These are a few of my favourite things
Excel geeks, behaviour change chat, keyboard warriors and style guide fanatics. These are a few of the work place qualities that bind us together as our very own Incite-styled ‘The Addams Family’. But aside from what rocks our boat workwise, what is it that makes us actually want to hang out together after working hours?
The answer is simple: food, booze and music. The three magic ingredients to complement the complexity of our daily work. And these three gems are strategically weaved into our workplace regularly, with no excuse needed.
To give you an idea, I’ll walk you through my top six social highlights from 2017:
1 / Cigarettes & Alcohol (Oasis)
First on the list is not so much a single event as a standing invitation: Our Friday 4pm beers. Without fail beer o’clock happens weekly, with an ever-changing crowd of people as our office continues to expand. As our minds slowdown from squaring the circle, our conversation starts to switch to all sorts of delights, and hot topics include Super Nintendo, Stranger Things, bread making and gigs. All the highbrow conversation that one might expect from such a talented group of people.
And as geniuses do, we took our random weekly booze-up and every few weeks turned it into our own Incite-branded activity with a particular theme. Here’s my top three:
Pimm’s and pizza
Held on our lovely balcony, during our short English summer, with a playlist that doesn’t differ too much from the songs listed in this blog.
We work in a pretty cool area, so we took the chance to schedule a monthly visit to a different Soho restaurant. Think DUM Biryani in a basement and Dim sum with cocktails for each of the 12 Zodiac animals.
Making Friday drinks classy. We tasted various wines over a talk by our resident wine connoisseur. Both educational and delightful.
2 / Heal the world (Michael Jackson)
As the in-house Brand Manager at Incite, our cultural visits are all part of what inspires me through the year. Marketing Week Live, brand talks from the likes of Moss Bros and a workshop from David McCandless at Information is Beautiful to name a few.
Our most recent team trip was to the Wellcome Collection to understand ‘Can Graphic Design save your life?’
Our eyes were alight with examples of striking health campaigns that had been designed to encourage support and donations from the public. Many of these were for charities where people’s lives depended on it.
One example called Kill Jill showed that through the result of a hard-hitting television campaign, there was a 242% uplift in Organ Donor registration.
Through persuasion, education and provocation, we saw numerous examples of graphic design in sterile hospital environments to reduce patient stress, wearable tech to monitor our body, and simplified medical packaging to eliminate confusion.
Thought-provoking and often visually sensational, this was a beautiful exploration of the relationship between graphic design and health.
3 / Club Tropicana (Wham!)
Returning to the alcohol theme – but this time with a few ‘real work excuses’ – comes my favourite night of the year. Incite always revels in our peoples’ achievements and so to celebrate recent promotions we opened our own Club Tropicana within the office and held a cocktail night.
We used our Incite branded ‘How we work’ and turned our five process shapes into cocktail stations. One of these stations were solely for shots, where Pickleback’s were passed out with glee to new starters as a welcome present and SPSS on the beaches were made up by the gallon.
And why was it my favourite night of the year? Because I am proud to say we were celebrating my very own promotion which made it extra special.
4 / Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen)
Waking up in the dark, leaving work in the dark, lost gloves and broken heating: We know all too well that winter isn’t always the most thrilling time of year but one thing that did help us end the year with cheer was Christmas. We’re not talking about the family arguments, the dry turkey or the rain. We’re referring to our traditional December calendar of fun.
Our Christmas jumper pub crawl, Incite kids party, Secret Santa, Christmas booze-up and company-wide hangover lunch. The fun (and work) was endless.
5 / Never too much (Luther Vandross)
There are never too many reasons for us to revolve our week around food. Whether it’s the birthday treats, the cupcakes for ladies off on maternity leave, the lunches for new starters, or the cake for pre-wedding people.
Sometimes we’ll share some concern about the number of calories consumed from the Snack Cupboard – as we stand around a freshly opened bag of salted pretzels and a pack of chocolate digestives – but no-one really means it. And we make sure we balance this with some natural sugars from our daily office fruit box. So no one feels too guilty – right?
And in amongst the special food deliveries we receive a very welcome distraction from our favourite office pets who have been known to join us on a Friday. It really can’t get much better than that!
Cheers to another year of hard work and another year of socials. Now only three months to my four-week paid sabbatical. Perfect.