When you move house there’s a lot to deal with, when you move offices it’s a little less stressful but there’s still a bit to get your head around. Who do I run to when I’ve spilled my coffee all over my laptop? Who am I gonna chat to about which season of Serial was better? Very important stuff.
Having worked for Xero NZ for a couple of years, I was lucky enough to move over to the UK with the company. If I’m being honest, I was a little bit nervous about what it would be like over here. I loved the culture, the office, the people and the work in NZ and I didn’t know exactly what to expect from our UK Office.
Turns out I had nothing to worry about! Instead of seeing major differences, as I was expecting, I realised how much this company have nailed being a global business. So I decided it’s worth sharing how, in my opinion, Xero have done this.
The office in the UK looks the same as the office in NZ, from the colour of the paint, through to the layout of the kitchen. Although it might sound like a small thing to mention it was quite a nice feeling on my first day here to know where everything was and how to use all the equipment. It’s almost like you feel at home. There’s nothing that one office has that another one doesn’t so there’s no feeling of ‘us vs them’. I didn’t have to worry about missing my weekly game of table tennis or pool. You don’t miss anything because there is nothing different to miss.
Before I walked into the office in the UK I had already met every person I would be working alongside. Not just through a standard ‘Hey, you should meet the team’ email. Instead, we had been having fortnightly meetings through Hangout video calls together since I started in Auckland. I was now meeting these people in the flesh rather than over a TV screen. It wasn’t even a case of putting a name to a face, I had seen their faces and chatted to them over 50 times already! All our wider team meetings are recorded so if you can’t attend one (in any region) then you can watch the video at a time that suits you. Through Yammer I was also already following our UK office page which meant I came in knowing what was going on right now in this site.
Follow the sun concept
We literally are one team. I know that sounds cheesy and people say that all the time but I genuinely believe that our follow the sun concept allows us to work together as one team globally. In NZ at the end of our shifts we hand over to the UK office and at the end of our shifts in the UK we hand over to the US. We’re all working towards one common goal. We also have a clear handover from region to region so each location knows what trends and volumes of work to expect from the day ahead before it’s even started.
I mentioned before that the offices look the same but they also feel the same. There is a certain Xero-vibe about them. Being a Xero means that you are instantly welcomed into the family by the people you work with. It wasn’t until I arrived in the UK that I realised Xero really have mastered a unified global company culture and this is the case no matter what location you work from.
I’m stoked I get to work for a company where travelling the world while growing my career is an option. Having the opportunity to see Xero in action from the other side of the globe has made me see just how wide reaching this well oiled machine is. My fingers and toes are crossed that as Xero grows and continues to improve the lives of small business globally, I’ll have the opportunity to see this impact from another country.