I’ve found that after work when I leave the office, I’m much more likely to actually meet up with friends for dinner or a drink, stop by the grocery store on my way home so I can stop relying on delivery, or simply just breathe some fresh air outside. I’ve also had the pleasure of connecting with my new teammates through shared interests. I recently started swimming again (I was a competitive swimmer when I was younger but haven’t touched a pool for 8 years) and together with a teammate here who is training for an ironman we started heading to the pool a few times a week.

So those are my thoughts 6 weeks in. I’m sure that many of the observations I’ve mentioned could be 50% true if we were in the office 50% of the time, but we don’t do things half way at amo. Not to mention, you introduce new challenges and questions, like who comes to the office on which day? Why come to the office if the person you need to meet with is going to be remote? And very quickly lose the magic that’s created by simply showing up.

I, together with the rest of the team, understand our way of working is contrarian these days, which is why we wanted to make sure that if you are going to invest your time to commute, that we invest in a space that you look forward to going to. We visited hundreds of spaces until we came across where we are today, a converted ex-casino in the center of Paris that enables our way of working in as comfortable an environment as possible — with open spaces that encourage collaboration and quiet corners for focused work.

Our doors are always open to friends, family, and people visiting Paris that need a place to work for a few days (or more). Shout out to friends from Poolside, Airbuds, New Wave, The Browser Co, Dagger, Sush, Orrick Tech, Gno.land and many more – thank you for making this place so great.

And while we love the office, we also need breaks once in a while. We’re actually just getting back from one. We shut down entirely twice a year — two weeks in the summer and one week in the winter to allow everyone to truly recharge and to avoid prolonged slowdowns (especially in the summer). This enables everyone to actually disconnect and enjoy their vacation. No Slack, no email, no FOMO. We also offer another 4 weeks to allow team members to choose when they want to take time off.

We understand that our way of working may not be for everyone, and that’s okay! But for those of you who, like me, said yes to the opening question, and who want to do the best work of your lives with like-minded people who are just as motivated as you are, then check out our open roles to join us for the journey. We’re hiring across iOS, Android, Backend, Distribution, Recruiting and Product Design.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you :)

Made by friends for friends from Paris