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Zappos Installs Solar Panels

Here comes the sun! - and Zappos is taking full advantage of the more than 300 sunny days a year in Las Vegas to generate clean electricity using new photovoltaic solar panels. For the first time in company history, Zappos installed 66 280-Watt solar panels creating an 18.48 kW solar array on the roof of our Z-Bistro

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Las Vegas is known as a solar hot spot with excellent solar radiation. The deserts around Las Vegas are home to some of the world’s largest solar arrays including the 64 MW Nevada Solar One power plant and the 390 MW Ivanpah Solar Power Facility. Additionally, many Las Vegas residents are adding small solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems to the rooftops of their homes. That rocks!

The 18.48 kW Zappos Bistro solar project might be small in comparison to the ones mentioned above, but it’s our first step towards clean, renewable energy while our sustainability team researches larger solar installations. We certainly are proud parents!

Check out this sweet time-lapse video of the installation filmed by the awesomely talented Zappos A/V team.

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf           

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Loving Your Job

If you are just doing what you love, you are doing it wrong!
 
Okay, I apologize, that was kind of for shock value, but please let me explain it a little more by sharing my journey with you. A long time ago, I heard about the Confucius saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” So I thought that if someone paid me to do what I love (programming), I would have a job I loved. Do what you love. Simple, right? Wrong!
 
Just 1 of the 7
Wrong because I have experienced first-hand what it feels like to hate doing what you love. The first time it happened, I convinced myself it was because of the pay and the outdated technology. Surely, if I found a job with better pay and newer technologies, I would love it!

Inside Zappos, Zappos Culture, Zappos Core Values, Zapponians, Zappos Insider, Zappos Insider program, loving your job, Zappos jobs, Zappos careers, Jobs at Zappos, Zappos Employees, Zappos HQ, The second time it happened, it left me frustrated and made me question whether I truly loved coding. How is it possible to hate two different jobs that paid me to do what I thought I loved? I talked to some of my friends and realized I wasn’t alone. In fact, according to Gallup, “70% of American workers are ‘not engaged’ or ‘actively disengaged’.” Why are 7 out of 10 Americans not engaged? More importantly, how could I be one of the other three?
 
Not Even Zappos
Moving on, I decided to apply for a job at Zappos because of their culture. I figured, if I didn’t love working there, I probably didn’t truly love software engineering. I was pretty excited to get an offer from them to work on their Enterprise Data Warehouse team. I learned quite a bit on that team and worked with some really smart people, but still, I didn’t love what I was doing. Not even at Zappos! 
 
Serendipity and Culture
I didn’t hate working at Zappos, but I didn’t love it either. I found that I enjoyed collaborating with fellow Zapponians and also liked the culture, but the work didn’t speak to me. I tried many different things working on various projects, then one day it clicked. Many random events led to me focusing all my efforts to quantify “culture” at Zappos, but how the heck does one measure culture? 
 
Relationships
The question really piqued my interest. I started working with a small group of people who asked themselves the same question. Going into it, I had no idea how we would measure culture. Thankfully, I was working with some pretty smart people and they knew where to look first. We started by asking Zapponians “why do you like working at Zappos?” The overwhelming response was other Zapponians, more specifically the relationships that they had within Zappos. Furthermore, we dug a little deeper, did some research, and found that there are actually three types of relationships that people have at work.

  1. The relationship you have with other people in your company.
  2. The relationship you have with your company and its higher purpose.
  3. The relationship you have with yourself and your passion.

That’s great, relationships and culture, so what? What do relationships have to do with loving your job?
 
Finding Love
While trying to quantify culture, I really started enjoying my job. In fact, I came to love my job. Amazingly, it wasn’t just the coding that I enjoyed, I began to like doing things I normally dreaded. Things like reading lengthy research papers, giving presentations, sifting through spreadsheets…I loved all of it! Looking back, I realized the problem was that I spent way too much time looking for a job based on “what” I would be doing. When I should have been thinking about “who” I would be doing it with and “why” I would be doing it. Uh duh, or ah ha!
 
The 4 Ps
To summarize what I learned, I have distilled “loving your job” into 4 P’s and some related questions. I would be lying if I said this is the end-all-be-all of finding a job you love, but it would have helped me get there sooner.

  1. People: does the company create a trust-building environment?
  2. Purpose: what is the company’s higher purpose?
  3. Passion: does the company’s purpose speak to you? Or, does the company help you understand yourself by creating a space for you to explore and get meaningful feedback?
  4. Power: does the company allow you to contribute to its higher purpose by doing what you love with people you trust?

What questions do you consider during interviews?
 
The Zappos Insider Program
We believe that you shouldn’t wait to create the first two relationships (people and purpose). We believe that before you even start at Zappos, you should know the people that you will be working with and what we are all about. We also want to get to know you and see where your passions align with ours. This is why we have created the Zappos Insider program. We want to help you answer questions like:

  • Will I be working with like-minded people?
  • Will I be working with people I can trust?
  • What is the company’s higher purpose?
  • Am I passionate about the higher purpose?
  • Will I be able to contribute to the purpose?

Still Learning
So does Zappos have the “secret sauce” all figured out? Nope. We are still experimenting and learning how to make Zappos a place people love to “work”.

Help us learn more quickly by sharing your experiences with jobs that you have loved! Leave a comment below OR tweet us: @insidezappos!

Zappos Garage Lighting Retrofit

Here’s a story to brighten your day! ;) On May 29th, we completed a retrofit of the Zappos South Garage’s lighting by replacing the old, yellow high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures with bright white, energy-efficient induction lighting fixtures. The Zappos garage is quite large and offers parking for more than 600 cars.

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Garage lighting retrofit projects are the ultimate low-hanging fruit in the sustainability world. In addition to providing superior illumination, the Zappos retrofit is projected to reduce the annual energy consumption of the garage by two thirds! That’s 323,000 kWh/year; the equivalent of roughly 25 homes and a reduction of 223 metric tons of CO2e emissions.

Induction lighting is really cool and dates back more than a century to when Nikola Tesla advanced the technology in the 1890s. Induction is unique because the power required to generate light is transferred from outside the lamp envelope to the gas inside via an electric or magnetic field. Benefits of induction include long life spans, low heat output and excellent color. The Zappos induction lamps are even more advanced. The lamps have two brightness levels, dimming controls, daylight sensors and occupancy sensors – reducing the “ON” hours and saving even more energy!

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: @Zappos_leaf       

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Zappos Earns LEED Gold Certification

Hi friends!

The Zappos LEAF team wanted to share with you this very exciting press release that was issued last week! We are so proud to have earned LEED Gold certification for the new Zappos Las Vegas headquarters! A heart felt THANK YOU to all of our consultants, architects, contractors, project managers, and Zappos leaders that made this certification a reality!

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Las Vegas, NV – May 15, 2014 – Zappos.com, Inc., a leading destination in online apparel and footwear sales, is proud to announce that it has been awarded LEED® Gold certification for New Construction and Major Renovation, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is also internationally accepted as the standard for design, construction, and operation of high performance “green” buildings. The LEED system promotes a holistic approach to sustainability by recognizing five areas of human environmental health: sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Zappos earned LEED Gold for New Construction and Major Renovation by renovating the 300,000 square foot Las Vegas City Hall; a staple of the downtown skyline. The Zappos headquarters relocated from Henderson, Nevada in October 2013 in order to blend Zappos’s unique culture of customer service with that of the urban Las Vegas community, while also considering the environmental impact of Zappos’s presence in the southwest.

The project was awarded points toward LEED Gold certification in the following ways:

  • A 25% reduction in energy use against the baseline consumption
  • Landscape irrigation and domestic water fixture improvements yielding a 57% reduction in water consumption against the baseline consumption
  • More than 20,000 yards of low-emitting, C2C certified Shaw EcoWorx carpeting, which contains 44.4% recycled content
  • A waste management plan during construction that led to over a 75% total waste diversion rate
  • 48 preferred parking spaces for Low Emitting and Fuel Efficient (LEFE) vehicles, as well as four electric car charging stations
  • A lighting power density (LPD) of 0.57 Watts per square foot—nearly half the average office LPD of 1.0 Watt per square foot
  • Allocation of less than 100 square feet per employee, therefore less energy used per square foot per employee (kWh/ ft2/employee)
  • Enhanced Commissioning (Cx) to verify that systems operate according to planned requirements (typically yields 5-16% additional improvements in efficiency)
  • Herman Miller furniture in workspaces and conference rooms comprised of total pre-and post-consumer recycled content ranging between 24 and 67%

In September and October of 2013, Zappos smoothly transitioned 1,500 employees to the newly renovated, 300,000 square foot headquarters over a period of 40 days. Brad Tomm, senior manager of campus operations and sustainability, managed logistics for the move and also spearheaded the campaign for LEED certification with the assistance of The Cadmus Group, a social good consulting firm. “We are excited and humbled to have earned this prestigious certification for our new headquarters. The benefits of building to LEED standards will be enjoyed by our Zappos family, the community, and the environment”, said Tomm.

Check out more awesome news from LEAF on Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: @Zappos_leaf

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Zapponian Spotlight: Stephanie H.

At Zappos, we like to make sure that Customer Loyalty Team has someone they can turn to if they need some additional information. This is called the Resource Department. We also like to make sure the Resource Department (“RDesk” for short) has someone they can turn to if they need additional information. This role is called the quartermaster. They are like the Resource Department’s resource department! They have even more Inception-like qualities.

One such quartermaster is the indefatigable Stephanie H. The H stands for “hunka burnin’ love”. Ok, that’s not actually true. The H is a closely guarded Zappos secret. I sat down with Stephanie to see what other secrets she might have…

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First question is a challenge. If you answer it, you receive one point. Then at the end of the interview, we’ll see who has the most points.

SH: Wait, so I’m competing against you, and you know the answers to everything? 

No, I don’t know the answers to everything. If you feel like you have any challenges you wish to issue during the interview, you are free to do so. You should know that gives me opportunities to pass you in point. Ok, are you ready?

SH: Yes.

Ok, that is one point for you since you got that one right. Now for question two. Can you describe for me what quartermasters do. But your answer must be an acrostic that spells the word “pirate”!

SH: Ok, so P- I help “please” the team. If they have questions, I help answer them. Or if they need anything like tissues because their nose is running --

Or they’re crying.

SH: Or they’re crying. I‘m there to wipe their tears. And their nose. Ok, the letter I. Can I just make the “I” me? I’m quartermaster so “I”. R is “run around and dance”. A is --

(At this point, a Zappos Insights tour group from Taiwan joins us in the UFO meeting room…)

SH: A for “all kinds of stuff”. T for “telephone”, I answer that. E for “excitement”…

(the Taiwanese tour group applauds here)

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and why?

 

SH: Whether I’m hungry or not, because my answers will have a lot to do with whether I’m hungry or not--or grumpy. But if I’ve had food, I’m a happier person.

Wow. If you ever get interviewed again, I hope someone asks you that question.

Anyway, next question. So, you notice there’s this pad and pen in front of you. To a layman, it might seem more logical for the pad to be in front of me. But I assure you this is not an error. For your next question, you must explain what Zappos culture means to you. But while you answer, you must close your eyes and draw a rabbit.

SH: Umm, ok.  [draws bunny] To me, the Zappos culture means that I can go to work, and I can have a fun time. I still get my work done, but I can dance around in between calls, and I can sing and express myself. 

Keep answering until the bunny is done! You ran out of answer before you ran out of bunny!

SH: Is that cheating? Oh no! And yeah that’s it!

Stephanie puts the pen down. I hold up the drawing of the bunny.

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Stephanie's rabbit & a real rabbit for reference.

The tour group “oohs” and “ahhs”.

If you could be any kind of shoe, what would you be?

SH: I would be an Alexander McQueen heel because I can’t afford one.

That is the end! Thanks so much Stephanie for taking the time to do this Zapponian Spotlight interview!

Oh, and those tourists? Some say that they are still in the Zappos UFO to this very day, whispering things that you can’t understand. ‘Til next time!

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Zappos Makes FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For ® List!

Zappos.com is thrilled to have made the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For ® list for the 6th year in a row! 

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Thank you FORTUNE for recognizing Zappos alongside the best workplaces in the country. 

We're thankful and humbled by our employees who work every day to make this recognition a possibility and we look forward to maintaining this standard employment throughout the year.  

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In honor of our 38th place on the top 100 list, we're starting the day right here in DTLV, with donuts of course! 

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Maui Jim Spreads the Aloha Spirit to Zappos HQ

2,681 miles. That’s the distance that separates the islands of Hawaii from Las Vegas. But at the beginning of this week, the aloha spirit was only yards away when our friends from Maui Jim dropped by to spread a little Hawaiian love to Zappos HQ.

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The lifestyle eyewear brand handed out close to 500 Maui Jim blue leis, brochures about their amazing sunglasses and flip-flop bottle opener key chains. They also let Zapponians try on the latest styles of Maui Jim Polarized sunglasses to show off their beautiful color clarity and glare protection.

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The best part of the Maui Jim visit, however, was arguably the three beautiful hula dancers they brought along, accompanied by live Polynesian drum beats! They even did some impromptu hula lessons for brave Zappos employees who didn’t mind getting down Hawaiian style in front of co-workers!

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A big “mahalo” (thank you) goes out to the Maui Jim Ohana (family) for visiting our campus and spreading the aloha spirit!

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SHOP MAUI JIM >>

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Introducing: The New Z-Bistro

Hi everyone! Zappos L.E.A.F. is psyched to introduce you to our brand new “Z-Bistro”! It’s a great addition to our LEED-certified (pending) campus and fits well with our overall sustainability initiatives. To start, we renovated one of Clark County’s oldest libraries into this stunning new employee dining room we call the Z-Bistro.

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We preserved and refurbished the old concrete floors and wooden ceiling trusses to create an awesome, eye-catching exposed floor and ceiling. We cozied up a traditional looking dining room with comfortable furniture, a reading lounge and warm color tones. When it’s nice outside, Zapponians can hang out on the lighted outdoor patio and enjoy the beautiful desert weather.

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In an effort to be more sustainable, we implemented numerous initiatives aimed at reducing waste and water consumption. We have washable plates, cups, and utensils that can be washed over and over again in our water efficient dishwasher (a change from our last campus dining room) and for meals “to-go” we provide 100% compostable utensils, cups, plates and bowls.

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To reduce waste we have single-use napkin dispensers, bulk condiment dispensers and we went trayless to reduce food waste (even though we would have loved to use the trays for sand dune sledding!). We continue to compost our food scraps with a local composter, keeping tons of food scraps out of the landfill by repurposing them for tasty mulch. Most importantly, the new Z-Bistro has transitioned toward healthier and seasonal offerings, including fresh local ingredients; we even started growing herbs in our own backyard herb garden!

These are just some of the awesome features of our new Z-Bistro. We’ll be sharing more updates soon about the sustainable features of the entire downtown campus, so please stay tuned!

Check out more exciting news from LEAF on Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: #zappos_leaf