Welcoming & Appreciating

WooThemes-624x266My first month at WooThemes is finished. What a rollercoaster it has been. For the first time in my life I’ve had a look at the company side of customer support, I’ve been involved with tons of ideas, was part of WordCamp Cape Town and am now preparing to leave to San Francisco for WooConf and WooTrip.

It has been an awesome rollercoaster for a few different reasons. Here are two of the most important ones.

Welcoming

The biggest reason is the welcoming culture. WooThemes is a remote distributed company. That means that we have people all over the world. While I work in the HQ in Cape Town, most of my colleagues are not working from a classic office; they work from home, on the road, in a coffee shop.

When you are not familiar with remote working environments you might expect it to be a dull and isolated experience. However, it is not. At WooThemes we use tons of forms of online communication for the whole company and I have regular Skype and/or Google Hangout meetings with the people I work with the most.

In those meetings, we do not just focus on the content of my job. My colleagues have made a lot of effort to get to know me better. A lot of them took initiative to have a chat with me and that was much appreciated. Nothing beats people making you feel at home. It makes working so much easier.

Encouragement

Another reason is the positive reinforcement. As I said in my previous post, I was quite nervous starting in a new field. However, even though I’m sure some of my colleagues must have thought some things in the line of “How can you work for an internet company if you have to Google what “UI” stands for?” (It is User Interface.)

However, I have experienced no one looking down on me. On the contrary, with whatever I have tried to do (sometimes successful but often not), people have been hugely encouraging. This has been done through chats on HipChat, “kudos” on our P2, amazing support by my mentors, and so much more. The result is that I want to be even better at what I do; positive feedback can do that to a person.

I feel very welcome and very appreciated at WooThemes. I cannot but look forward with great anticipation. This rollercoaster ride is no way near finished. Woohoo!