Our New Home in American Underground

A few weeks ago, we packed up our office of five years and moved to our new headquarters at American Underground @ Main, an awesome coworking and office space for startups located in the heart of downtown Durham. We couldn’t be more excited to join this community of bright, enthusiastic entrepreneurs!

Here’s what a few of our team members had to say about the move, along with some photos of our new home:

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“The proximity to and density of other companies working hard and solving real problems has an unparalleled effect on our ability to do the same. From learning and networking opportunities to being a part of the Google Tech Hub network, we know that joining the Underground will help Shoeboxed develop and reach new heights.”
-Anjana, VP of Product
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“American Underground is awesome! From delicious Larry’s Beans coffee to old school arcade games, it has everything we need to work hard and play hard.”
-Mike, Marketing Manager
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“We value the startup ecosystem that American Underground has created and we want to be a big part of it. There’s such an intense entrepreneurial spirit and sense of camaraderie, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work in a community filled with so much drive and diversity.”
-Taylor, CEO
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We’d like to thank the American Underground community for being so welcoming! We already feel at home in our new office and look forward to many productive years here.

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?

Our New Office!

Shoeboxed has moved! Our new offices are just a couple of blocks down the same street in downtown Durham, North Carolina. We’re excited about the move, as we have a great new colorful space in the Suntrust building, one of the tallest and most recognizable buildings in Durham. We needed to move into a more functional space, and we are much happier with the layout and size of our new office. It will allow us to more efficiently and effectively serve you as we keep growing.

For all our Durham fans who know the area, we’re just down Main Street further into downtown. We are right next to the amazing American Tobacco Complex and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, not to mention Locopops, a local favorite.

Our new address officially is:

Shoeboxed.com
212 W. Main Street, Suite 104
Durham, NC 27701

For mail, please send everything to:

P.O. Box 1411
Durham, NC 27702

So are there any implications for you with this address change? Well, there are a couple of things probably worth noting, but nothing to stress about.

There is no need to worry about your receipts getting to us as a result of our move. Shoeboxed intercepts mail from the United States Postal Service before the carrier level to ensure the security and speed of our service. This means that once your receipts arrive in Durham, we collect them, and do not wait for them to be delivered to us. Because of this special relationship with USPS, the exact address on your envelopes does not matter all that much.

For Receipt Mail-In Classic and Receipt Mail-In Express members, you can still use your bright blue envelopes even though the address is old. They will still come to us.

For Receipt Mail-In Basic members, you can use the new address since you have to address your envelopes yourself anyway. Don’t stress if you accidentally use the old address though; your receipts will still come to us.

Let us know if you have any questions, and feel free to stop by if you are from the area!