Rhiza Blog

Why I’ll Never be Hangry Again

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Rhiza moved from the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh to Pittsburgh’s Shadyside a few months ago and for the first time we had an unshared office space.  At first I grumbled about the diminished availability of fast, cheap lunches, but gradually our fully stocked kitchen has replaced fast-food sushi and noodles in my heart.  Each Tuesday we walk over to the neighborhood fancy-pants grocery store and walk back with the food that we’ll eat that week… all paid for by Rhiza.  If we run out of something, someone eventually walks over to the store and replaces it.

The stocked kitchen is my favorite perk ever.  It keeps all of us fed with exactly what we like to eat.

When we get together as a company sometimes we talk about being a “Healthy Lifestyle Company”.  But after years working here I’m still not sure that fits exactly.  I’m not sure what “healthy” means in that context?  We definitely do not go to the gym together, plenty of cookies come back from the store with us, and no one makes us eat our vegetables.

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Maybe it’s that in an industry of excess when it comes to working hours, we dwell in the “sane” end of the spectrum and that’s what we mean by healthy.  However, I don’t know if we should be bragging that we don’t burn out our workers and let them spend time with their families; that’s what everyone should be doing by default.

Instead, I think Rhiza is more suited to be a “Quality Lifestyle Company”.

My working hours are usually dictated by my daughter’s school schedule, so I’d rather work as efficiently as possible and take the minimum amount of time away from my desk.  I know that there is going to be good, delicious, (often) healthy food in the office fridge that is there when I want it.  And when I’m lost in programming, but hungry, I know I can keep the ten things I need to remember in my head while I take a few seconds to grab an orange or some almonds to keep me from falling over.  If I don’t have time for breakfast there will be Greek yogurt or oatmeal that I can eat while going over my email.  Finally, I don’t spend any extra time or money shopping for my lunch foods outside of work.

And that’s what I mean by quality.  Rhiza does little things that make my life as a worker (and also human being who likes food) better.  At this point in my life time means everything.  If I can save time in the mornings, or get more done during the workday, or not have to run back home because I forgot my lunch then these are things that make my life perceptibly better.

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In exchange, Rhiza gets better worker output during the workday as well as people better engaged in the workplace rather than walking around hangry (= hungry/angry [guilty!]) at about 2:30 in the afternoon.  Plus, you get a good amount of employee morale for not that much money per person every week.  Evidence: I am writing this blog post unsolicited, though it is a good excuse to post pictures of my lunches online.

Are you interested in having lunch with us?  Rhiza is hiring!

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