by Adrienne Teeley
October 11, 2019

Happy hours may be fun, but when it comes to work perks, Hallmark Labs digs even deeper.

By providing employees with excellent medical benefits, impressive parental leave policies, a 401(k) match program and more, the team at Labs ensures that their employees’ happiness lasts longer than a Friday afternoon. 

We talked with four key players at Hallmark Labs to learn how the company empowers them to balance a rewarding career with a fulfilling personal life while keeping their projects signed, sealed and delivered.

 

hallmark labs
Photography by McKenzie Smith 
hallmark la labs offices
Photography by McKenzie Smith 
hallmark labs
photography by McKenzie Smith 

 

FOUNDED: 2007

EMPLOYEES: 135

WHAT THEY DO: As the tech-enabling function of Hallmark’s overall business, Hallmark Labs is the driving force behind Hallmark e-cards, Hallmark Movies Now and other direct-to-consumer digital products and services.

WHERE THEY DO IT: Los Angeles

NEVER TAPPED: Not only does Hallmark Labs have a fully-stocked kitchen, but they have a froyo machine and cold brew on tap to boot. 

 

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Arnold Fulmer, Senior Database Engineer

From developing new systems to maintaining current ones, Arnold is responsible for ensuring all databases are running smoothly. His main goal for his team is to provide data integrity and availability for every Labs product. 

 

What has surprised you about Labs since first joining? 

People here value work-life balance to the point where project managers will plan tasks based on everybody’s time off and consider their personal lives. It’s the mentality of, “go ahead and take your time off.” We’re so open about this perk that it’s a constant conversation with all of the teams.

 

What’s it like to be a new parent at the company? How does Hallmark Labs support a healthy home life?

I have three kids (they’re all under 8 and the youngest is a year-and-a-half), so there are many times when I need to go to the pediatrician or the dentist. Two of them are in school and sometimes I have to go to parent-teacher conferences, holiday events or volunteering. The company is very accommodating when it comes to me taking time to attend those appointments with my kids.  
 

People here value work-life balance to the point where project managers will plan tasks based on everybody’s time off and consider their personal lives.”


Of all the perks your company offers, which ones matter most to you, and why?

The flexible PTO is very beneficial. I’ve used this perk for family trips: the first week of July we went to Palm Springs, and in January we went to the Philippines to attend my grandmother’s 100th birthday.

 

How else does Hallmark Labs encourage a healthy work-life balance for all employees?

We have a family YMCA membership, and the company’s fitness reimbursement program helps pay for that. It encourages my family to go workout together at the nearby YMCA.

 

hallmark labs collaboration

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Aurea Bautista, Senior Business Intelligence Manager

Aurea leads a team dedicated to building the data infrastructure for Hallmark Movies Now, the Shoebox Print-On-Demand app and more. With her team, she focuses on collecting valuable insights and data so the company can make more informed product decisions. 

A NEW FAVORITE: Aurea loves to hike and go to the beach, but lately she’s been a little tied up in caring for her newborn baby — her favorite activity yet. 

 

What first attracted you to the Hallmark Labs opportunity nearly three years ago?

It was the company’s environment. Tech companies are typically male-dominated, but I felt that there was a balance in the male-to-female work culture at Labs. They promote women in tech, and that sold me! 
 

It’s so great that Labs is thinking about the needs of female tech professionals who want to have a family and be available in the office environment. ”


Congratulations on your new baby! How did Hallmark Labs support you as a new mother?

During my pregnancy, my manager and team were very understanding about my doctor’s visits and working around my schedule. I was also able to work from home when I wasn’t feeling well. Because of their flexibility, I was able to still deliver on my projects while going through the process of being pregnant. 

Returning from maternity leave, I came back to my office with new furniture and a privacy screen so I could pump in the comfort of my office. They even offered to add a mini fridge! It’s so great that Labs is thinking about the needs of female tech professionals who want to have a family and be available in the office environment. 

 

How else does Hallmark Labs support new and existing parents? 

The work flexibility allows me to maximize on family bonding. It was the best time for me to be pregnant at Hallmark Labs; if I was pregnant at my previous companies, it wouldn't have been the same experience in terms of them understanding my needs. 

Hallmark Labs has one of the most generous maternity leave policies that I’ve seen. Additionally, our FSA plan offers daycare reimbursements, which is a huge bonus for households where both parents are working.

 

hallmark labs

hallmark labs

 

Matt Bagley, Product Manager

As a product manager, Matt works with the development team to create solutions that enable Hallmark Labs to better hit its goals and introduce new products that help them grow. With his team, he prioritizes problem-solving for both the customer and company, as well as flawlessly executing the fundamentals of their development process. 

 

What’s it like to be a soon-to-be dad at the company? 

It’s comforting to chat about shared experiences with my peers who are also new fathers — the “dads at Labs.” As I prepare to take paternity leave for the birth of my first child, my boss and the Labs HR team have been open to discussing my plan to take time off to bond with my baby. I feel that the company has great policies that support parents. 

 

What advantages does working for a tech company that’s backed by a major corporation have than a startup? 

In addition to being insulated from the uncertainty that accompanies working for a startup, a larger organization positioned as a thought leader in their industry provides the resources needed to make an impact at the company, as well as in the marketplace.  
 

Training and attending conferences have helped me with my professional development and made me more productive.”


Of all the perks your company offers, which ones matter most to you? 

The opportunities to get training and to grow professionally, as well as the chance to control the direction of your career and grow in the way you would like to. 

 

What perks have helped with your work productivity? How so? 

Training and attending conferences have helped me with my professional development and made me more productive. Also, offsite team-building exercises and company volunteer days are great opportunities to meet people you might not normally work with and understand how your roles can help each other be more productive. 

 

hallmark labs little hands

hallmark labs

 

Tony Smith, Director of Product Design

Tony leads the charge in designing new products for Hallmark Labs, taking care to collaborate with multiple teams within the company to ensure each new addition is valuable in helping the company and its users thrive.

 

When you first started at Hallmark Labs, what stood out to you about the opportunity?

I was shocked at how happy everyone was. As I waited in the lobby for my interview, people were briskly walking between meetings with smiles on their faces and saying hi to each other. That same vibe extended to the working relationships I developed, which is a core feature of our culture.

 

How do you prioritize a healthy work-life balance on your team? What effect does that have? 

I encourage the team to take advantage of our flexible paid time off policy to rest and recharge. My team also works from home on Fridays. It’s important to me that everyone has time to unplug and focus on what’s important to them. I also trust them to prioritize their time. The feedback I get is that they are challenged at work in a good way and aren’t burned out by constant pressure.
 

It’s important to me that everyone has time to unplug and focus on what’s important to them.”


Tell us about how Hallmark Labs supports professional growth. What resources have you taken advantage of? 

I gave my first talk at a design conference this year. Hallmark Labs was so supportive by giving me extra time off to attend the full conference and highlighted the accomplishment on social media. I was able to grow through my experience of public speaking while learning from my peers in the industry.

 

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