“Oh you mean casual casual.”

“…the guys usually wear slacks and a shirt. Fridays are casual– a t-shirt and jeans are fine”. Silvanna, a coworker that works from home, emailed me these helpful details along with other workplace norms before my first day. On my first Friday, I realized just how casual she meant. She could have easily said “most people don’t come to work on Fridays”. The office was cricket-chirping quiet. No wonder t-shirts were fine, there was hardly anyone in the office. Biocom has a scheduling option over the summer where you get every other Friday off. One of the many reasons why people are generally happy when they are in the offices. Oscar, a coworker from the PG side, explained the reason why the life-science industry in San Diego is so collaborative to a few students from Notre Dame who were visiting the offices. His reasoning, “everyone is just so happy here, why not work with everyone”. The same applies to the Biocom offices. Overall happiness spurs collaborative work. Assignments are often shared responsibilities and approached by both the PG and BI side. A flyer with the values of Biocom are easily acesible. On it, under teamwork, reads “we take join responsibility in all that we do”. This couldn’t be more true. “Communicate and share information proactively and thoroughly”. Right when I think I’m working on something by myself, I get two or three helpful emails. Although email is the primary mode of communication, office conversation is still relatively informal. “I’ll hit you up”– Leandra told me after I asked her if she needed help with anything. Days earlier, at a meeting with Pfizer, a life science company, on inclusiveness and disAbility workplace initiatives, Leandra concluded with “if there’s nothing else, you guys can bounce”. Workplace and industry advice from the panel of life-science employees, not Biocom employees, who were in the building for the Notre Dame students, “Don’t be an asshole”. It is safe to say communication is pretty informal. Another Biocom value: Passion For The Cause. The same panel of life-science employees in the area, that gave blunt words about industry advice, beautifully constructed a conversation about passion, finding your passion, and working alongside your passion regardless of what it may be.

One thought on ““Oh you mean casual casual.”

  • June 18, 2019 at 3:55 pm
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    Good to know that in advance of starting your colleagues were imparting insights about company norms, values, practices; that is great. Indeed, it does sound informal and it also sounds like the organization does practice what it preaches (in regards to various values you’ve shared and behaviors that support those). Do you think it is the particular industry that leads to this kind of environment, or is it this company (the individuals who comprise it) and their styles that lead to the environment? Something worth considering moving forward.

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