Best Places to Work 2012

EPrize Is No. 28 on Ad Age's Best Places to Work List

Agency Stresses a Team-First Culture Where Free Food Is the Norm

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Many companies touting their culture cite an open office layout as the physical manifestation of a team-first environment. But digital-promotions agency ePrize "takes it to the next level," according to CEO Matt Wise. All desks sit on wheels, so staffers can roll their entire workstation to another pod to work on group projects.

That ability doesn't just promote the idea of collaboration but actually results in it, according to Mr. Wise. "People are moving daily," he said. "When we have big projects or intense client demands, this helps with camaraderie."

EPrize has also created the concept of the "team lead," a fellow employee to offer guidance to less-experienced staff without the judgment that might come from a direct manager. It's also a way to empower those who aren't officially supervisors. Prize rewards performance both formally and informally. It has a peer-nominated program culminating in winners' (in categories that include Rookie of the Year) being announced via an actual envelope-opening ceremony. Honorees receive both gag and high-priced prizes, such as iPads. Every year, the leadership selects one stellar employee to receive an all-expenses-paid vacation in London, and an extra week of vacation to take the trip. All five runners-up get an iPad.

Food, specifically of the free nature, also figures prominently in an employee's life at ePrize. Managers occasionally cook breakfast after strong work on a departmental project. It's not uncommon for lunch to be ordered in for everyone. And ePrize has been known to call an ice-cream truck to the front entrance on warm summer days.

Though not free, in-house massages and yoga sessions are offered weekly. And ePrize matches employees' 401(k) contributions -- far from a given for a post-recession workforce.

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