For twentysomething senior software engineers Pete Brousalis and Trey Springer, working in IT at Enova International is as much a lifestyle choice as a career decision. The hours are extremely flexible, says Brousalis. "I can stroll in at 10 o'clock and leave whenever I need to." And the fact that there's plenty to do near the financial services firm's Chicago headquarters is a huge draw, he adds.
So is the newly designed and lavishly appointed 18,000-square-foot open office space that spans the entire ninth floor of a downtown building. Springer describes it as a marketplace, or a "tech epicenter," with people coalescing around different projects. But employees can also work from home, in the cafeteria or in quiet rooms. "Every possible way you want to work is available to us," he says.
Personal spaces come equipped with "the latest, best hardware," according to Brousalis, including large monitors and high-end ergonomic chairs. "We're all spoiled," he says. "And in terms of software they're always encouraging us to use the most bleeding-edge tools we can get our hands on."
Enova offers both monetary rewards and recognition for successful completion of projects. And with a rapidly growing staff, there's plenty of room to advance. Springer, who has an interest in management, has two mentors, including CIO Fred Lee, with whom he meets weekly.
Lee makes the rounds every week to ask how each project team is doing. "It's those little things that make our lives easier," says Springer.