With technology’s rapid advancements in the last 20 years, it’s been getting easier and easier for companies to break free of the traditions of being tied to a physical location. They are able to find the right talent, no matter where they live and still achieve high levels of productivity.
But with that freedom comes the challenges. Sure, video conferences scheduled across various time zones are effective. But nothing beats person-to-person interaction. Organizations that either have multiple office locations or remote employees (or in Blytheco’s case, both) can sometimes find it difficult to establish and maintain a solid company culture.
It is worth the investment, then, to have a dispersed team get in the same physical space if only once a year. That’s where culture gets built and strengthened. It’s how team trust and cohesiveness organically grow.
This past week, Blytheco’s own marketing team was a shining example of an inherently remote team coming together to create organic synergy, magical ideas, deeper respect, (and can I dare say love?) for each other. Who knows, maybe our shared “abundance” meditation could have had something to do with that.
What was great about the environment was team members who are normally shy and reserved had no problems making important contributions at the right moments (we’re looking at you, Jennifer, and loving it!). Better still, quite a number of Blytheco Executives, team leaders, and stakeholders floated in and out of the sessions to collaborate on how best to achieve our shared goals.
The week-long intense closed-door sessions were regularly punctuated by the door opening with food and munchies. (Much gratitude to Shana and Chelsea!) The menu didn’t discriminate, ranging from burgers, fries, and chocolate dipped strawberries to healthy salads, grilled bowls, and veggies with hummus. Instead of the usual after lunch slump, we took team walks at a nearby park around a “babbling brook.” They helped power our afternoon sessions and produced more great ideas than yawns.
The bonding continued after hours too.Tuesday night we had our own “Chopped” styled cooking competition, held at The Wine Artist, where my Maroon Team made the best tasting food: a Street Taco’s with a Mango Cranberry Salsa. It was the talk of the office the following morning.
(Sadly, we lost on a technicality called creativity to the White Team’s Crostini’s).
Thursday evening was an intimate time hosted at COO Lori Seal’s house with a home cook meal orchestrated by marketing team Director Apryl Hansen and sous chefed by Greg, Michelle, and Gary. We played a hilarious round of “Two Truths and a Lie” and learned some very interesting facts about our co-workers.
And BTW, we did get lots of work done (lest you think all we did was have fun)! We determined our priorities for 2017, sketched out our initiatives and drafted our campaign calendar for next year.
With all the food, laughter, meditation, walking, and work that bonded us in four and a half days, Amber perfectly summed up our week Friday morning as we munched on donuts: it was Eat. Pray. Love. Marketing!