Pot Lucks, Water Fights and the Importance of Connection

Online Image® staff fun

Signs of the water fight show up on company T-shirts during a quick snapshot. From left, Senior Marketing Writer Rebecca Palmer and Mark Henderson, Content Writer William Hampton and Anna Vega, and Designer Saul Estrada and his daughter Serenity. Photo Courtesy of Account Manager Jessika Sweet.

One of the things that we all enjoy here at Online Image® is the easy-going friendliness among coworkers and a shared passion for things like sports, music and creative writing.

One of the core principles that our company was founded on is that if you have to go to work, you should work with your friends.

Our annual company party earlier this month was just one example of the importance of company culture. It was a great chance to get to know each other and it helped us feel connected to something much bigger than we ever could be on our own.

Let Employees Shine

This year, after great successes at pot lucks for St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo, our Activities Committee decided to try something other than catering for the summer party.

For each kind of side dish, we offered a contest sign-up sheet. To qualify for the contest, a dish had to be homemade.

As the party got started, it was just awesome to see employees arriving with amazing food in hand.

There was probably 40 feet worth of food, spread double-wide and back to back. It honestly felt like taken two large families got together for one giant reunion. Meats were the most popular, and there were pasta salad, creative green salads and potato salads, fun bite-sized dishes and delicious desserts.

Employees who won the contest in their categories got an extra raffle ticket for a prize drawings we had for kids and adults later, but we knew all along that the pot luck wasn’t about the prizes. It was about showing off our cooking skills to our coworkers and serving one another rather than just focusing on our customers. People could really shine for who they are outside of work, and it was great to see coworkers getting to know each other’s families.

The great part was that because almost every employee had something unique and personal to contribute, we all had something to talk about, no matter who was sitting next to us.

Dunk Tanks, Photo Booths and Water Wars

The team takes a time out from the water wars just long enough to grin at the camera. From left, Programmer Sonya Liebman, Alea Burnett, Company Founder Russell Burnett, Account Manager Shana Kirschman and Lead Designer Chris Symond. Photo courtesy of Account Manager Jessika Sweet.

The first sign that dinner was over was the sound of children giggling and shrieking after they discovered the plastic box loaded with hundreds of pre-filled water balloons. Each kid was given a Super Soaker and a battle soon broke out, and one thoughtful employee was prepared with plastic shields for the kids so they could protect themselves (and, coincidentally, the balloon arsenal).

We also had a dunk tank for the executives and anyone else who could be persuaded, and a professional photo booth with costumes and accessories.

Then, the 3-legged race began. The runners left their egos at the start line, and everyone had a great time.

It was so much fun, I would have wanted to attend even if it weren’t a work function.

The Importance of Feeling Connected

The fun at the park made for a great afternoon, but it didn’t end there. For next month, the Activities Committee has formed a softball team and planned an ice cream sundae bar and a Throwback Thursday event. Meanwhile, I’m sure I’ll see some great humorous pictures shared over the company email system and hear about after-hours group vents such as of disc golf at the nearby course.

As we work closer as a team and spend more time together, a feeling of connectedness takes over and day-to-day tasks become much more enjoyable.

Because we have these fun experiences outside of work, we hold ourselves to a higher standard and the work becomes more than just a series of tasks. It becomes a part of who we are, and it’s extremely fulfilling and personally validating. That translates into a better quality of life for us and a world-class experience for our customers and partners.

If you would like to learn more about Online Image®, give us a call at 801-261-5700 or follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook.