Before joining 3D Cloud, I was a full-time student at Full Sail University. I’d done the typical stint at a burger joint in high school and had spent endless hours working on college projects but had never worked in an office before. When I first interviewed for a Unity 3D developer position at 3D Cloud, I could tell that it would be a cool place to work. It has easily exceeded my expectations.

Of course, I’d always had a stereotypical image in my head of what working in an office would be like. Most of these notions were grounded in the fact that I had seen the movie “Office Space” at least five thousand times. Here are five ways that working at 3D Cloud defied my preconceived ideas about working in an office.

1) People here are nice, friendly and helpful while having fun and working hard.

From my very first day at 3D Cloud, I felt welcomed, considered a valued team member and as if I’d just gained a dozen new friends. People work hard but on the flipside, they know how to relax, have fun and enjoy the work day. There is usually someone taking a break by trying to beat the office high-score on arcade-style video games. Posters of everyone’s favorite movies and superheroes line the walls. It’s nothing at all like “Office Space.”

2) My co-workers seem to enjoy both work and life.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen somebody with a case of the Mondays. The general mindset is positive and for the most part, on most days, I find that my co-workers are happily working together on cutting-edge projects. The office is casual, friendly and good humored which makes it easier for me to be productive at work. I’ve even overheard people walking by our office say, “Wow, look at how much fun they’re having.”

3) We work independently without being micromanaged.

You won’t ever see a supervisor pacing the hallways and asking about cover sheets for TPS reports. On the other hand, it is likely that you’ll see someone wearing a DC t-shirt, and quoting “Anchorman.” Everyone is busy and working hard. Even as a new hire, I was expected to be wholly responsible for my projects and to raise my hand when I needed help.

4) Everyone is a teacher; everyone is a student.

My co-workers have always provided ample support and encouragement. We have an open plan office and it’s like sitting in a roomful of teachers. Team members are happy to answer any questions and almost always go beyond the essentials. Even people on other teams are happy to share their subject matter expertise.

5) More than just co-workers, we’re a community.

For the most part, we truly enjoy each other’s company. During weekends we often go out to movies and restaurants, or just get together to play Rock Band. A couple of weeks ago we even went skiing. Naturally, I had to brag to my sister so I texted her, “Just went skiing with some friends.” That’s when I realized that the people I work with feel more like friends to me than co-workers.

Maybe “Office Space” and “The Office” actually do show what a real office is like. I wouldn’t know and hopefully I’ll never find out.

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