Blog Contributor photo   MISTY MUSHYNSKY | February 8, 2021 • 8 min read

All by Ourselves, Together

Ten of the longest months of our lives later, we still find ourselves working mostly or entirely from the comfort of our homes. Though technology has allowed us to stay connected virtually when required, our typical fun-loving family office atmosphere becomes harder and harder to maintain. We still meet as a team via computer for some face to face connection, and we collaborate daily on new ideas and best practices. However, that wickedly awesome office culture we had all taken for granted as part of our everyday lives (before the world changed) has dwindled. Don’t get me wrong; we are still the most fun crew of guys and gals that I know, just not as connected. And I find myself increasingly missing the daily in-person interactions with my work family.

So 2020 is in the rear-view mirror, and we enter 2021. At the start of a brand new year, on the first Monday of every January, our team gathers (virtually this year) to discuss what was and what will be. We review old budgets, present new budgets, applaud the past year’s accomplishments, and set new tasks and targets. You’ll probably guess what the most common suggestion was for our 2021 goals. That’s right! We all want more company events, more staff get-togethers, and to get back to our usual level of delightful daily shenanigans. It’s not just me! Everyone in our office is missing this connection!

A CREATIVE Workplace Culture

Things being what they are as we enter 2021, I think it is pretty clear that this will be a swing year. Some coworkers will continue to work from home, some will split their time between home and office, and some will return exclusively to the office. Whatever the set-up, a challenge remains; how do we revitalize and motivate everyone to be the culture-drivers they once were? Regardless of where we do our work or how often we get to see each other, how can we safely interact with each other on a more personal level? How can we re-establish our company culture into that secure and welcoming place where we all come to laugh, learn and grow? (With the occasional, mostly happy cry. Either way, we get each other through it!)

Historically here at CREATIVE, we have always had a designated team for our “Culture Committee.” Letting this initiative fall through the cracks instead of pivoting and forging on, whatever our means, was a mistake. Well, life is about learning lessons, and we are happy to report that CREATIVE has reinstated the Culture Committee for 2021!! As our general rules to interact/work/live are changing weekly, we have decided to plan activities only 2-3 months in advance, allowing us to take advantage of or abide by the day’s guidelines. Here are a few of our first initiatives to get our team re-engaged and re-connected.

CREATIVE Culture Initiative #1 – The Hockey Pool

CREATIVE Office Hockey Pool Team Names
Hockey Pool Image

A highly recommended activity, and sorry if you’re reading this too late, but there is no better way to bring out our real personalities than a good old-fashioned Hockey Pool! The daily memes, banter, name-calling, and general team-smashing makes my heart smile! Sigh! 😀 (FYI, I am currently in 3rd place. Go Penguins!) Our group did a moderate $20 buy-in. Prizes will be divvied up between 1st and 2nd place winners. 3rd place winners are awarded based on best meme/comment/insult. We vote on this one – the top three digs are usually pretty clear by the end of the season. 😈

CREATIVE Culture Initiative #2 – The Fitness Challenge

Commencing February 1st, our staff will be partaking in a 4 x 4-week Fitness Challenge. Typically everyone is looking to improve wellness habits at the beginning of the year, so why not do this with the people you interact with every day? We are in sales, and we are competitive creatures, so some friendly competition is our favorite pastime!

Here is how it works:

Step 1: Pick out some awesome swag to reward your challengers. I highly recommend contacting CREATIVE Promotional Marketing Agency for this swag; they have some fabulous ideas! 😉

Step 2: Set up your challenges, making sure that they accommodate everyone. Our staff range from 20 to 50+ years old, so we chose initiatives to ensure maximum participation. We also designed our challenges for people to set the specific exercises or tasks to an individual level that would challenge them. Every participant is accountable to complete and report back each week. ( i.e., walk __ thousand steps, do a ___ sec/min plank, ___ sit-ups, etc.) Set your level of challenge and report back with a complete or incomplete. Start with one or two daily challenges in the first week and grow to four or five daily challenges by week four.

Step 3: Reward your people for accomplishing the first four-week challenge with a fantastic swag item and move on to the next four-week challenge. A sneak peek at the next reward item never hurts and can be quite motivating!

CREATIVE Office Fitness Challenge promotional products

I am writing this blog at the end of January. As the creator and leader of this initiative, I can say that the hum and interest are happening! Lots of questions and best of all, lots of suggestions! 🙂 It’s clear that everyone is inspired to get on board and have that peer to peer connection!
*Pairing Apple watches ✅. Current energy level = motivated.

CREATIVE Culture Initiative #3 – Cookin’ and Cocktails

And so, we’ll have made it through to March! Weather TBD. COVID guidelines TBD. A virtual event it is!
Presenting our first ever “Cookin’ and Cocktails” event! (little confession; I added the cocktails part!)

CREATIVE Cooking Cocktails

We are currently submitting suggestions for the most sought-after dish that we all would like to make. Once this delicacy is selected, the winning recipe’s submitter will provide us with the required list of ingredients to have on hand. Said noted person then leads us all in a live virtual cooking class demonstrating how to prepare this delish dish. BYOC. (Bring Your Own Cocktail)

*Side note: I used to be a bartender, and I’m happy to make cocktail or wine pairing suggestions once you have selected your dish. (misty@acreativeagency.ca)

That brings us to the end of our first quarter! Inspired fun and motivating team-building collaborations abound!

Get CREATIVE Around Your Office

If you are a leader of your company’s culture initiatives, I leave you with these simple suggestions:

1. Don’t plan too far ahead. Keep each initiative or event within sight. A little suspense leading up to what might be next will create some anticipation!
2. Ensure everyone can participate. Don’t leave anyone out, and keep the whole team informed!
3. Participation rewards are cool, especially when ordering through CREATIVE Promotional Marketing Agency!
4. Ask for help and encourage suggestions. Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves, especially during these unusual times!

Pictures and posts of the above events will be available on CREATIVE Promotional Marketing Agency’s social media pages. Make sure to FOLLOW US on your favorite social media platform and watch our exciting journey unfold.

Misty Mushynsky photo

MISTY MUSHYNSKY  |  Misty is an energetic and hard working consultant driven by creating exceptional customer experiences. Misty brings 10 years of experience in promotional products to the team. In addition to providing her clients with unique, creative and intelligent product and marketing solutions, Misty also has a vast amount of knowledge and experience in helping clients with online programs. Email Misty to see how she can assist with the solution you are looking for! Email Misty today at misty@acreativeagency.ca