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Stepping foot in the sleek Manhattan office, it is easy to see that Rent the Runway has the obvious perks that employees today love: a beautiful open air space, a kitchen sporting all kinds of healthy snacks and even cold brew coffee on tap. While these perks (among others) are common in young, innovative tech companies, what struck us about Rent the Runway was the overwhelming sense of collaboration and support that we learned about during our visit to their office.
Since its launch in 2009, Rent the Runway has transformed the way people shop for clothing and how they rock their wardrobes. They showcase similar innovation internally in establishing a vibrant company culture.
Last Friday, the Rent the Runway team invited us to visit their office to meet some team members and get a feel for the company culture. It was a special day, as the team was celebrating individuals who had recently received hard-earned promotions. There was a sense of festivity in the air as a group of (very well dressed) women draped colorful streamers from the walls and another tied balloons to a kitchen countertop. As part of the celebration, they ordered Popbars through CaterCow for a company-wide frozen treat. Employees congregated in the kitchen area, checking out the different flavors, ranging from Strawberry popSorbetto to Green Tea popGelato, buzzing with excitement to celebrate their coworkers.
As folks settled into their seats, Samantha Rosensweig, a Public Relations Associate at Rent the Runway, explained to us what happens and these celebrations. She told us that when someone earns a promotion, they are presented with a bottle of champagne, which is tagged with a Batman logo, in front of the entire team. That person then gifts a smaller bottle of champagne, tagged with a Robin logo, to a person that has supported them along the way. Not only is collaboration and supporting one another encouraged, it is publicly celebrated. This kind of culture empowers and motivates people to work together and lift each other up. A positive work environment is about more than exciting perks like unlimited snacks and team outings (both of which Rent the Runway offers). It is about fostering an environment where employees take risks and challenge the status quo, all with the support of a caring and helpful team.
In the professional world today, job candidates are prioritizing company culture when deciding where to apply. Startups have set a new precedent for office perks and small and large companies alike are following suit. At CaterCow for example, we enjoy a catered lunch every day and embark on group outings, like our 2017 holiday party in Montreal. Companies eager to retain employees similarly boast perks ranging from unlimited vacation time and beer on tap to free coffee and ping pong tables in the office. Rent the Runway is unique in its approach to a positive company culture, celebrating in-house promotions as a collective group, for example. Additionally, their fantastic Administrative Assistant, Kayla Corcoran, coordinates a monthly birthday celebration for employees, ordering treats like cake cups and mini donuts for 200 people. Visiting their office, it is clear to see that Rent the Runway does an admiral job creating a space that encourages employees to revolutionize the fashion industry in a supportive and empowering environment.