Claude Jones

Catherine Magaña  
Chair of the Board
Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce  

Last year, the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce hosted it’s first Virtual CBAD Awards Week. It was a week full of inspirational videos, connections, pivoting, and recognizing some of the best of the best in the business community. It was a highlight for me and a chance to unite and celebrate our resilient community.

Led by Sr. Director of Engineering Claude Jones, Walmart Labs was awarded Best Place to Work as a large company for 2020. As you may know, this company has a different name now, Walmart Global Tech.

With a team of 15,000+ software engineers, data scientists, and service professionals within Walmart, Walmart Global Tech delivers innovations that improve how their customers shop and empower 2.2 million associates worldwide.

According to Jones, “if you really were to break Walmart Global Tech down, what it celebrates is Walmart as a company, helping to serve millions of customers every day to help them shop with ease. Then you have the global aspect of it, our impact being global with our tech presence. Walmart Global Tech is combining how we’re bridging the physical Walmart stores with the digital aspect of it.”

A great place to work comes with creating a culture that supports a proper work-life balance. As employees transitioned to a virtual setting last year, Jones says his company made significant efforts to maintain company culture even online.

“With everyone feeling either the pressure to deliver or work more because we were not present at work, setting boundaries and good habits was important,” said Jones, who currently serves as the site lead at Walmart Global Tech.

An innovative way to develop ideas for a new way of working was to seek input from employees through a “reimagine contest”. A chance to reimagine collaboration, culture, workspace and much more. As Jones put it, “it was an opportunity for associates to push forward their ideas, what they wanted to do to see change on working in this new virtual space. It brought the voice of the associates together and had them be part of the solution. And it helped, and it made them feel… we’re in this together.”

While in the past, there were fun activities, team events and happy hours in person, some teams moved to virtual activities such as comedy and magic shows, virtual bartender, yoga, and gardening tips to keep employees engaged and have a little fun.

While Jones has no insight on plans for the Carlsbad office space, Walmart has publicly announced that tech employees will continue working remotely post pandemic, and Walmart’s global chief technology officer, Suresh Kumar, told the tech team that office space “will be used primarily for collaboration, to sync up and strengthen camaraderie.”

It remains clear to me why Walmart Global Tech was awarded the Best Place to Work in 2020, a great company that promotes a culture of work, life, balance.