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Stephanie Zhong

By on October 4, 2022

Life at Kong: Forging global and real connections

Working in a global company can come with a few challenges.

As one Konger starts work at 9 a.m. in San Francisco, it’s the middle of the night in Singapore, the sun’s about to set in London, and New Yorkers are ducking out for lunch. When your teammates aren’t confined to a single office, opening your laptop can mean being greeted by a full inbox and a stack of missed Slack messages.

We have Kongers in over 28 countries. In a regular week, we may have up to four IT onboarding sessions for our new hires to cover all the time zones. 

But at Kong, we make an extra effort to stay connected in our virtual and global environment through timezone-friendly events, playful Slack channels, celebrating milestones, and sharing and connecting with teammates.

In this post, we’ll give a behind-the-scenes look at some of the ways we forge real connections as part of a growing global team.

A focus on wellness and wellbeing

At Kong, we focus on employee wellness and wellbeing as a key avenue to boost employee engagement. We host weekly and monthly events (recorded for all Kongers to view and participate in), maintain an active #kong-wellness Slack channel, and hold virtual raffles to encourage our Kongers in their wellness journey.

In August, we had a summer-themed event on core and body conditioning. In September, we celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with a virtual Zumba class. 

This month, it’s the return of our annual Wellness Challenge — a month-long competition where Kongers sweat together and challenge (and encourage) each other. The challenge includes collecting points for wellness-themed prizes, weekly events, and prompts for Kongers to share pics and stories on how they stay healthy. (So far we’ve seen everything from heart-healthy breakfast ideas to step count sharing to insights on how Stoic thinking can help relieve anxiety).

Kong Wellness Challenge 2022

Some highlights from our current wellness challenge: Deirdre Anderson, Sr. Field Engineer, walks Golden Gate Park to hit that step goal, software engineer Krzysztof Słonka bikes to the main square in Kraków, Poland; product marketer Ishwari Lokare starts the day with yoga, software engineer Nick Anderson chases the runner’s high; developer advocate Viktor Gamov pushes himself with squats; Randi Gans, Talent Acquisition Operations, breaks a sweat with kickboxing.

Connecting and celebrating (in the office and around the world)

A great way Kongers stay connected is by sharing their life in and out of Kong. 

On Slack channels like #wine, #food, #parents, and #pets, Kongers swap photos, memes, links, stories, and tips. These threaded conversations allow coworkers to bond around similar interests and get to know one another. (They’re also a solid way to get a Konger-approved take on, say, the best barbecue in Austin or to orchestrate a cross-country craft beer swap.)

We also use the Donut Slack plug-in for team building and engagement. This allows Kongers to pair up every other week to connect and learn about different teams, as well as chat about hobbies, family, where they’re located, and so on.

While Kongers work from all around the world, we also look for chances to celebrate in person when we can. 

Kongers from various cities regularly gather for co-working days to get to know local teammates . Recently Vancouver Kongers went out for lunch, while our NYC Kongers went out to karaoke.

Celebrating milestones and achievements is ingrained in the Kong culture — from spotlighting new hires and celebrating work anniversaries to giving company-wide kudos that enters the praised Konger for the chance to win a prize at the next all-hands meeting.

In our Shanghai office, Kongers receive Kong-themed mooncake gift baskets to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Wherever Kongers reside, there are also plenty of special days we like to celebrate.

Each year we recognize our company’s founding on Kong Day, July 20. This is the day our company was incorporated in Delaware (over the internet from Rome). 

In addition, every quarter we have an Unplugged Weekend, where Kongers collectively take a four-day weekend to unplug and unwind.

Milestones are also a good cause for celebration. Recently, Kong made it onto the Forbes Cloud 100 List, which ranks the top private cloud companies in the world. 2022 marked our second consecutive year on the list — and Kong even showed up on the Times Square NASDAQ billboard. 

The Kong San Francisco office celebrates our first billboard ahead of the annual Kong Summit with a cake (with the billboard printed on it, obviously).

Conclusion

Two of our core values are “Global” and “Real,” and these are ingrained in our culture and the people we get the privilege to call Kongers. We work together from anywhere to achieve our common goals while creating moments of engagement and connections. We provide the resources for Kongers to feel valued, supported, and empowered to bring their whole selves to work and live their “Global” and “Real” lives.

At Kong, we’re a global, growing company . . . and we’re hiring! Check out the careers page for current job listings.

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