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We were named one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work!

An inside look at the company culture at Emma

We’re thrilled to be named one of Outside Magazine’s 100 Best Places to Work for 2014 (we came in at #28!). So we thought we’d pull back the curtain a bit to talk about our company culture and why we think this is a pretty awesome place to work. We get that no one likes a heaping helping of humblebrag, so we'll try to keep the self-congratulatory back-patting to a minimum (no promises on high fives though). And oh yeah, we happen to be hiring for a whole bunch of positions, so come join us! We think you’ll love it as much as we do.

Where we get to work

Our home office is located in a recently revitalized corner of downtown Nashville, in the historic Trolley Barns at Rolling Mill Hill. We also have a very cool office in Portland's BSide6 Building, where this Portlandia sketch was filmed. 

The workspace is wide open so we can collaborate and actually talk to each other, which we don’t mind most of the time (there is a strict no talking policy prior to coffee Monday morning). In our Nashville office, there's a Bistro, which is a cool event space where we eat lunch, have large staff meetings and host community events. And there’s a game room where we sharpen our ping-pong skills (targeting Rio 2016).

We even had a hand in decorating the place. When we moved into the Trolleys, the small, private conference rooms were boring and even had blah names like Pod 1, Pod 2, etc. Here’s a look at how we changed that:

Plus, we have cool neighbors like:

  • Hands on Nashville, who we partner with throughout the year on various community projects, like regular blood drives and an annual bike refurbishing workshop that allows Hands on Nashville to provide safe, secondhand bikes to kids — and teach them about road safety in the process.
  • The Nashville Entrepreneur Center, which helps launch startups through mentorship, investors and other critical resources, and also brings in visitors like Steve Case and a team from Google.
  • Pinewood Social, which is just your basic restaurant/bar/coffee shop/meeting space/bowling alley/karaoke venue/swimming hole.

And the Nashville Greenway is directly connected to our parking lot, which is great for bike commuters and lunchtime walks.

How we give back

The communities where we live and work are a big part of who we are, so we take every opportunity we can to give back and get involved. A quick sampling:

  • We award free lifetime service to 25 nonprofits through the Emma 25 program.
  • We run a biweekly Meals on Wheels route for a local community center, where we also build a haunted house each Halloween for the kids.
  • In the spirit of giving around the holidays, Emma staffers get $250 each to donate to a 501(c)(3) every winter.
  • We choose projects we want Emma to support through Donors Choose — Emma donates $5 to Donors Choose for every new customer that joins us, and staffers have lots of fun taking the upwards of $2,000 a month and directing it toward classroom projects that speak to them.

One of our favorite annual events is when we regularly organize a team to participate in the MS Society’s Ride to Jack & Back, which is a 110-mile bike ride from Franklin, TN to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN and back again (with a fun night of camping in between). The whole company gets involved in fundraising through a silent auction of staff-donated experiences, and they range from normal stuff like tickets to a Tennessee Titans game to not so normal stuff like Unlimited Backbends On Demand for 24 Hours, which meant Kelli from our product team would perform a back bend anytime you asked her to, for any day of your choosing. We’ve raised thousands of dollars for MS research, which is a cause especially near and dear to us.

How Emma takes care of us

And by taking care of us, we mean big ol’ perks. In addition to all the great traditional stuff like insurance, vacation days, 401Ks and the like, we get a few awesome extras:

  • Who likes working on their birthday? Not us. So we don’t have to.
  • Deeply discounted gym memberships for all (to counteract the Emma 15 every new employee puts on due to all the food floating around)
  • Free bikes for us to ride somewhere for lunch or just hop on the nearby greenway for a break
  • Relaxed dress code in the sweet spot somewhere between Wall Street and slumber party chic
  • An annual talent show where we show off skills of the non-email variety and an annual holiday party where we show off skills of the eating and drinking variety

Our favorite perk? Emma offers a month-long (paid!) sabbatical to a staffer once they’ve been here for five years. Whether it's biking along the Rhine in Germany, taking improv classes in NYC or going off the grid to work on a mountain cabin, it's a chance to leave work behind for a month, explore something new and come back recharged and ready to do great work.

What we like best (in our own words)

"My first impression of Emma was that everyone who works here is extremely smart and creative, and that they are working together on one big, exciting project. Within minutes of being here for my first interview, I knew I wanted to be part of that team, that hasn’t changed one bit. I love working here because it makes me smarter, and I truly believe that we’re putting out a great product that’s easy to be proud of.” - Rachel Rogers, Engagement Specialist

"I love the family atmosphere. Everyone seems to genuinely care about each other even outside of the work walls. It makes it easy to wake up and come in every morning with great people like we have!" - AJ Nance, Sales Development Representative

“Whether it’s the right tools for my job, a catered lunch of Nashville’s famous hot chicken or plenty of time off to get outside, Emma fosters happiness. To me, that’s far greater than just a work/life balance.” - Brandon Wanamaker, QA Specialist

"There are so many reasons why Emma is such a great place to work, but I would have to say my absolute favorite reason is that I am given the opportunity to explore interests and grow professionally so that I can constantly do the best work possible." - Roxanne Spielvogel, Sales Engineer

“When you set out to create a environment that is full of brilliant, charismatic people who champion collaboration, you build a space that doesn’t feel like work. It feels like your favorite record. The one that reminds you where you’ve been and shows you where you could be at the same time. The one that commands your focus and demands movement. It’s enchanting. That’s what makes a great place to work and that’s what we have at Emma.” - Jason Bynum, Director of Engineering