This past week, we had the pleasure of having every WSOL employee in the office at the same time. In a normal week, we're spread across several time zones with employees operating from Illinois (our home base), New Hampshire, Virginia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and in one case, various points around the globe (currently Greece). While we're always connected electronically, there is a certain energy that is created when we're all under the same roof, meeting face to face and re-establishing the bonds that are created over a shared beer or sitting around a table strategizing on upcoming projects.
We try to do this type of get-together once or twice a year and use it as an opportunity to take a brief pause from the day-to-day and focus on our team's health, our performance and our shared knowledge. While our client work never stops, we block out a couple of hours each day over the three days we're together for all-hands meetings to talk about things like the state of the agency and our vision for the future, our overall client strategies and growth plans, and also general housekeeping topics like discussing our tools, systems and processes.
Of course it's not all work during the onsite...one of the highlights whenever we get together is a special group outing. This year's event included a party bus to a downtown Chicago restaurant for apps and dinner (including bottomless carafes of wine) followed by a rooftop bar nightcap experience. This is a great opportunity to leave the work in the office and enjoy each other's company, create some memories (or possibly lose a few) and soak in the vibe of a group of fun, intelligent, witty, and creative digital pros having a night on the town in one of the best cities in America.
While any company can plan an outing and require everyone to attend, it's the unplanned and spontaneous interactions that show the true camaraderie and makeup of the team. In our case, this includes an open invitation to an employee's house for a meatball feast, or taking a few days before the onsite event for a 3-day punk rock music festival.
We're a diverse group of people with different interests and backgrounds, and it's this diversity that makes getting together such an entertaining and motivating experience. Everybody brings something a little different to the table and adds to the dynamic that makes us who we are. We're not all cut from the same cloth, nor do we try to adhere to a certain expectation of what a digital agency should look like. However, what we do share is a love for what we do, a commitment to do great things for our clients, and an understanding that our diversity and our different perspectives are part of what make this a fantastic team to be a part of.