It’s virtually inevitable – work long enough with certain people and you’re bound to run into them at a restaurant. Or at the gym. Or at a company outing in the Hamptons laying out at the pool (more on this in a moment). These are the moments when your co-workers become “people” or even potentially “friends.” They are also instrumental to building the type of the congenial, collaborative, transparent work experience so many companies strive to attain.
In a recent article in Fast Company on the cultures at Facebook, Ideo and Virgin Airlines, a theme of blending the personal with professional at the companies featured runs throughout the story. “Bring your authentic self to work,” says Facebook. Virgin Atlantic looks to hire people with a “comfort in sharing their personalities.” Clark Scheffy, Managing Director at IDEO, implores employees to “bring their whole selves to the workplace.” The days of putting on a corporate guise every time you walk through the office doors apparently is a relic. More than ever before, authenticity is the cornerstone of a transparent company culture.
DiGennaro Communications took that to heart during our recent summer outing in the Hamptons – where many of us saw each other in a new light – sunlight! There’s a moment of authenticity that comes when you’re standing next to a coworker in a bathing suit in a pool rather than sitting next to that same person in a business suit at your desk.
The most effective company cultures are the ones that stress that we present our true selves to our co-workers and feel comfortable with one another. That’s as true in the conference room as it is in the pool. I speak from experience when I say there’s nothing quite like watching your co-worker float by in a massive inflatable pink flamingo while shooting everyone with a water gun.
By: Scott Berwitz