New in our team?
Your first day at PicDrop
Your first, official day at PicDrop should not be stuffed with lots of “paperwork”. You are super hungry to start your first project and we don’t want to stop you. Therefore, about 10 days before you start, you will receive the most important information via e-mail:
- Technical questionnaire: Tell us what you want to work with and we’ll get it. It’s that simple.
- Staff questionnaire: this contains the most important information that you can insert at home so that we can officially register you as our employee.
- Overview of our corporate benefits, which are available to you now.
- Important information on company pensions (boring but cool once you’ve grown old with us!)
Actually your first day with us is not your first day at all! You have already visited us in our office, we have already had lunch together, your contract has been signed.
So it will mainly consist of a getting to know our team, choosing your desk, setting up your your laptop etc. plus everything you need for your work, logging into dozens of software accounts and having lunch with us. Exciting, isn’t it?
We want you to be able to ask your team leader any questions that come to your mind. This is why his/her calendar will be cleared just for you. (Of course you can also ask questions on any other day) Since your first days will be particularly exciting, we will also provide you with a mentor. This is a member of our team who has been working at PicDrop for a long time and knows his way around here. With him/her you go regularly to eat (at our expense) and can then clarify with him all your questions in small round or simply collect know-how.
We’ve found that we are much more creative and productive when we don’t have to work in a packed and noisy room. That’s why we just moved into our third, much bigger office at Treptower Park. Here we have plenty of space to go crazy or to work without distraction.
We spend money on a good and green office, comfy desks and chairs, new equipment, plenty of space to get “into the zone” but not on stuff like table soccer or a hip chef, who in the end only makes sure that you hang around the office longer. But of course, we have a nice kitchen, a top notch coffee machine, the unavoidable fridge with free drinks and fresh fruit for the team.
Here are some photos of our office in Berlin:
Drinks and meals
Drinks, snacks and fruits are on us. We have a top notch coffee machine and keep other drinks like water, Club Mate and even beer in stock. Don’t hesitate to tell Franziska any wishes for our next order and please also offer drinks to your guests.
As we are not Google (yet), meals are not on us on normal office days. We try to eat lunch together in the restaurants nearby but this is not a must. Due to the very different working schedules and routines there is no official lunch break time. Just ask your colleagues in person or use our slack channel #lunch to check for lunch plans of other team members. To make things easier, Tino created a Google spreadsheet where all team members may vote on any restaurants we’ve tried so far. Check it out!
Of course we also have a fridge for your personal stuff, and a kitchen for cooking and microwaving your own meals. In summer we love spending the lunch break in the huge Treptower Park right in front of our office and enjoy the sun.
There are exactly two fixed, non-optional meetings, both on the first Tuesday of every month. They each usually last no longer than one hour.
- 10am: team breakfast
A start into the day as a team. Just be there if you want, we will take care of the breakfast.
- 11am: all hands numbers meeting
Here we discuss the latest numbers (revenue, signups, marketing) and give every team a chance to show what they learned last month and plan for the next months. Here it is more than welcomed to ask questions and exchange ideas on all topics, even if they are completely unrelated to your own work.
- 5pm: all hands goalsetting meeting
Here we look into the future, think about the next steps together and become visionaries. Beer may help bringing up great ideas.
Some of our teams still have a weekly standup meeting at Monday mornings, but that varies from team to team.
All other meetings are optional and it is up to you whether you invite individual colleagues to quick meetings or accept meetings. In the best case no further meetings are necessary. Of course, we also know that sometimes there is nothing like brainstorming together.
It is pretty easy to keep meetings bearable, short and effective if you just follow these rules:
- Only ask for a meeting if you exactly know why and can’t discuss the topic using our tools for asynchronous communication.
- Before you invite people to a meeting, always prepare a Google Doc or Confluence page that sums up all topics that you want to talk about.
- Make sure every participant gets that document at least 24 hours before the meeting. Best case scenario: attach the document link to your calendar invite.
- If you are invited to a meeting: Read the document and read it in time with enough time to think about it before you attend the meeting.
- Be. On. Time. This is a question of respect for your colleagues and also a question of wasting time. If you know you can’t make it to a meeting on time, let other participants know early. The meeting should nevertheless start on time, even without you, unless your opinion is essential for the success of the meeting.
- Don’t wait for late people. Start on time.
- Make meetings as short as possible and ask for permission and the best time and date before adding the meeting to your colleague’s calendars.
- Try not to invite more than 2-3 people to a meeting.
- Before starting a meeting make sure to decide who will lead the meeting and who is in charge of ensuring that the agreed time is not exceeded. If possible, try to make it in less time and enjoy the time that has been cleared in your calendar.
- Always try to stick to the topic during the meeting. This may sound totally obvious, but unfortunately it is more difficult than you think. There is no point in discussing issues that are not on the agenda since no one could prepare for them.
- Always make sure to decice who is responsible for the written summary of the meeting. Make sure this person will send the summary to every participant afterwards on the same day.
- Every action you decide on must have a task owner and a date. No owner/date on as taks means: This will never happen. We’ve been there.
- The owner of a new task is responsible to put this task in Asana, Jira, etc…
One more thing…
- If you’re in a meeting and feel like you don’t belong there, kindly ask if your opinion is really needed. If not, leave. Don’t waste your time, even if your team lead invited you.
To be honest, we haven’t been very good at organizing events or team activities, yet. This is not because we have no interest in it (quite the opposite!), but because we always forget to organize them. Also, we are happy to see everyone enjoying their private lives and friends after work instead of hanging out in the office and with colleagues. Of course we want to become better in this and have many ideas for the future. You want to help us? Super! Feel free to invite your colleagues and don’t hesitate to ask Franziska for a budget and the list of ideas we already have.
Meetups are something that we want to encourage more strongly, now that we finally have the space for it. These can be events you would like to participate in but also meetups that you would like to organize in our office in order to give something back to the community.
We also have the idea of getting together once a month to discuss a current topic - from the developer, marketing, HR and photography world or from outside the field. One of the team suggests a topic, the rest grabs a few drinks, listens first and then discusses together.
As you can see, we are currently undergoing a lot of transformation and are full of excitement!
9 of us are German, one is from the US. That is why we keep any written discussion that is visible to the whole team in English. As we want to grow and hire new colleagues from all over the world, we encourage you to do the same. Thank you!