How I Manage

By | Culture, Free Career Advice, Healthy Stuff, Life at Daxko | No Comments

In the television series The Office, Dwight Schrute is convinced he doesn’t waste any of his company’s time. Learning of this, Jim naturally seeks to distract him. Jim butchers the plotline of the TV show Battlestar Galactica hoping that Dwight will defend his favorite show. Dwight, visibly angry, continues to work in silence as Jim talks about the show’s protagonist, Dumbledore Calrissian, who needs to return the ring back to Mordor. Jim also times Dwight whenever Dwight does non-work related things like sneezing and going to the bathroom. To Jim’s amusement (and amazement), Dwight manages to sneeze with his eyes open as he looks over spreadsheets.

Alas, not all of us can harness Dwight Schrute focus within the hours of the workday. As a member of the Customer Success team, I can speak for everyone when I say that distractions bombard us all day long. And not the Dwight Schrute kind of distractions (although playing pranks on my coworker Jeff is a favorite pastime of mine; he’s such a Dwight). I often think that if I had one more hour of the day, I could accomplish the tasks that remain outstanding. But maybe that’s the wrong way to look at it. Maybe the problem is not the amount of time, but what we choose to do with our time. One of the main reasons we experience the stress of task completion is the distractions that seep into our day. A study from the University of California Irvine found that once distracted, it can take 23 minutes to get back to task. That’s a LONG time. You can do a lot with 23 minutes here at Daxko – that is prime time to get close some cases, make a phone call, and talk with Darshell about her love for the Pittsburgh Penguins. But instead, distractions come in and chop block your focus zone, leaving you dazed and confused. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be willing to help people; I’m all about the team effort, putting the team on your back, jumping on someone else’s back, watching people’s back, scratching someone’s back, or any back metaphor that alludes to helping a teammate. But there is something to be said about guarding time and getting after it with less distractions. So…. I’ve compiled a list of helpful practices. As with many of the things I say, these aren’t my ideas. I found them all on the interwebs and by watching people at Daxko (for science purposes). All are pretty simple in theory but can be challenging to execute. But to be honest, so what? If habits aren’t hard to train, they probably aren’t habits worth having. Boom, roasted.

#1. Don’t keep your phone on your desk.

This may be the easiest one. It involves taking your phone and putting it in a drawer, or out of arm’s reach. The average American touches their phone about 2,617 times a day. Now granted, this number is an aggregate that includes every tap and touch, but it still shows we are reaching for our devices and interacting with them at an unprecedented level. Checking your phone when you’re in the groove can really kill your flow. Why cool down? Ride that focus out!

#2. Have an email plan.

Set aside some time and listen to this guy blow your mind on Outlook quick tips. Before I watched this gem, my inbox looked like someone took a fresh bag of groceries and dumped them on the kitchen floor. It was a mess. His videos help you organize Outlook and set you up for email success. Watch this one too: Outlook Time Savers

#2a. Figure out how often and when you will check your email.

Everyone has varying theories for 2a. It’s been helpful for me to have 4-6 scheduled times throughout the day to check email. Some people recommend waiting until later in the morning to check it while others benefit from checking just once in the morning. Regardless, some type of plan will help. Email can be just as distracting as your phone if you check it every five minutes.

#3. Plan your day before your day gets going.

Jot down some action items for the day ahead. I usually do this at the end of the day for the next but doing it when you arrive in the morning works too. It’s easier to get things accomplished when your task list sits on your desk all day.

#4. Run from meeting to meeting to save time.

See Marland.

#5. Scooter from meeting to meeting to save time.

See #4.

#6. Block off brain energy time.

Days are filled with processes, and most can be enhanced, delegated, or removed. With just a bit of brain energy time, these can be improved. It’s hard to ask the why behind why you are doing if you’re strapped for time. Some people call this reflection; others, pensive pondering. I like brain energy time. I made it up and it is the only thing I have authentically contributed to this post thus far.

#7. There is no spoon.

In The Matrix, Neo meets a bald kid in a bathrobe who is bending spoons with his brain. The boy tells Neo the key to bending the spoon is realizing there is no spoon (because they’re in the Matrix, duh). When Neo realizes this, he can also bend the spoon with his brain. What does this have to do with time management? This will seem utterly counterintuitive based off what I have mentioned so far but, according to entrepreneur and time master Rory Vaden, there is no such thing as time management. He says that you can’t manage time. Time continues to move on whether we like it or not. There is only self-management. For him, tips and tricks will only get us so far because time management is not just logical but emotional. Humans are emotional beings whose decisions are contingent on the desire of our hearts.  And if Rory is right, then even our “time management” decisions provide a small look into what we think is important, time sensitive, and beneficial. Understanding our time in this light may not give us the ability to bend spoons, but it could provide a paradigm shift that could lead to maximizing, prioritizing, and realizing the potential of what we can accomplish with our time.

There you go! These have been beneficial for me since being at Daxko and have helped in making the most of my day. All in all, I am thankful to work at a place that does not view time simply as a commodity but a space in which excellence, collaboration, and hard-work are always at play. It means the world that teammates, in considering the best use of their time, graciously give me more of it than I deserve.


Sam G. is a Customer Success Advocate who enjoys slow mornings, coffee, and homemade waffles with his wife every Saturday.

525,600 Minutes: A Year of Training (By the Numbers)

By | Culture, Grow Your Career, Life at Daxko, Rewarding Careers, Talent | 3 Comments

If you read that title, you’re probably expecting me to burst into a musical number from Rent. While that isn’t unlikely, I’ll save that for later – this post is all about my last 365 days on Daxko’s training team.

I could spout off all the details of every place I’ve visited, from the beaches of Maine to the mountains of Flagstaff, but I decided to take a very logical, numbers driven approach. If you know me, and know how much I HATE math, you’re probably chuckling about the idea of me taking this approach.

So, what goes into 365 days of being a Software Trainer and spending 75% of my time on the road?

16 new states

3 states previously visited

84 boarding passes

2 flight cancellations

15 new refrigerator magnets

1 impromptu drive home after my flight from St. Louis to Birmingham was canceled

25 rental cars

54 books read on flights

14 plays of Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again”

 

We’ve got the numbers, but I can’t forget to give out some superlatives:

Most Visited State: Wisconsin (4 total trips)

Most Consecutive Days in a State: Arizona (two weeks straight)

Coldest State: Massachusetts (granted, I DID go in December)

Hottest State: ARIZONA

Favorite State: Virginia with Maine as a close second

Favorite City: Las Vegas with San Diego as a close second

First State Visited as a Trainer: South Dakota, if you can believe it

Most Recently Visited State: North Carolina

Weirdest Favorite Thing in a State: Mark Twain’s House in Hartford, CT

Traveling has been one of my most favorite things about my job. I started at Daxko on our Customer Success team, became a trainer in June of 2016, and quickly realized that my life was about to be almost exclusively on the road. The thought was scary, but also, exciting. Looking back over the last year, seeing all that I’ve seen, all that I’ve done, I can only feel incredibly blessed with the experiences that I have been granted.

I may be a wordsmith, but I can’t do this travel life justice without a few pictures from a year in the life of a traveling girl.


Deeanna S. is a Software Trainer, cat mom, and Tudor history buff who loves the outdoors.

Culture is Not Just Free Coffee

By | Culture, Life at Daxko, Workplace | No Comments

Company culture is not just Razor scooters and nice perks like Friday lunches, coffee, and fruit. Culture, the buzzword that has been floating around in the workplace, consists of many factors. Office space, values, behaviors, dress code (or lack thereof), and how management interacts with team members throughout the office all help make up a “company’s culture.” A company’s culture cannot be defined by one word. It is complex and is often a differentiator for candidates when choosing their next position. Research conducted by CultureIQ found that “73% of employers believe a great corporate culture gives their organizations a competitive edge.” One company that truly has a strong culture is Daxko.

Culture is something that is lived, not spoken about. Well, you can speak about it, but what makes a strong culture is how each team member lives out the values of their workplace. How can a company have a strong culture without transparency? For this reason, Daxko’s senior leaders sit in the middle of the office. No cubes. No corner offices. This allows for transparency and approachability.

Daxko has open Q&A sessions every Friday with the CEO, which is just one example of how our senior leaders are transparent and approachable. During the Q&A sessions, any team member can ask Dave company-related questions. Or you may get the occasional, “are we going to have another foster dog in the office?” This allows for transparency and helps every team member strive for the overall goal of the company: to provide technology and services that contribute significantly to the success of our customers and to provide Daxko team members with rewarding careers. Daxko’s culture consists of transparency, teamwork, ownership, service-mindedness, integrity, lenient dress code, and the list goes on and on. This all comes full circle in the Daxko workspace.

The open and collaborative workspace in our Birmingham office allows for team members to collaborate. The office is aesthetically pleasing and highly functional so that local team members can interact, as needed, with team members who are remote. Let’s look at the innovative workspace Daxko BHM calls home:

Low cubes allow for team collaboration.

Conference rooms have video conferencing equipment and have glass walls for brainstorming.

Restaurant booths are in the back of the office for a quiet place to knock out some work.

Our largest conference room, Downtown, is a great place to host customers and large team meetings.

Right Brain is a great meeting room to get the creativity flowing.

Daxko Café Starbucks

The Daxko Café is our one stop shop for caffeine. Who doesn’t like free Starbucks coffee?

House Divided Alabama Auburn

House Divided allows for a comfortable place to kick back in a bean bag or sofa and knock out some work.

As you can see, our Birmingham office is a pretty cool place that I think truly reflects our culture. Transparency and collaboration are key, but our unofficial core value of ‘fun’ is also prevalent. It’s always exciting to come to work when your office looks like this.


John C. is a Project Manager who enjoys concerts, especially at Red Rocks, and a nice day on the golf course.

May 2017: Be a Brand Ambassador Through Social Recruiting

By | Culture, Employment Brand, Free Career Advice, Life at Daxko | No Comments

On May 3rd, our lovely Talent Marketing Manager (and editor of the Culture Blog that you’re reading right now!) Janna Stevens-Bradt led a Daxko TMD encouraging us even in its title to ‘Be a Brand Ambassador Through Social Recruiting.’ Self-styled as our ‘Daxko’s chief story-teller,’ Janna is the marketing extension of our People team, ensuring that we are recruiting as many good hires as we can.

In an earlier TMD, the idea that we should want to impress our interviewees as much as they want to impress us was proven to be beneficial for all parties on both a personal and professional level. This plays into how recruiting has changed, as well: we live in an increasingly globalized world and economy. Top talent is no longer wooed by local companies, but nationally and sometimes even internationally as well. In a job market where nets are being cast so far and so wide, companies must go out and search for the best and the brightest. Utilizing social media, be it LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or whatever platform you prefer, it is possible to reach a much wider range of applicants. For example, Glassdoor is now our top source of influence for candidates. Since January of this year, we have had a 214% increase in views on our Glassdoor page.

As an example, Janna asked us to raise our hands if, when applying for Daxko, we had sought out the company on social media. As expected, the grand majority of hands were put in the air to indicate that most of those present had done so. Having an engaging and inviting social media presence is a good way of showing Daxko culture to potential teammates.

Now that Janna had proven how integral recruiting through social media is to a company’s hiring process, she had some guidelines on what to share and what not to share. Sharing career opportunities or photos and videos of neat Daxko gatherings is of course recommended! As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and in this case, some find it easier to tout a company’s strengths with a picture as opposed to written word. However, many of us aren’t so great at taking pictures… which is why I choose to write for the Culture Blog! Be it submitting a post or simply an idea, we’re encouraged to contribute to the Culture Blog in any way we can. After Glassdoor, it is the second highest source of influence for our candidates.

Janna concluded with how we should put our best selves forward: be professional, be fun and be responsive. Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date and, really, if you’re already active on social media, just keep doing what you’re doing. Tagging Daxko and throwing out that shout-out, showing that you’re excited about your job and the company, will continue to cast the net of social recruitment far and wide.