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‘Tis the Season

17 December 2015

By Charlotte Sunburk

Most people work in an office environment, 9 to 5 at the same desk, surrounded by the same people. For some they spend more hours with their work colleagues than with family or friends. For this reason it is important to develop a positive relationship with colleagues.

As we fall into the most festive time of year, that all important email about the Christmas party is sent, and mutterings of festive plans can be heard in the kitchen. It was at the end of November when an email fell into the inboxes of a chosen few that caused quite the disturbance in the Yotta office.

When the CEO of your company requests that each department create a video explaining their role in the business, the initial reaction is generally dread. However with the understanding that this is to be far from serious and with the use of a very reasonable budget, the situation turned into quite the frenzy. Whispers could be heard around the office, ideas were being thrown about, and within days the usually quiet, friendly atmosphere became shroud with secret meetings, out of hour’s emails and sneaky Amazon deliveries. The competition had begun…

Whilst some would argue team bonding gimmicks such as this are a ‘waste of company time’, I personally loved the idea. This challenge allowed us as a team to explore each other’s skills, creativity and personalities that you wouldn’t always encounter during a normal day’s work. Suddenly there was a plethora of unknown ‘talents’ being utilised, as each department took a different direction creating short movies, music videos or comedy sketches, embracing the comradery of it all in a truly festive spirit. I believe there is power in being able to mock yourself, and if donning a stupid outfit and creating a piece of comedy (informative comedy) means my colleagues get to know me a bit better, then I’m all for it.

Essentially the incentive behind this task is to bridge the gaps between the departments. Between Finance, Surveying, Development, Sales and Marketing, it’s easy to only see your day job, and forget the role you play is relevant to every part of the organisation. Giving the girls from Finance a chance to get to know the guys from Development in this informal way can build relationships and confidence in the workplace. If production can then celebrate a great win for the sales team it gives employees a feeling of support and team trust, which can only improve work ethics and generally create a more productive environment that strives for targets and celebrates success.

As discussed in October’s blog, Yotta is currently investing a lot in developing home grown talents and a formal graduate scheme. With this, it is important to create an atmosphere that attracts and keeps this young talent. Having graduated 2 years ago I understand how difficult it is to go from a hectic, vibrant lifestyle of a student, to the competitive world of business. It can be equally as draining as it is rewarding. Having spent the last 18 years of your life working and learning with people your own age, suddenly creating  positive, productive and friendly relationships with people of different ages and backgrounds can be quite challenging, especially when you feel the only thing you have in common is work. The best way to overcome this, is through socialising in a completely non business related situation.

Currently Yotta is planning a hiking weekend away, weekly sporting events and various nights out in the New Year. It is these informal activities that could be the break that means a potential employee chooses us over a competitor, or a current employee chooses to stay. 2015 has seen a lot of new faces in Yotta and enhancing social relations between colleagues is key in sustaining a happy workforce. These Christmas videos in the Yotta office are proof that ‘work’ and ‘fun’ are certainly not mutually exclusive terms.

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