A local software company was recognized earlier this month for its unconventional work environment and unique opportunities, which draws a large number of Univeristy of Wisconsin college graduates each year.
Epic Systems, a company that designs software for medical groups and health care organizations, was listed as number one in a ranking of the “10 Cool Office Spaces” by Forbes Magazine for its headquarters in Verona.
“We’re pretty excited about it,” Jamie Bjorklund, a member of the Human Resources department, said. “It sort of came out of the blue [and] we didn’t know we were being considered for it.”
Bjorklund explained the company stands out because increasing productivity was the motivation behind the design of the headquarters. The architecture and interior design of the campus is the reason they were named to the list, she said.
According to Bjorklund, the company wanted to have one central campus where everyone is located because it encourages communication. Communication is the key to making integrated software, she said.
The company’s central campus is split into many different buildings and every employee has individual offices, according to Bjorklund. She explained the company did not want to incorporate cubicles into the design because they negatively impact productivity.
She said it is important for employees not to feel as though they are a cog in a machine. The company wants everyone to feel like they have an impact, she added.
“I think [Epic] does not have a very corporate feel,” Bjorklund said. “We have a more whimsical approach.”
According to Bjorklund, the workspace provided by Epic is one of the reasons the company attracts many recent college graduates.
The company employs a wide range of people, but does a significant amount of campus recruiting, according to Bjorklund. With the university right in its backyard, UW graduates are often the target of many of Epic’s recruitment efforts, she said.
As a UW graduate herself, Bjorklund said she was also drawn to the company because there is a sense of purpose in the work they are doing.
The company’s motto is “Do good, have fun, make money.” She said there is appeal in getting into an industry where employees feel as though they are improving health care and improving the quality of care.
The location of the company in the Madison area is another appeal for many young people, according to Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8. Resnick, who works as the Vice President for Hardin Design and Development in Madison, was named one of UW’s Alumni Association’s Forward Under 40.
“The vitality of the city is one element that attracts people to the area,” Resnick said.
The city has a combination of everything: lots of energy, things to do and a vibrant nightlife, he said.
Another appeal of the city for recent college graduates is the cost of living, according to Resnick. The cost of living is not as high as bigger cities, such as Los Angeles or Chicago, and a dollar can go further, he said.
Bjorklund added the company offers young people the opportunity to get a lot of experience right away.
“Epic is a place a lot of people can come into positions and get a lot of responsibility for their work right from the get-go,” Bjorklund said.
Epic creates many job opportunities in the Madison area, keeping many bright people local, she said.