Work Memo No. 2: You’re Invited

Company picnic, anyone?


On Tuesday, Immediate Media put on a mandatory All Hand’s Meeting and Summer Party, its first ever and an event which caused quite a bit of “moaning” around the office in the days leading up to it.

Since Immediate Media is a young company and none of the departments housed in the corporate building ever interact with each other, the HR team thought it would be a good idea to dedicate one whole day to interactive team building. This kind of thing seems pretty normal in the US as far as promoting an interactive and sociable work environment via holiday parties, company sports teams and competitions, etc. But everyone at the Radio Times seemed to dread the forthcoming event. The web team especially found it to be an inconvenience since it meant that they had two hours in the morning to produce a day’s worth of web content.

I myself did not partake in the event because the RSVP ended the day before I started with the Radio Times, so they spared me the “tortuous experience” by getting to leave early. By the time Tuesday rolled around, the general grumbling about wasting the day out of the office continued, and some had even called in sick. By the way people looked as they were herded to the downstairs café to start the day, you would have thought they were lining up to get shots instead of just attending a company event. I feel like in the US, scheduled things like this might receive similar loathing, but I feel that we in general like to get to know the others we work with. The folks at Immediate Media didn’t quite share the same sentiment.

When I returned the next morning, I talked to a few people about what they thought.  They didn’t hold back on talking about how drunk they got at the social event or how hung over they were because of it. Before they started drinking at 4 p.m., they did a team scavenger hunt around the city. The general consensus was that it was a tiring and time-consuming event, but not as bad as they would have thought. I think the booze helped.


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