High-end software services company Next Level Solutions is headquartered in Springfield, with additional offices in South Carolina, Puerto Rico and Honduras and another 25% of the organization working remotely.
A collaborative work environment is the basis of the culture at the software solutions company.
“Something we strive for daily is an open-door policy,” said COO Michael Smith, adding that the nature of Next Level’s mission depends on the ability to interact collectively and constantly.
To that end, the office has an open floor plan where employees have direct access to anyone at any level of the company. There is also an emphasis on creativity without the hassle of slogging through bureaucracy or red tape.
“We really push people to be innovative and incentivize them to create utilities or different IP that can be beneficial to them, to the organization and to the client,” said Smith. “I want people to come into my office and say, ‘Do you know what would be really cool?’ and then work with them to make it happen.”
In order to show employees that their personal lives outside of work are valued, Next Level decided to flip the script on the phrase “work-life balance” by changing the wording to “life-work balance.”
“There is definitely a focus on life-work balance,” said Smith. “We want to make sure you’re staying healthy and happy, especially with some of the things we’ve all had to deal with the last year and a half.”
Community Involvement, Family Dynamic
Next Level works with Unfiltered, an organization dedicated to helping the unsheltered population, and has sponsored events for Boys and Girls Clubs and other nonprofits.
“We actively encourage participation in nonprofit organizations for our employees,” said Smith. There are times when an employee is moved to bring something to the attention of the company, and we will try to help in whatever way we can.”
Next Level Solutions also focuses on family. “I think what really sets us apart is the emphasis on a family dynamic and taking care of the people that work here,” said Smith.
When Honduras was hit by two hurricanes in 2020, employees pooled resources and sent disaster recovery packages to the communities that were impacted.
“We lock arms and we pull together,” said Smith. “From day one, we set out to acknowledge that our assets in this organization are the people that work here. And without them, we can’t be successful.”
Read the profiles of this year's honorees.