Pajamas, ping-pong, and righteous potlucks—if you wandered into any of The FruitGuys' five offices last month, you’d have gotten a good taste of why employees say working at The FruitGuys is such a blast.
In July 2014, The FruitGuys celebrated its third annual Spirit Week—a five-day celebration founded by Customer Service Manager Nicole Wagner and Customer Service Lead Julie Collins to “celebrate everybody's hard work and provide a summer reset button in a fun, quirky FruitGuys way,” Julie says.
Spirit Week 2014 included themed dress-up days, a ping-pong tournament, team-building activities, and delicious potlucks and barbecues. All five of The FruitGuys’ regional hubs—South San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, and Philadelphia—took part in festivities.
Themed days included Heritage Day, in which employees were encouraged to don traditional garb or wear colors that represented their culture and heritage; Dress Up or Down Day, which saw employees choosing between pajamas or formal wear for work; Favorite Sports Team Day, to display hometown-hero jerseys; and The FruitGuys T-Shirt Day.
The week was wrapped up with a families and friends potluck celebration where everyone came together to enjoy tasty, healthy food and good company. It was a chance to meet new faces at this quickly growing company as well as reconnect with those we work with every day.
"It's important for us to have a culture where people not only work hard but also laugh and enjoy each other each day," said Erin Mittelstaedt, The FruitGuys vice president for operations. "Spirit Week allows us to see each other a little differently, do things out of the ordinary, and bring people from all roles in the company together. Silly is just a part of who we are."
Besides the opportunity to blow off steam, Spirit Week gave employees fun ways to meet and connect to each other through team building activities, which is important in a growing company. Plus, while often underrated, fun and happiness lead to more well-being in the workplace, which, research shows, can increase productivity.
So channel your middle-school self and get cracking on planning a Spirit Week for your company!
Melissa Nguyen is The FruitGuys Creative Services Associate. She is a San Francisco–based writer and lover of avocados and golden retrievers.