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Beyond the Cubicle

Beyond the Cubicle

The Stellar Work Environments of the Best Places to Work

By Ryan Walsh  

This article is the March installment of a monthly column that explores what it means to be one of The Best Places to Work. 

When somebody mentions their office workplace, what comes to mind?  

Maybe four gray cubicle walls and some inspirational posters. “Perseverance. Hang in there!” Perhaps the image conjured up is one of a tiny breakroom stocked only with instant coffee. No snacks to be found.  

Next time, ask someone from PHOS Creative about their office and compare the answers. It is a whole different world.  

Work environments make a huge difference in employee engagement and productivity. A 2022 study published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) found a strong correlation between positive work environments and employee productivity.  

PHOS Creative, a Gainesville-based digital marketing agency and Best Place to Work designee, believes strongly in the power of an excellent work environment. Director of Operations Alexis Fillmer takes this mission personally.  

“Our studio is a newly renovated, open-concept space,” Fillmer said. “It’s bright and it’s colorful, and we tried to create a space where people could collaborate very easily.” 

In addition to aesthetics, PHOS comes equipped with plenty of amenities. Snack room? Forget it. This workspace has a snack vault, shaped just like a bank vault, and is fully stocked to keep all employees fed. The breakroom also has a PlayStation 4 for everyone to unwind and let off a little steam. The lunchroom is even styled like a café.  

With these additions and upgrades to the new studio, Fillmer has noticed a change in the company’s employees.  

“People are happier. The engagement has changed. The [sense of] community went up since we introduced new space for people,” she said.   

A great workspace can also create a sense of office culture and increase employee buy-in. For example, the PHOS studio has a wall adorned with hundreds of lightbulbs that spell out the word ‘light.’ For every new client taken on and every new employee hired, another light bulb is added to the display. 

“We wanted a visual representation of our mission being fulfilled,” Fillmer said. “It reminds people why we’re here.” 

Part of what makes PHOS Creative a certified Best Place to Work is their consideration of employee ideas and feedback. The company likes to focus on what they call the ‘2% things’ – seemingly small improvements that actually go a long way. These include things like an espresso machine, high-end water fountains and having all employees keep their cameras on during remote days. 

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Yes, that is right – PHOS has maintained an equally stellar work environment even while employees are remote for two days a week. 

Virtual Monday morning huddles kick off the week, recapping everyone’s weekend and easing them into the workweek. This brings the team together while also strengthening personal bonds. 

“We learn a lot about each other’s interests and preferences, as well as things they’re learning or working on,” Fillmer said. “We kick off the week with this great moment of community.” 

These Monday calls always end with an inspiring message from PHOS’s CEO. During the rest of the remote working time, calls celebrating big team wins keep everyone engaged and motivated. Fillmer cites the company’s strict cameras-always-on policy as another way to mimic the in-person work environment.  

Outside of the office, PHOS is very involved in the community, working closely with nonprofits Created Gainesville and Compassion International to combat sex trafficking and support impoverished children. 

At the end of the day, PHOS Creative takes its Best Place to Work title literally.  

“Anytime we are celebrated for workplace culture, we feel we have fulfilled our mission,” Fillmer said. 

Copyright © 2024 Costello Communications & Marketing, LLC

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