5 Bay Area Companies With Office Cultures People Want to Come Into

Like creating the best sourdough bread, finding the perfect ingredients for a workplace culture is no easy task, but here are a few companies that are well on the way — and they’re all hiring.

Written by Taylor Rose
Published on Jun. 13, 2024
5 Bay Area Companies With Office Cultures People Want to Come Into
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Light but chewy, tangy but creamy, all wrapped up in a crusty loaf — it’s the balance of the perfect sourdough. 

There are a lot of theories about how to make the picturesque loaf, and San Franciscans definitely have an upper-crust opinion about their sourdough. 

The bread has a long history with the coastal city. According to San Francisco Magazine, sourdough became a staple of the city when gold prospectors started coming through in droves. Sourdough starts were easy to keep going by feeding them flour and water, making the bread a cheap way to keep food on hand. 

But it’s not gold dust that makes San Francisco sourdough so good. Many theorize that it’s the Bay Area’s tepid climate that makes all the difference, others say it’s something in the water. For a long time, folks believed that the city was the only place in the world where a strain of bacteria called lactobacillus sanfranciscensis could be found in sourdough starts. (This has since been disproven.) 

Regardless of what it is about San Francisco, a sourdough start requires the perfect set of conditions to become an amazing loaf. 

Similarly, it’s the perfect set of conditions that make a great place to work in San Francisco. Built In spoke with five Bay Area tech employees about what ingredients and conditions it takes to make their company an amazing place to work.

 

Thanh Luong
Associate Software Engineer • ServiceNow

ServiceNow is a software company with a cloud‑based platform that provides digital-workflow solutions enhancing productivity for enterprise employees. 

 

What helped you know ServiceNow was the right spot for you?

I’ve been with ServiceNow for about eight months. I realized it was the right fit for me after interning here for two summers. During my time in the Global Cloud Services organization, I had incredible learning experiences and truly enjoyed the company culture. Engaging with coworkers and spending time with other interns after work made the environment feel extremely welcoming. 

Transitioning from college to professional life can be daunting, but my positive experiences at ServiceNow reassured me that this was where I wanted to start my post-grad journey — at a company where I can further develop my career and gain deeper knowledge.

 

What’s your favorite part about your office? What makes that spot special?

My favorite part of the office is the stunning rooftop deck with breathtaking views of San Francisco’s Embarcadero. From there, I can see the Bay Bridge, my favorite bridge in the Bay Area, and the Campanile, the iconic tower from my alma mater, UC Berkeley. Taking a break on the rooftop is calming and refreshing, making me feel incredibly fortunate to work in a beautiful space with spectacular views.

 

“My favorite part of the office is the stunning rooftop deck with breathtaking views of San Francisco’s Embarcadero.” 

 

Describe your company culture in one word. What made you pick that word?

Inclusive. The first event I attended after joining ServiceNow was UTG Connect, where I truly got a sense of the company’s culture. 

 

Four ServiceNow team members pose for a selfie at one of the company’s UTG Connect events.
ServiceNow

 

Through introductions, social events and shared meals, I connected with leaders, managers and fellow new graduates in a very warm and inviting environment. It was a positive culture shock, and I felt incredibly lucky to join a company that embraced me with open arms.

 

 

 

Sharell Krukrubo
Head of US Tax • Canva

Canva is a digital media company with a free, online tool where users can create social media posts, presentations, posters, videos, logos and more. 

 

How long have you been with Canva? What made you know it was the right spot for you?

I’ve been with Canva for six months. My friends and family and I are all big fans of the Canva product and I’m so excited to work at a company that is making access to design equitable for everyone. I’m also really excited to be on the journey with Canva during such a pivotal stage of company growth.

 

What’s your favorite part about your in-person time at Canva? 

Canva’s Bay Area Vibe team is ah-mazing! Our Vibies masterfully curate a global workplace experience that uniquely brings to life our values, and helps empower our team to do the best work of their lives. From our Birthday Wheel, to our Canvazine and pop-up surprises, there’s no end to their creativity. They create such a well organized and welcoming space for everyone. All of the Aesop products in our hub are also quite nice, too.

 

“Canva’s Bay Area Vibe team masterfully curates a global workplace experience. … From our Birthday Wheel, to our Canvazine and pop-up surprises, there’s no end to their creativity.”

 

Describe the Canva company culture in one word. 

I would describe Canva’s culture as evolving. We’re continuing to experience a period of rapid growth, which naturally brings change and evolution to our culture. 

Canvanauts are all encouraged to play an active role in shaping our culture, which is also part of the reason it’s always evolving, and we embrace and celebrate that.

 

 

Large group photo of Kikoff team in courtyard setting.
Kikoff

 

Aaron Nojima
Engineering Manager • Kikoff

Kikoff is a personal finance platform that offers the simplest credit-building solution. 

 

How long have you been with Kikoff?

I’ve been with Kikoff for over two years now. I knew a few of the team members prior to joining and they were some of the best coworkers I could have asked for — passionate, driven intellectuals with a strong resolve to tackle some of the major challenges our customers were experiencing in their lives.

 

What’s your favorite part about your office? 

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Kikoff grow from one office to another. Physical locations aside, both had something special that I found unique to Kikoff — it really was our office. From building large amenities to figuring out how to transform our working space with an evolving community, every change was empowered by everyone. It didn’t just feel like going to a 9-to-5 job — we were actually coming to another place that felt like a second home.

 

“It didn’t just feel like going to a 9-to-5 job — we were actually coming to another place that felt like a second home.”

 

Describe the Kikoff company culture in one word. 

“Builder.” A lot more goes into this single word to define Kickoff. Kikoff is a place for builders. For our customers who are looking to build their credit and better financial habits. For our team members who are always looking to build new zero-to-one solutions for our customers, whether it be a brand new product or a stronger business operation. From our hands-on pairing sessions to regularly scheduled hackathons, Kikoff “always be shipping.”

 

 

Paul Wyatt
Staff Data Scientist • Course Hero

Course Hero is an edtech platform with over 60 million course-specific study resources contributed by a community of students and educators and produced by a team of educational content specialists in collaboration with subject experts.  

 

How long have you been with Course Hero? How did you know it was the right spot for you?

I joined Course Hero in late September 2023, so that makes it about eight months so far. I was excited to join Course Hero because I was always interested in edtech and was amped to join a place that helps students learn. Helping more people graduate and get the most out of their degree is incredibly gratifying. 

I knew it was the place for me when I met the team. My colleagues are super smart, but I think that’s par in this business. What really sold me was the warmth and sense of shared values that I felt with my coworkers-to-be.

 

What’s your favorite part about your office? What makes that spot special?

We follow a hybrid model, so the thing I like best is that we have an office, but I don’t always have to be there. Working from home is so convenient, but I’ve found 100 percent-remote roles to be a bit alienating. It’s great to see my colleagues in person every other week, and have access to a space if I want a change of pace (or to visit the gym), without having to commute most days. There’s a lot to be gained by virtual work, but I think there’s a tremendous amount of human connection made by going into the office regularly.

 

“It’s great to see my colleagues in person every other week, and have access to a space if I want a change of pace (or to visit the gym), without having to commute most days.”

 

The space itself is lovely. It’s bright, full of snacks and Redwood City is a great location. I live in San Francisco and without the office I might forget that warm, sunny weather exists.

 

Describe Course Hero’s company culture in one word. 

Passionate. The people here really care. They care about the business, they care about their ideas, and they care about each other. At lunch on in-office days, I always hear people’s ideas for what we could be doing more or better, but at the same time people are really understanding of each other’s lives when responsibilities at home pull you away from work.

 

 

 

Aren Patel
Engineer • Finch

Finch is a fintech and HR software that combines systems such as HR, payroll, benefits and employee identity under a single API.

 

How long have you been with Finch? 

I’m coming up on three years at Finch. I joined very early to execute the vision of improving a very complex, closed and fragmented HR industry. I believe benefits providers should be forced to compete on the services they provide employees. By enabling a world where benefits providers are modular/interchangeable, we can enable a benefits marketplace where employees will get more choice.

 

What’s your favorite part about your office? 

The people. Monthly events — like resin craft workshops or attending a sharks game — are a fun change of pace from the usual work routine. These monthly events help go beyond just knowing someone’s face on a video call. They create a space for genuine connection, build stronger teams and contribute to a more enjoyable and rewarding work experience.

 

“Monthly events create a space for genuine connection, build stronger teams and contribute to a more enjoyable and rewarding work experience.”

 

Describe Finch’s company culture in one word. 

Execution. At Finch we prioritize action rather than inaction. Sometimes we make the wrong decision, but the key is to learn from it and consistently improve. That’s how we make iterative progression on our products and services.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Shutterstock and listed companies.

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