Skip to main content

Blog Post

The Future of Work


Navigating the Future of Work: Cultivating Connection at Vectara

See how Vectara is evolving work using savvy tools, processes and events to keep a high-performing team engaged, inspired, and connected

As the world gradually emerged from the challenges posed by the pandemic, I found myself transitioning from the dynamic environment of Google to the innovative realm of Vectara, a Generative AI Start-Up. It was an opportunity to have a direct impact on the growth of a new company. As the Head of Staff reporting directly to the CEO, one of my primary responsibilities was shaping the company culture. This became particularly crucial as the corporate landscape shifted toward the adoption of hybrid work models, blending in-person and remote collaboration.

The initial dilemma was clear – how do we foster the sense of connection and camaraderie that thrived in the office while accommodating the diverse needs of our global team? Money and productivity were important considerations, but for me, it was about preserving the essence of human connection that defined our workplace culture.

Our first attempt, “Together-Time,” involved a mix of in-person and virtual work with cameras on. Despite good intentions, it proved impractical, as staring at screens while working felt intrusive and unnatural. It was time to reassess and devise a strategy that would truly resonate with our international team.

Vectara team photo - February, 2024

Image 1.Lunch break at the office with teammates (including some of our dogs)

Finding Balance in a Hybrid World:

  • Global Summit:
    • We introduced an annual Global Summit, a monumental event where our team from around the world gathers in person for interactive, strategy-focused days. This not only fosters teamwork but also provides a foundation for our interactions throughout the year.
  • Small Groups:
    • Local teams in Silicon Valley meet weekly, while other teams are encouraged to organize regional meet-ups. These gatherings range from 2-day meetings in Pakistan to casual meals in New York, fostering localized connections.
  • Global Fun:
    • Monthly half-day sessions are dedicated to virtual or regional fun activities. Team members are encouraged to spend the day enjoying themselves, capturing moments shared on our dedicated Slack channel.
  • Roam:
    • Embracing the informal and spontaneous nature of personal interactions, we were in the beta trial and incorporated Roam, an app facilitating virtual encounters. It’s a game-changer, allowing virtual ‘door knocks’ and visualizing team availability during the workday. At less than $10/employee per month, this gave us the virtual connection we were looking for. 
  • Coffee Chats:
    • Quarterly virtual coffee chats in randomly assigned groups of four provide opportunities for team members to connect on a personal level, fostering a deeper sense of camaraderie.
  • Direct Team Events:
    • Sub-teams are empowered to organize connection meetings and events tailored to enhance both bonding and productivity.


Balancing Costs and Impact:

While we invest in the grandeur of Global Summits, our mindful spending aligns with our collective ownership mentality. The end goal remains effective collaboration, and our company-wide engagement survey indicates that we’re successfully achieving this.

Our success lies in not imposing together-time but rather supporting it organically. We recognize the evolving nature of the work world and have tailored our approach to suit the industry, employee locations, and the lasting changes in work dynamics.

If you’re passionate about company culture, let’s connect on LinkedIn. I’m eager to exchange ideas and learn from your experiences. You can also reach out to our Vectara recruiting & culture team at Together, let’s continue shaping a workplace where connection thrives in the hybrid era.


Recommended Content


Explore Open Positions at Vectara - Join Us!

It takes a lot to keep up with the staffing needs of a startup in the GenAI space. Explore our job postings and if a position fits your skill set, apply!

Vectara Open Positions
Resource Image
Close Menu