sponsored by Hulu
This article is part of a series focusing on select companies who placed among WA's 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2017, as determined by employee surveys that measure their perceptions and satisfaction across 61 individual attributes within 10 employment categories.
Online streaming service provider Hulu sets the bar high for serving its employees—referred to as Hulugans—and it's clearly paying off: for the second time, their Seattle-based office has made the list of WA's 100 Best Companies to Work For.
The Seattle office—opened in 2011 as one of many locations expanding from the Santa Monica, CA headquarters—was created as a niche for its west coast developers, and it continues to grow and provide for its team members.
“Our office has almost doubled in size over the past year, but we have still managed to either maintain or grow our culture in positive ways,” remarked one Hulugan.
Another team member elaborated, saying, “Hulu is the sort of company which strives to make each person feel comfortable, appreciated, and accepted, from its friendly and non-intimidating interview process, to its dedication, to putting on fun and creative company-wide events, Hulu is unlike any company that I've ever worked for. When I'm interviewing candidates for positions, they often tell me that they feel that there is a positive energy in our office. I have to agree. It is a warm and inviting place, and filled with smart people actively striving for the same exciting goal. It's just the Hulu way.”
Known for its streaming service, the company provides an ideal open-office environment that includes sit/stand desks, direct access to management and company leaders, festivities like “Huluween,” and office happy hours.
“The degree to which the Hulu Seattle office ‘embraces fun’ while still being amazingly effective at delivering on complex and challenging initiatives is what separates us,” reported another.
Another shared, “The passion and agreement between teams is uncanny—I've worked at other companies in Seattle that felt like everyone had their own opinion and only theirs was the right one. Hulu TRULY collaborates and builds products together that everyone is proud to be part of and I'm excited to work here.”
It's All About the Hulugans
Co-workers not only like the company they work for, but those they work with just as much, embracing individuality and teamwork alike.
“The people I work with are also my friends. We've created a work environment where we can share in the challenges and successes and it creates a great sense of camaraderie,” said one.
“In our office, you can go from having a passionate argument with each other, and then go have a beer together afterwards,” explained another.
“There are open and collaborative discussions happening in every corner of the office at all times and I always feel welcome to join in, as long as I have context,” shared a team member.
“Every Hulugan truly is willing to support and help their fellow teammates. There isn't any feeling of unhealthy competitiveness, everyone is trying to help towards the bigger picture and has genuine respect for one another,” another remarked.
Transparency and Accessibility Are Key
“Everyone here is constantly encouraged to share what has worked well for them in the past, but also try new ways of doing things in an effort to continually evolve” enthused one team member. “There's always follow-up—we reflect on anything and everything that we try to learn, what worked and what didn't, then share the results so other parts of the company can benefit. Knowing that I have the freedom to try new things and the potential to influence change across the entire company is extremely rewarding.”
Maintaining a connection throughout the office is a crucial aspect of Hulu’s workplace and is accomplished in a variety of ways: via Huluverse (the company’s social intranet), video conferencing, chat rooms, monthly company-wide meetings called “Wind Downs,”or good old-fashioned face-time with co-workers.
“As a developer, all code across the organization is very accessible and everyone is open to constructive feedback to make the job better,” described a Hulugan.
Another team member also praised the accessibility of senior management, saying, “I feel empowered to approach the directors of the company and they listen when I give my opinion on decisions made that affect the entire company and our product. I look forward to coming into work for Hulu every day.”
The company is driven to create a competitive product to serve its viewers and further its mission to redefine TV, owing its success to the team that makes that happen. Caring for those people is a practice embedded in how the company and its offices are run.
“Even though we are building a completely new product suite, and there are challenges with that, our team is still truly excited to come to work and make something that could change our entire industry,” said one team member.
Another expressed gratitude that “our leaders and managers are on the front lines with us, as opposed to directing us from afar.”
“No egos,” explained another. “We stack team fit over intellect or technical capability.”
“Hulu Seattle is anything but a 'satellite' office. We're still a relatively small office, but play a vital role in the overall business–particularly the new live TV service that we're building,” added another Hulugan.
“Hulu is absolutely incredible," one team member summarized. "The culture is amazing, my colleagues feel like family, and there is open communication and transparency at all levels in the organization. I love this place!”