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How Perpay created the ultimate in-person work experience

These team members say they love going into the Center City Philadelphia office at the mission-based fintech company where beauty meets function.

The Perpay team gathered in their Center City office. (Courtesy photo)

This article is sponsored by Perpay and was reviewed before publication. Perpay is a Talent Pro client.

When designing Perpay’s new office at 2400 Market St. in early 2020, founder and CEO Chris DiMarco envisioned a home away from home.

It would be a space “that prioritized visibility to decision making, encouraged rapid learning and mentorship opportunities in an environment that was as comfortable — maybe even more — as working from home,” DiMarco said.

He believed that this would allow employees to accelerate career growth while simultaneously contributing to the company’s success.

True to his vision, upon your first step inside Perpay’s office, you are greeted by people surrounding a bustling coffee bar, equipped with a state-of-the-art espresso machine, a colorful range of sparkling waters, and an array of cold brew coffees and beers on tap. In case you’re not yet positive you’ve entered a sanctuary of collaboration and productivity, a dazzling abstract light fixture hangs above the bar as if the angels are singing, “Ahhhh!”

Peppered throughout the warehouse-sized industrial space are intimate work corners and conference rooms adorned with jewel-toned rugs, plush, deep couches and intricate Moroccan lamps. Floor-to-ceiling windows look out over 30th Street Station and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, filling every square foot of space with light.

“We wanted to hold meetings in rooms that felt comfy, not rigid,” DiMarco said. “When you’re conducting a review or interview, people are more relaxed in a space that feels like a living room.”

A true chef’s kitchen sits in the far left corner of the office. It features commercial-sized refrigerators, two stoves, two sinks and a snack pantry that would make your inner child swoon.

“We do our best to make it as easy as possible to spend your day here,” People Experience Manager Tara Hutchens said. “There’s food, coffee and a full-service kitchen. There’s nothing I need to stop for on the way to work that isn’t already here.”

With daily continental breakfasts, groceries for a variety of daily lunch options and weekly catered lunches from local Philadelphia favorites, the kitchen is where the entire team comes together to bond over a good meal, relax and refuel. It’s also the location for many of Perpay’s signature “Teach Me Something” events.

Photo of a group of Perpay employees sitting and conversing around a table in the kitchen area of their office.

Perpay team members in the office’s kitchen area. (Photo courtesy of Perpay)

Born out of a standard Perpay interview question, these events are typically focused around a team member sharing their individual talent or passion with the rest of the team. Topics have ranged from pizza and hot sauce making to oyster shucking and crypto 101.

“We designed this space to transition from traditional work to team events seamlessly,” DiMarco said. Case in point: Perpay recently transformed its space to be the host for 200+ technology workers for’s NET/WORK event as part of 2023’s Philly Tech Week presented by Comcast. “We simply gave passionate people the tools and space to create and collaborate — and they made it happen.”

Photo of two people high-fiving in a conference room at Perpay's office.

The Tech Industry Partnership meeting before NET/WORK 2023 at Perpay. (Photo courtesy of Perpay)

Perpay builds simple, transparent and inclusive financial products for anyone with a paycheck. Since its founding in 2016, the social impact-driven tech company has evolved from helping people pay for big ticket items based on income, to helping them build credit, as well.

Team members rally around the belief that everyone deserves access to financial peace of mind. Perpay’s office is designed specifically to nurture that mission through thoughtful collaboration and communication. The open layout has the business operations team, who sit on the front lines of customer success, positioned strategically between the Product & Design team, CEO and the Commerce team — shortening the feedback loop from customer feedback to action. The most prominent design element, next to the distinctive lighting, is the presence of glass walls on all rooms, encouraging team members to draw out their ideas for other team members to see. For those looking for a more intimate conversation, you can make coffee, cozy up on a couch and chat as if you’re at someone’s apartment.

Photo of two technologists sitting on a couch and chatting in Perpay's office.

Perpay’s office has many areas to foster conversation and collaboration. (Photo courtesy of Perpay)

“When people come in, we want them to see that not only is this a space where you can feel comfortable, but where you can have all the access to people and tools you need to do your job,” Hutchens said.

For Office Coordinator Jeremy Richardson, taking a job at Perpay was a literal breath of fresh air. Formerly a staff assistant for the respiratory care department at Penn Medicine, Richardson worked in a stuffy basement with florescent lighting. He was pleasantly amazed at the interior of Perpay’s office, but it was the creative flexibility and autonomy that had him excited to go to work every day.

“When I started, they gave me a small list of things I’d manage, but not how to do it or what it should look like,” Richardson said. “I was encouraged to draw my own map — I’d never experienced so much autonomy. I wanted to grab the opportunity by the horns.”

Richardson works hard to maintain the home-away-from-home vibes by personalizing the office experience based on the personalities and size of the team.  This includes a constantly evolving assortment and steady flow of food and beverages, as well as planning events like Perpay Day (the company’s annual team member appreciation event). Most recently, that involved organizing an elaborate day of speakers, team building experiences involving Legos and tailgating before the entire team of 60 went to a Coldplay concert.

Photo of the Perpay team gathered around a table with LEGOs in their office.

A Perpay Day team activity. (Photo courtesy of Perpay)

Software engineer Taylor Gannon was new to Philly and feeling isolated working from home when she considered taking a job at Perpay.

“As soon as I came into the office to interview, I saw the teams drawing out their ideas on the conference room walls, and I knew right away I could imagine myself working here,” she said.

Beyond the office aesthetics, Gannon — who previously worked in manufacturing — was excited to build products she believed in, surrounded by a team aligned around a common mission. She formed her own relationship with the office, going in before everyone else to take advantage of the quiet and getting first dibs at the drip coffee. Over the course of a day, Gannon moves throughout the office quite a bit, working alongside coworkers in meeting rooms or the dev cave (the nickname for where the engineers sit), having tea breaks at the coffee bar, joining colleagues for a quick walk along the Schuylkill River just steps from the office and hopping into a room to interview prospective engineering candidates directly.

“When I’m making tea in the afternoon, it leads to conversations with coworkers that wouldn’t happen if we were on our laptops all day,” Gannon said. “This space gives us so many opportunities to talk and collaborate outside of meetings and Slack. It’s such a pleasant place to come into every day.”

“This space reminds me we’re still in a world with other people,” she added. “It’s easy to disconnect and get lost when all you do is Zoom or make phone calls. Proximity breeds alignment and helps us move faster towards our common goals. There’s just no comparison to being here in person.”

Learn more about Perpay

Companies: Perpay

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