It is that humble goal that drives each and every member of the team. The commonality that allows us to meet our clients needs in such a unique way. And vice versa. Without each and every client with their own unique vision, we wouldn’t be… us!
But there’s another, lesser known side of Cube. Instrumental in facilitating the best possible output from our team. That affects our drive, creativity, motivation and passion. And that, of course, is our culture.
From the second you step into Cube HQ, you know this ain’t like yo momma’s office. It’s nothing like the agencies of yore. The space is bright and open with dogs running around as well as Cubes lounging on the plush sofas. Every aspect of the workspace is thought out and welcoming.
As terrified as I was getting back into the workforce after years off as a stay at home mom, the second I walked through the doors, all that fear vanished. I had never seen such a happy, relaxed work environment. There was not one person who wasn’t completely warm and helpful. The dynamic seemed like lightning in a bottle to me.
A rarity. Impossible to replicate.
Working in operations, I’ve since learned there is a secret to our success, and that is our office culture. Our senior management team carefully cultivated a workspace that they felt most productive and creative in. From weekly Friday lunches together, to regular team building outings and even an annual weekend away together, they set the bar high for how they wanted the agency to be run.
Which we still follow to this day. My job is to simply maintain this well oiled machine. Then the pandemic hit. With the entire team sequestered in their homes, surely my job was obsolete? Without an office, how could our legendary culture survive?
Well, I am proud to report that not only has it survived. But thrived! Now, more than ever, it is essential that every single one of us feels that team spirit. Even isolated miles away from our fellow colleagues, our Cube culture is alive and well!
Here are some ways that we’ve enabled it to transcend virtually:
Daily coffee talk
Virtually of course. Every weekday the Cubes have a standing coffee date in Google Hangouts. It’s a great excuse to take a break from work, and see some familiar, friendly faces and catch up. There have been many days where it was the exact lifeline and human interaction I desperately need.
Since the dawn of 3 Sided Cube, all of us, from every department, including management, have sat along our giant table, and had lunch. Every single solitary Friday. The company splashes out for this weekly team building lunch, and it’s been instrumental in setting us apart from other agencies. The catalyst for the unique bond we all share, and my personal favourite part of the week!
And it still is, Friday lunches have become a mainstay despite us all WFH. Nothing makes you feel closer to your colleagues than watching them absolutely demolish a sandwich from an inch away on your screen!
Happy Half Hour
Another constant for our culture, and that is every Friday at 4pm we crack a cider/beer/cocktail (depending on how hard your week has been) and have an informal internal meeting. We go over the week, do team building stuff, talk projects and deadlines and take time at the end to “lift up” fellow Cubes to acknowledge them going above and beyond, or just overall kicking ass!
Naturally, we couldn’t do away with that whilst all in isolation. So come Friday at 4pm you can find all of us gathered in Hangouts and cracking open our booze of choice for HHH time.
Pick me ups and mental health checks
When the entire office went into work from home mode, it was a fairly seamless adjustment. The logistics of keeping the momentum on projects were fairly straightforward. What was not, however, was making sure the team was in a good place with their mental health.
The news was changing by the hour. Each report getting more and more dire. And on top of what was going on in the outside world, we were all confined to our homes. Some all on their own or in a tiny space. Every single person (myself included) struggled coming to terms with it.
So Team Ops wanted to make sure we were doing everything humanly possible to cultivate some happy distractions totally separate from work so we created a weekly social schedule. Each day with a little interaction. A cooking lesson, pub quiz, yoga or PT session all in Hangouts.
Even though there is no physical office right now, we wanted everyone to feel a part of it… from afar. So we sent out Amazon vouchers. Just as a pick me up and our way to (hopefully) bring some smiles in the face of this pandemic.
We also have started doing “A Little Act of Kindness” within Operations. Where we are simply reaching out to our team mates individually and checking on them. Giving them an opportunity to ask for a bit of help on a bad mental health day, or just respond with an emoji if they don’t need the extra TLC that day.
Embracing home life at work
This whole thing is unprecedented and we just take it day by day, but something so notable is how management has encouraged us to maintain a healthy balance of work and life. There is no “clocking-in” or rigid schedule to adhere to. Just get your work done. However that looks and works for someone is up to them.
When my daughter is struggling and demanding attention, I set my Slack status for some family time and focus on her. This time is completely respected and encouraged. Or, when she crashes yet another meeting, she’s warmly greeted and included on the agenda.
There is a regular video call with all the “Cube Kids” so they can have a meeting and feel a part of what they see their parents doing every day.
Really, truly, I could not feel any luckier to be a part of such a wonderful team. Especially during all of this uncertainty. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t consider how extremely fortunate I am to be a part of this “lightning in a bottle” motley crew.
And even though we aren’t in our bright, happy office space. Or experiencing the office culture face to face. It’s still there and stronger than ever, and all from my makeshift work station in my lounge!