Who doesn’t want to go to work when they hear there’s pie for lunch?! But what’s a millennial to do in an office with no (zero) office events?? I wholeheartedly believe not only that work places should be fun, but that any one person has the power to change their work culture and environment with a lot of determination, hard work, dedication, and snacks. Keep reading for my three-step plan to get your coworkers out of their cubicles and listening to your corny pi jokes.
Step 1: Plan your own favorite event!
To get started pick an event that you are excited about – it can be a favorite club activity you enjoyed in college, a nerdy holiday you love to celebrate, or an excuse to go outside at lunch time. Whatever you choose its most important that you be excited about it as your attitude will and set the stage for your success. The ideal first event requires little from the participants other than showing up to participate. Some ideas to get started include: a pi day celebration, an office sponsored health and safety day breakfast to share lessons learned and complete H&S goals, or a potluck with an easy theme – maybe tacos!
My office started our first event off with a Pi( ) day celebration! Here’s my pie waiting to make its journey to the office.
Step 2: Be relentlessly friendly!
The title says it all – Be relentlessly friendly! This is my favorite compliment I have ever received, and I carry this mindset with me at work and at home. Remind your coworkers of the upcoming event, give them suggestions on what to bring if it’s a potluck event, and invite everyone in the office the day of, even if they don’t have anything to share. Bringing themselves is a great place to start! Remind people more than once and encourage their attendance! While you may feel annoying initially, there is no such thing as too many friendly reminders – people want to feel like you want them to attend, and you should want them to join in the fun! #peoplefirst
Sometimes people have unique contributions to make to the group event!
Step 3: Attendance is not personal, I promise!
A lack of attendance is not a reflection of your effort or dedication. It takes time for folks to come around to the ideas of having a fun office, contributing to the group events, and taking the time our of their days to invest in the people around them. Don’t take a slow start to events personally, continue to be relentlessly friendly and dedicated to continuing with events that make you excited and you will see your efforts pay dividends over time! Just last week a coworker came to my desk to make sure that we would be having our first cook out as soon as the NY snow melts!
But why bother?!
Office interactions and events not only improve job satisfaction, they provide a critical opportunity for interactions between unlikely coworkers where we all grow as Arcadians, professionals, and as people generally. For example, the new summer intern may learn more about a different business line or the career story of one of our vice presidents; a senior engineer could find a new talent to help on a tight deadline; or you could learn about a cool hobby one of your coworkers enjoys – like curling! While this seems like an easy concept to some, the value of interaction between coworkers should highly valued and encouraged, there’s no time like the present to start!
By Hannah Rockwell
Hannah is a water resources engineer in the Fairport/Rochester, NY office who has been with Arcadis for almost four years. She specializes in drinking water, wastewater, and green infrastructure design and construction. During her time in Rochester she has helped to grow the local client base and office size and implemented monthly office events ranging from pi day celebrations to breakfast potlucks and summer time lunch cook outs. In her free time outside of the office Hannah is an avid trail runner and endurance athlete, spending time in the woods chasing new adventures.