Marlboro, Mass., has its own easy riders snowmobile club, but any members who work at Telica arent likely to be revving up too much during the week.
Long hours are common at the start-up, which launched in August 1998 and provides network voice and data infrastructure products. But the hours arent what its 200 employees mention first when they talk about the company.
Carter Koch, Telicas information technology director, describes the company as a fast-paced, tight-knit family. Food and foosball make the bonds stronger. Lunch and dinner are provided every day, and "entertainment rooms" are always open. Telica also offers discounts at nearby gyms, and has showers in the building for the runners in the group.
"People work really hard," Koch says. "By giving them the perks, people are more productive. Theyre not getting in their cars, [and they] are more apt to eat their lunch at their desk and stay later."
The company offers another often-ignored perk — communication with top management. Every Monday morning, President and CEO John St. Amand hosts a breakfast for 10 employees to talk about the company and other areas of interest. Wednesday nights, Bryan Sheppeck and Ali Kafel, the vice presidents of sales and marketing, respectively, stop in to talk about how sales are going and the companys marketing direction.
Last spring and summer, the company met outside for briefings by the executive managers, who spoke of key issues in their areas. As it got colder and the staff nearly doubled, meetings moved offsite and are now held monthly.
Indeed, Telicas work force is still growing. Bucking the recent trend of layoffs, the company is in hiring mode, particularly for engineers. The pitch to potential hires goes beyond three weeks of vacation, flexible telecommuting policies, options and other benefits such as 401(k) and health plans.
"Theres a lot of room to grow, a lot to learn, a customer base thats rapidly growing and a high-quality product," Koch says. "Theres a lot of good equipment to play with. We give you the tools to do the right job, and we spend our money in the right places."