Portland culture club: FMYI uses its powers for good

[Editor: We continue our series, hearing about what makes culture at Portland companies unique—directly from their employees. This time around it’s one of Portland’s leading B Corps, FMYI.]

Culture at FMYI

I work for FMYI, a collaboration software company in Portland. It’s the rare corporation that goes out of its way to make you feel good about the work you are doing, the way you work and the people you work with. I’ve outlined three of the things that help keep me eager to get after it every Monday.

Work for Good
I heard about FMYI through a presentation our founder and President, Justin Yuen, gave at the Non-Profit Association of Oregon’s Annual Meeting. I was working as the Executive Director of a non-profit at the time, but while I was helping my local community meaningfully I wanted to expand my reach. Justin’s presentation introduced the concept of B Corporations (companies certified to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency), and talked about how businesses can be a force for good. As I learned more about B Corps, I was blown away by the idea that for-profit companies could be doing so much good in their communities. Now that I am at FMYI, I love working at a company that encourages volunteering, gives discounts to non-profits and organizations that are “working for good”, and is working with local organizations to make their community a better place.

Workplace Excellence
Part of being a B Corp is treating employees well, and setting policies that keep everyone happy and healthy. One way this manifests itself at FMYI is through workplace flexibility. FMYI has received the Alfred P. Sloan award for workplace excellence for the past four years in a row, and it is well deserved. Adjustable schedules and hours, the option to work remotely, and ability to work around doctors appointments and school schedules is a rare luxury in the workforce, but FMYI understands and truly embraces the fact that there is more to life than work.. The respect for outside needs, paired with the companies flex-time policy allows us to recharge and take care of the aspects of life that happen outside of work.

Celebrating
An aspect of FMYI’s culture that makes it an enjoyable place to work is all of the celebrations. My first week we went out to lunch for my first day and the intern’s last day. The next week we went out for a birthday and to celebrate a work anniversary. I started to think it was normal to go out and celebrate twice a week—and was delighted to find out that it is! Why not!? We celebrate accomplishments and achievements when the occasion arises–anything from an FMYI-versary to the end of a long week–and through that we’ve built our community. We come together, we acknowledge and celebrate the past and the future and we get stronger every time.

These points all came together at once for me yesterday. In a perfect example of our company’s “outside the box” structure, Justin and I had our regular check-in meeting, on our bikes as we rode around the city. It was the perfect convergence of workplace flexibility, prioritizing our physical and mental health, a discussion of non-profits and B corps, and getting out to celebrate for no other reason than it was a beautiful day at the end of summer.

Annalisa Peterson, Support Manager and B Corp Coordinator at FMYI. Annalisa was Student Body President at Lewis and Clark College and a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant for the U.S. Department of State in Indonesia. She was formerly the Executive Director of the Sandy Community Action Center, a non-profit organization which functions as a food bank and thrift store for over 250 families. Annalisa is enjoying exploring all that Portlandia has to offer, including her very short commute to work.

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