OC METRO - Smarthome Named One of Top Ten Best Companies to Work for in Orange County

OC MetroJune 7, 2007OC Metro - SmartLabsSMARTLABS Smarthome Named One of Top Ten Best Companies to Work for in Orange CountyHeadquartered: Irvine Website: Smartlabsinc.comCEO: Joe Dada Number of employees: 100 PRODUCT/SERVICE: Designs, manufactures and markets home automation and control products and technologies used for electronic home improvement. Best Benefit: "No email Fridays"Walk around SmartLabs, Inc. on a Friday and you?ll witness a majority of employees engaged in one-on-one meetings. Not the usual backs turned toward office doors and eyes glaring at monitors - all of which are healthy consequences of "No email Fridays."As face-to-face communication becomes a corporate America relic, this home automation products manufacturer believes one-on-one meetings are effective in breaking down hierarchical barriers. Online Marketing Specialist Jessica Hasenplaugh enjoys the morale boost that comes from a "No email Friday" visit by the VP of marketing. "It makes me feel important," she says. "The direct communication in general makes me feel more at ease with my co-workers, especially those with whom I don?t work as closely."Aside from its manager-sprinkled "fun committee," which enables employees to bond over bowling, miniature golf, picnics and monthly barbecues, SmartLabs regards its workers as internal customers and is strongly committed to helping them advance in their careers. Hasenplaugh, 30, has been with the company for nine months and was promoted after six months of working as an assistant. She now writes search engine ads and loves the challenge. "Through training and mentoring, our company supports employees as they grow in any direction they?re willing to take," says Chief Information Officer Mike Nunes - a 12-year employee who?s risen from head of technical support to operations manager to VP of software development and now CIO. "We really focus on developing people and recognize our company is only as strong as the people who work here," Nunes says. - Judy Asman

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