Hail to the Company Kitchen

Written by Rajat Bhargava on August 1, 2014

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In the fun spirit of Friday, I’ve put together this post on an innocuous constant of many companies: the kitchen.

Our office shares space with MobileDay, another company our serial entrepreneur CEO Rajat Bhargava co-founded, so our kitchen gets a lot of use between the employees of the two companies. Day to day our kitchen hosts cold storage space, room to make lunch, handy OSHA reminders (my finger got stuck between two keys on my keyboard once, the jaws of life had to be called in), and all the coffee we could ever ask for. All of these things are great, but the kitchen truly is so much more. The kitchen is the catalyst for social interaction, office antics, and home to my personal favorite appliance, the sassy fridge.

A Kitchen Fridge with Spirit

See our fridge likes to be noticed. It will gladly let the world know its door is slightly ajar with a lovely BEEP BEEP BEEP three tone which conveys more emotion than I ever thought a fridge was capable of. The doors find a way to open with a surprising frequency that leads me to believe the fridge maintains some kind of sentient thought. It’s still open to debate whether the fridge acts alone, or in conjunction with the dishwasher and microwave in a hive-mind type collective conscious, but, I’m convinced the kitchen area knows when it hasn’t been used in a while.

Space to Socialize

On a busy workday it can sometimes be all to easy to get in the zone, put your head down, and drown out what’s going on around you. When everybody is in this mode, the kitchen provides a space to take a step back, and engage in some fun conversation for a quick break. There’s a semi-famous interview question Google uses that was the topic of a great talk a while back. The question asks the interviewee if they were shrunk to the size of nickel and tossed in a blender, how would they get out? Apparently the official answer is that if you’re shrunk to that size, your muscles acquire a certain strength ratio significant enough to allow you to simply jump out. This WSJ article goes deeper into the subject. But, the JumpCloud staff came up with a much better answer, the verdict:

It depends on what’s in the blender. If it’s full of margarita and you’re the size of a nickel, do you really want to get out?

A subject that seems to plague many company kitchens is the tender issue of food theft. However with JumpCloud and MobileDay, there haven’t really been any problems with this. I like to think it says a great deal about a company’s culture and people when food ownership is respected. Where this might be a source of contention and conflict in some organizations, our kitchen remains a harmonious haven for getting to know each other and sharing a beer or some leftovers here and there.

An Unsung Hero

And what does the kitchen ask for in return? Simply to be cleaned and kept company. It demands so little while giving us so much. The kitchen is our silent – BEEP BEEP BEEP – scratch that, not-so-silent steward of interaction, nourishment, and entertainment. So let’s have a round of applause for the company kitchen! If you’d like to experience our unique kitchen yourself, we’re currently hiring. Oh, and we offer free 30-day trials of JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service® platform. As a cloud-based directory service, you can leverage capabilities such as hosted LDAPRADIUS-as-a-Service, multi-factor authentication, device management, True Single Sign-On™, and more. It will save you time, money, and headaches so you’re sure to have time to get to know your company kitchen a little better.

Rajat Bhargava

Rajat Bhargava is an entrepreneur, investor, author, and CEO and co-founder of JumpCloud. An MIT graduate with over two decades of high-tech experience, Rajat is a ten-time entrepreneur with six exits including two IPOs and four trade sales.

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