Shoeboxed Team Spotlight: Camden Carver

In this Team Spotlight, you’ll get to know one of our all-star Account Managers, Camden Carver. Read on to get to know how Camden’s helping us grow – and have some fun in the process.

It’s time for everyone’s favorite monthly feature: The Shoeboxed Team Spotlight! Each month we interview a member of our team so you can get to know the people helping you get organized.

In this month’s spotlight, we’re thrilled to introduce another member of the Shoeboxed team:

camden4Camden Carver, one of our all-star Account Managers! Camden joined the Shoeboxed team a little over a year ago, and he’s been delighting customers and contributing to the company’s growth ever since.  Without further ado, here’s your chance to learn more about Camden and how he’s helping take Shoeboxed to new heights.

Shoeboxed: Hey, Camden! Thanks for taking a break from talking to customers to chat with me! Let’s start with you sharing a little background on yourself up until joining the team.

Camden CarverCamden Carver: Well, I was born and raised in Oxford, NC– about a half an hour north of Durham. It’s a quaint little town full of historical homes and great southern cooking. It’s nothing special, but it’s home so I love it.  I’ve lived the past nine out of ten years in Raleigh where I took a very scenic route through NC State. Having spent so much time in Raleigh and on campus, naturally I’m a big Wolfpack fan. (Some years are tougher than others.)

SBX: You guys have made the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for the last two years though, right?! That’s pretty solid. Anyway, how did you come to join Shoeboxed?

CC: I found out about Shoeboxed through a recruiter I was in touch with after graduating from State in the spring of 2012. After doing a little research and interviewing at the office, I knew it would be a good fit and luckily got hired that same day.

SBX: I guess we could tell you were the right fit right away. :) So can you tell everyone a bit about what you do here?

CC: When I’m not sweating out a ping pong game or singing in the Shoeboxed band, I spend most of my time on the sales team where I’m reaching out to potential Shoeboxed customers.

SBX: You’ll have to let our readers know when you guys play your first out-of-office gig! So besides getting to talk to our awesome users every day, what’s your favorite part of your job?

CC: The fact that I enjoy it! I hear so many of my friends talking about how they hate going to work, and they’re always counting the hours and days to the weekend– that’s never been the case for me. I don’t mind showing up to Shoeboxed in the morning. The work is rewarding and the people are second to none.

SBX: I think we all agree with that– we have a great team and work environment. What’s your favorite aspect of working here? Personally, I really like the fresh fruit and Tazo teas in the break room… and listening to the Shoeboxed band on Friday afternoons, of course.

CC: There’s so much open space! No cubicles, no corner offices, everyone is out in the open, and I think that promotes a great sense of community within the office.

SBX: Indeed it does. So far the questions have been pretty easy, so here’s a challenging one: describe yourself in three words.

CC: Ping pong king.

SBX: Ha! So where would we find you when you’re not at the office?

Camden SingingCC: In the summer, I’m probably out on the lake fishing and boating with friends and family. In the fall, you can probably find me somewhere near Carter-Finley stadium supporting the Wolfpack football team. I used to sing in college and I definitely miss it, so I’m always looking for opportunities to do that in a more organized setting. Whether I’m actually a good singer is up for debate, but someone did tell me recently that I could “carry a tune” so that was refreshing. Not.

SBX: We’ve all heard you at the weekly Shoeboxed band jams… the consensus around here is that you’re not a good singer, sorry! Just kidding– you’re a great singer. Anyway, give us your best tip for staying organized.

CC: To-do lists are something I’ve recently incorporated into my life and they are super helpful in making sure procrastination doesn’t take over halfway through the day.

SBX: I love to-do lists; I don’t know how people function without them! Now switching gears… what’s your favorite part about our hometown of Durham, NC?

CC: I love the American Tobacco Campus. Grabbing a beer at Tyler’s in the summer before going to see the Durham Bulls play is always fun– win or lose. The food scene in Durham has really been blowing up lately as well. It seems like I’m always hearing about a new restaurant or cafe to check out.

ShooterSBX: You’re right; there’s always something new opening up. We did win the title of Tastiest Town in the South, after all! Here’s another toughie: what’s your best purchase so far in life?

CC: That would definitely have to be my puppy, Shooter. I got him back in August and we quickly became best friends. He’s still young so he gets into as much trouble as one dog possibly can, but I love him.

SBX: He is precious! We all love it when Shooter visits the office. :) So to wrap this up, give us your six word memoir.

CC: Life is a garden. Dig it.

SBX: Perfect. Thanks for taking the time to chat and let our readers get to know you better, Camden!

Stay tuned next month for an interview with another awesome Shoeboxed team member, and in the meantime, stay organized out there!

How to Make Your Office a Social Environment

If employees stay cooped up in cubicles all day, it’s likely that they aren’t getting much social interaction. Your employees are happier (and more productive) if they are in a laid back, social work environment. Here are some helpful tips to make your office a more social environment today!

Last week we discussed ways to improve your office morale, and this week we’re delving deeper into a key aspect of keeping your office an enjoyable place to work.  If employees stay cooped up in cubicles all day, chances are they aren’t getting much social interaction.  Your employees are happier (and more productive) if they work in a laid back, social work environment.  So how do you encourage a healthy amount of interaction among the employees in your office?  Check out our tips to see you to make your office a more social environment today!

1.  Create communal gathering spaces

Make sure your office has places where your employees can gather to hang out and take a little break from work.  Amenities like an in-office gym, basketball goals or ping pong tables allow people to take a step back from their work and interact with co-workers.  Your employees aren’t robots, and nobody expects them to work every minute of every day. Here at Shoeboxed, we love taking short breaks for a game of darts or ping pong. We even have a full musical setup in the office– complete with drums, keyboard, guitar and bass– for the unofficial Shoeboxed band to jam every once in awhile (see above)!

Alternative workspaces to desks are important, as well.  Have comfy couches or standing desks that let people escape from the monotony of their regular workspaces also promotes collaboration that doesn’t involve a computer screen.  A change of scenery increases productivity, especially if your office is a cubicle environment.

2.  Change the hierarchy of meetings

Conventional meetings between bosses, supervisors and employees aren’t the only meetings that should be taking place in the office.  Break up the hierarchy and focus on team-oriented meetings.  Creating teams within or between departments is conducive to collaboration and the spread of new ideas.  Not only are these groups working on shared goals and projects, but they are also forming bonds and boosting their communication skills.

You can also include your employees in the hiring process to promote engagement.  Company culture improves when people feel like they have a hand in hiring interns and co-workers.  Another way to increase the social environment is to educate employees about departments other than their own.  This will give people a more well-rounded view of the company and a better appreciation of what their co-workers do on a daily basis.

3.  Reward everyone

Don’t just recognize the all-stars of your team.  It’s important to reward good work, but only recognizing some people can foster negative feelings among co-workers.  You can recognize individuals for their star performances, but also take days to recognize certain departments or teams so everyone gets some recognition.  Acknowledgement is a great motivator and brings people together.

This tip also goes for recognizing the small wins, as well as the big wins.  You can celebrate smaller achievements that might fall below the radar in other companies.  If someone gets a promotion, recognize their hard work with a gift card or a treat on their desk.  When smaller goals are reached and rewarded, it inspires employees to put in their best effort.

4.  Encourage activities outside of the office

Have some fun outside of the office and arrange a company-wide  happy hour.  This is a great way to de-stress with co-workers and get some bonding time off the clock.  Happy hours definitely contribute to the office culture, making it a more social and relaxed environment.  Employees will be more comfortable working with each other when they’ve socialized outside of the office.

Group exercise is another great bonding opportunity.  Bring in a fitness instructor on a Friday or take a field trip outside to throw a football or frisbee at a local park.  Not only will this give employees a break, but getting those endorphins flowing makes everyone happier and more productive.

We also suggest an office dog!  Studies have shown that they reduce stress among employees and promote co-worker cooperation. Here at Shoeboxed, we have an office dog that joins us almost every day. We believe it’s a great unconventional perk— and an instant mood-booster.

What do you do in your office to create a more social environment?