This week, Valve’s hipper-than-thou employee handbook was unleashed on the Internet, to much envy and amusement. Companies like Valve, Zappos, and Facebook spill on how they maintain continuity and culture using clever onboarding practices and simple reassurance.

In Douglas Adams’ famous book series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, space traveler Arthur Dent carries with him a galactic guidebook with the two words on the cover: “Don’t Panic.” Solid advice for a hapless spaceman. And perhaps for new hires, too.

On the first day of work, employees at Valve Software are handed a 56-page employee handbook (which hit the Internet this week, and where we got the illustrations in this story) and a desk with wheels. They’re then told to find something to work on. Appropriately, the handbook preface reads, “This handbook is about…how not to freak out now that you’re here.”

Read the rest on!