In February 2020’s Bevi Employee Spotlight, meet Maura Foley – a Business Development Representative at Bevi’s Boston office. Joined for just 5 months ago, see how Bevi has shaped her first working experience.
What is your role at Bevi?
I am a business development representative on the sales team. My team reaches out to potential customers to see if they are interested in Bevi! I’m currently covering territories such as Seattle, Portland, and Houston and working with sales reps in those regions. I reach out through email and set up tastings for offices to experience Bevi flavors for themselves.
What does “working at Bevi” mean to you?
Working at Bevi means making an environmental difference in one office at a time. It is great seeing the impact we are creating through our machines. I think working for a company that is so mission-focused to help other companies become more sustainable is truly rewarding. I love hearing the excitement our customers get when they want to implement a Bevi in their office – showing our enthusiasm is rubbing off!
What do “Diversity and Inclusion at Bevi” mean to you?
Bevi has such a familial culture that diversity and inclusion are embedded in our everyday work life. Our office is so accepting when it comes to people’s backgrounds and experiences. Everyone is encouraged to be themselves when doing their job. It is great to have such a supportive network of coworkers that embrace differences.
What is your favorite flavor and customization, why?
Peach Mango sparkling is by far my favorite. I am constantly drinking it throughout the day! I am a big seltzer fan so I love making any flavor with extra bubbles. It is fun to drink when plain water gets boring. When I think of the fruits peach and mango I think of sweet and refreshing which is exactly how this flavor tastes!
Passions and Interests outside of the office that you have:
Outside of the office, you can usually find me hanging out with friends and family. On weekends I’m usually exploring new breweries or watching the Patriots. I also love to golf! This past summer I joined a golf league and had so much fun participating. My game definitely improved throughout the summer.
What are the cool projects you are working on?
Currently, we are trying to find different ways to find new customers other than through email. We are training on cold calling and on how to approach each situation. My team and I are building out lists of ideal companies that should have a Bevi. It is great to researching and learning about companies throughout my specific regions. There are so many companies that could benefit with a Bevi in their office.
What exactly do you do?
As a business development rep, my job is to prospect potential Bevi clients. I reach out through email and begin the sales funnel. I am the first person they are in touch with at bevi so I am basically the voice of the brand! Once a person is interested I connect them with a territory manager and set up an introductory call or tasting. I am constantly strategizing on companies to target that I think would be a great fit for Bevi.
What was your experience before Bevi?
Bevi is actually my first job out of college! Throughout college, I did various internships in the marketing world. One of my favorite experiences was with a start-up hard seltzer company. I was a marketing and sales intern doing everything under the sun! This was a 3 full-time employee company so I got to take on tasks that a typical intern would not be given. It was an amazing experience and I actually found out about Bevi through an office space we rented out that summer!
Look out for new employee spotlights! Check out October’s spotlight – Joe Brumaghim!
Here’s the good news: the fact that you’re reading this article will make it much more likely that you make any progress on beneficial changes to your life this year. It is way too often that we give up on goals because we are overwhelmed by the word “resolution”. When we make our lists every December, we can never find goals that are ambitious enough but still achievable. Either our resolutions seem like moonshots that become too inconvenient after a few months. Alternatively, we make resolutions too easy for ourselves that won’t make any substantial change to our lifestyles. But the secret is that resolutions are not about going out of your way to make your life more difficult. The word resolution comes from the Latin word “resolutionem” which is literally the “process of reducing things into simpler forms.” And this whole time we were trying to make things harder for ourselves every new year. No thanks! This year let’s commit to resolutions that make our lives simpler, free our minds up for more happiness, and allow ourselves to be more open and kind to others. Share these New Year’s resolutions worth keeping with anyone who puts too much pressure on themselves to set extremely ambitious annual goals that they will probably never achieve!
1. Invest in developing yourself
If we stop learning, we stop growing, and that can be stifling to increasing ones’ happiness and self-esteem. Doing something to better yourself will boost your confidence, perhaps make you better at your job, give you a unique skill, or open up new opportunities. The EdX platform allows you to search through hundreds of free courses that you could take to increase your knowledge base or help you pick up a new skill. I recommend taking a peek through their selections and signing up for at least one free course this year. Then share the website with a friend if you think there’s something available that they might take an interest in. Spread knowledge!
Don’t limit yourself to academic or professional skill development. Learn a new language just for fun (you can learn Klingon through Duolingo), or maybe learn how to knit so that you can make personalized gifts for friends and family. Don’t have time to take any in-person classes or read a bunch of self-help books; just look at EdX. Have even less time? Commit yourself to learn a new word every day or a 5-minute podcast on the daily news.
2. Give your body a break
We all want to become healthier, but this commitment is hard to keep. Every single day our minds are attacked with eye-catching and mouth-watering advertisements on TV and social media that remind us of all the delicious processed foods available at our fingertips. Fad diets are a recipe for disaster – to your immune system and your emotional wellbeing. Start small, start by drinking enough water to remain constantly hydrated. That means having a reusable water bottle or glass around you at all times (see tip #3), but it also means making water a beverage you’re excited to drink. For me, I like my water ice cold. To always ensure I have a frigid bottle ready to go, I always keep two reusable water bottles in my refrigerator. That way, I know I’ll always have one ice-cold bottle ready for me at any point during the day, and if I forget to refill one and put it back, I always have an extra. You can incentivize yourself to drink more water by leaving post-it notes everywhere, but you could be even slicker and set an hourly reminder on your phone to drink more. Here are some other quick tips! Add fresh fruit to your water to make it more flavorful. Fill up your bottle as soon as it’s empty. Have a hydration buddy, someone who will hold you accountable. Use a reusable straw! Out of the house? You can ask your boss or office manager to get a Bevi installed. Bevi is a smart water dispenser that allows for complete customization of your beverage, including 16 flavors, temperature, level of carbonation, among other things. Having a machine that makes hydration more exciting will do wonders for your health and wellness, plus you’ll be helping your dehydrated colleagues as well!
3. Incorporate Reusable Basics into your life
It’s about to be 2020, everyone. Save yourself some money and invest in a reusable water bottle. The average human needs to drink around 4 plastic water bottles per day to stay hydrated. Those can range from $1-$4 depending on where and how you’re purchasing them, which will add up to about $3,000 spent on water bottles per year. Let’s say, instead, you invest $20 in a reusable water bottle that you love because it comes in your favorite color. It’s just an estimate, but that comes out to $2,980 in savings, which is pretty compelling to my wallet! That’s just the cost-savings and doesn’t include all the positivity reusable water bottles provide for your health and the environment.
Don’t stop at water bottles if you don’t have to! Let’s start reusing everything. I’m talking silverware, straws, and bags. Even if you don’t have products that are meant to be used over and over again, there are still some products that are defined as single-use that you can use multiple times (please just make sure it’s safe). Some examples are plastic baggies, take-out containers, and tin-foil. For your bathroom, think about investing in reusable make-up remover pads or direct-to-consumer shampoo/conditioner that lets you refill your bottles if you send them back. Ladies, what about checking out the Diva Cup? Get creative and see what else can be done with some of your disposable products. The internet has extensive lists of DIY projects if you’re the handy type, plus they reduce your environmental footprint and leave you with a special item afterward.
This may be one of the harder tasks on this list because let’s face it, it’s hard to find any free time any more. But when I say volunteer, I don’t mean in the traditional sense of spending a couple of hours walking dogs for the local adoption center. Though that would be nice and is one of my preferred volunteer activities! Volunteering can be so much simpler and still have a positive impact on the people in your community. One idea is that you could volunteer to help a lower-level coworker by becoming their mentor. Offer to meet with them once a week for lunch or a coffee, chat about work or your personal lives, and give them tips based on what you’ve learned from climbing the organizational ladder. Even simple things that seem obvious to you would be super helpful to someone who hasn’t quite figured it all out yet.
The next idea could be paired with tip #5. If you’re out getting some air or walking your dog, bring a garbage bag with you. Volunteer for the time that you’re out and about, by picking up trash or recyclables from the ground as you walk. Not only are you helping out the environment, but you’re also making your surroundings much more beautiful for everyone. If you don’t know when the next time you’ll be taking a walk is, just keep one trash bag in your backpack or purse in case you feel inspired at any random moment.
5. Refamiliarize yourself with your surroundings, don’t bring your phone
Now that we have the ability to be connected to the entire globe within a matter of milliseconds through our mobile devices, it has become difficult to live in the moment. And though it would be great for our mental health to get rid of constant bombardment from digital advertising and connection, that is just not going to happen. We need our phones for so much more than just calling these days. However, we don’t need it all the time.
For this resolution, just go for a walk. When was the last time you went on a stroll around your neighborhood without your phone? I know that I’m always afraid that I’m going to take a wrong turn on my way somewhere and be completely lost without my Google Maps, but our internal homing systems are much more functional than you might think. If you’re nervous about directions, map it before you leave and take a mental picture, or if you must, print out a map before you leave. As you walk around, undistracted by texts popping up on your phone, take in all the information of your surrounding environment: smells, sounds, sights, etc. And look at your fellow pedestrians and smile. You may have passed them 100 times before and never seen one another. Instead of snapping pictures of all the beautiful foliage that you pass, just admire it from within. Yes, you can still appreciate beauty without sharing it with someone else. Life continues to be beautiful, even if it’s not on your Instagram story.
6. Write things down more…on paper; declutter your computer files
It’s time to Marie Kondo that hard-drive! Don’t worry, you can save that final paper from your high school AP History class that you got a B on 10 years ago. Do yourself a favor, though, and store that bad-boy on an external hard-drive so you can let your computer breath a little. Prioritize only the documents and applications that you absolutely need for work and personal happiness, and put everything else on a storage unit. If you’re not using it or looking at it on a yearly basis, it does not need to be on your computer.
And as we declutter our computers, we should also declutter our minds. Unfortunately, they haven’t made hard-drives for memories yet, but I like to use old-fashioned storage myself. Get yourself a journal or just a notebook that you can bring with you everywhere or keep somewhere safe at home. Try to get into the habit of writing in it at least once a month. You can write about what’s going on with work, dating or your family, past travel and new experiences too. Make lists of music, movies, books, podcasts, and restaurants that your friends suggest to you constantly. Make lists of things you want within the next 6 months to a year, then make one for the next 5 years and then make one for 20 years. Make lists of what you like about yourself and what you want to work on. Make lists of everyone and everything you’re thankful for. Then anytime you’re feeling sad or uninspired, go back and read it. It sounds sappy, but often so many good ideas that we have go unheard. Or worse, we forget that we ever thought of them at all. And it’s even more significant to get the bad out on paper as well, because if you don’t… guess where it stays.
7. Wash your clothes less & upcycle those you don’t use
Recently I learned that jeans actually “never” technically need to be washed, but I’m not convinced enough to get rid of my washing machine entirely at this point. However, we don’t need to be washing our jeans after every individual wear. Unless you have some unavoidable unsightly stain or smell coming from your garments, why must they be washed?
On a similar note of doing more with the products that we already have, I’d like to introduce you to upcycling, if you don’t already know about it! There are so many great websites and programs that are already tackling the issue of the waste generated by the apparel and fast fashion industries. Upcycling is one way to increase the length of the life of a garment. For example, Patagonia’s Worn Wear website and brand makes it easy for customers to return old garments in exchange for money. Those garments are deconstructed to make use of the materials for new products, or sold at a lower price after being fixed up a little. You can even get some cool retro products that have been vetted by experts!
You could also bring the clothes you don’t wear anymore to a local thrift store, but you may not live in a city where this is easy. Using websites like thredUP makes thrifting easy from both the buyer and seller side. Ordering one of their CleanOut kits allows you to send all of the clothes you don’t wear anymore into the company for free, and they photograph and market your items on their website. They then send you cash or a shopping credit, or if you want, they’ll donate the clothes’ cash value to a charity (and you get a tax credit).
8. Attend a networking conference
For some people, networking comes naturally, and they quickly expand their professional connections almost organically. For others, networking can seem disingenuous and scary. To those folks, I’d say attending a networking conference is a great way to meet other professionals in your industry or a similar role. This takes away a lot of the pressure that goes along with trying to network in settings that aren’t meant for it, like the office holiday party. I always feel very awkward going up to someone in everyday life that I don’t know and asking them for advice about careers. However, if I’m at a conference where everyone’s goal is to get to know one another’s job, I don’t feel encumbered by awkwardness. It’s similar to when you just start college, and you have no fear of going up to a bunch of strangers and laying your cards on the table. You are unafraid because you can expect that everyone else is in the same boat and wants to find friends just as much as you do.
If you can’t attend an actual physical conference because of time or financial restraints, another great way to meet like-minded professionals is through industry webinars. Most professional associations will put on webinars whether your career is in marketing or hospitality. You can usually ask questions directly to the experts during these often free events and typically follow up with those experts afterward by connecting through email or LinkedIn. People are generally much more willing to talk then you would expect, and there is no penalty in asking for advice! The worst they can say is that they’re too busy or that they don’t think they can be of help!
9. Plan a trip or a reunion to look forward to
As you tackle a new year, let’s consider what’s going to be your motivation. What will make you the best friend or partner you can be in 2020? What will inspire you to work harder at work? It’s almost impossible to be good to anyone else if you aren’t good to yourself. This year, you must plan something to look forward to you. I don’t mean just one thing. I mean you constantly need to be reminding yourself of the good that lies ahead. That means if you have an exhausting 3 hour morning meeting, you should plan the day before to make sure you’ll be having your favorite lunch that day. Reward yourself for getting through tasks that make you miserable. Knowing that the misery will end eventually, and there will be a reward at the end allows you to focus on what is important, which is completing what you needed to get done.
Looking at the long term, you should plan a big event to look forward to. If you have the means, then work on planning that trip that you’ve always wanted to do. However, if you’re strapped for cash, then plan an event near you. Throw a reunion for all of your family or rent out a brewery for a random theme party for your friends. Whatever makes you happy, make it bigger, and share it with the loved-ones.
10. Pacify that voice in your head
Celebrity podcaster, Dax Shepard, mentioned in one episode that no one says anything meaner to him than what he says to himself in his head. This really resonated with me. So often we are more judgemental of ourselves than others. If you have a thought come up in your head like “I’m not good enough for that job” or “I don’t like the size of my hips,” you need to think if you would ever say that to a friend or family member. The chances are that you would never say something so mean and judgmental to another person, so why is it OK to say it to yourself? We need to stop being so mean to ourselves and instead lift ourselves.
A piece of this is getting to know ourselves again. Many of the tips above can help with this. Like going out on a walk with nothing but your thoughts or writing down lists of everything that you love about yourself. One thing that has helped me in the past is to meditate. I know… so millennial, but even if you aren’t interested in the mindfulness mobile apps, you can still gain a lot from just being in touch with your emotions and thoughts. Noting that the rude things that you say to yourself are simply just thoughts and not facts should become easier the more you practice noticing them through meditation.
Let’s sum it all up:
Invest in developing yourself
Give your body a break
Incorporate Reusable Basics into your life
Refamiliarize yourself with your surroundings, don’t bring your phone
Write things down more …on paper; declutter your computer files
Wash your clothes less & upcycle those you don’t use
Attend a networking conference
Plan a trip or a reunion to look forward to
Pacify that voice in your head
Even this might seem like a hefty undertaking, but in no way am I recommending that you try to tackle all of these at once. Simply just keep them in mind and if you see the opportunity to practice any of these good habits then give it a shot! Instead of throwing all of your will power into crash-dieting or putting your health at risk for the sake of a job promotion, try some of these reasonable resolutions that will put you on track to a more balanced and happy year in 2020.
In October 2019’s Bevi Employee Spotlight, meet Joe Brumaghim – a Senior Software Engineer at Bevi’s Boston office. He has been part of the Bevi family for over three years.
What exactly do you do?
I am a Full-stack Software Engineer. I work on everything from open valves to implement features in our servicing dashboard. I write software in C, Java, Typescript in my day-to-day.
What are the cool projects you are working on?
One of the cool projects I am working on at work is creating automation suite and test harnesses for our new next-generation machine. Every time we make a change, we will run our machine through many tests to give us confidence in our build.
What was your experience before Bevi?
Bevi was actually my first full-time job outside of school. Before, I used to work in data centers.
What does working at Bevi mean to you?
Specifically, being a part of the environmental impact is a huge deal to me. We save countless bottles a month.
What does Diversity & Inclusion at Bevi mean to you?
Oh man, haha I honestly don’t think about it that often because it’s so great here. It’s just not a thing like it’s never been an issue, but you know, regardless of age, gender, anything, everyone is included. Especially for me, it was age, I started here when I was 19 as a software engineer.
What is your favorite flavor and customization and why?
Raspberry is my favorite flavor right now because I have always been a huge fan of it. We used to have raspberries at my parents’ place in New Hampshire and I think that’s why I like it so much. Although, most of the time I like still water though. I like it plain, personally not a sparkling guy. That also kinda goes into what I like in general for food and drinks, a super plain guy with no customization.
Passions & interests outside of the office:
I’m a big fan of longboarding as well as video games and programming on the side. I own two Z-boards and play a range of games, from Tetris 99 to Rocket League.
Author: Tommy Nguyen
Look out for new employee spotlights MONTHLY! Check out July’s spotlight – Sammy Cohen!
Working at Bevi has given me the opportunity to connect with so many incredibly smart, driven and passionate people. Bevi represents a shift in cultural norms toward *mandatory* sustainability. Not thinking about our environment and our consumption habits is simply no longer an option, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the team that is working to change deeply rooted patterns of plastic usage by developing a drink platform that is eco-friendly, innovative and consumer-focused at every touch-point.
What does Diversity & Inclusion at Bevi mean to you?
Inclusion at Bevi means being a human at every touch-point. Bevi does a great job of understanding people to the core and supporting/ nurturing what it is that makes this person tick… and then, of course, celebrating it!
What is your favorite flavor and customization and why?
Bevi Sparkling Grapefruit is my all-time favorite, with flavor set to bold. The flavor is fruit-forward with just enough tartness that keeps it refreshing and light, and the sparkling gives it that added boost of “something special”.
What kind of reusable water bottle/glass do you use with Bevi?
Last Christmas, I got a customized Yeti water bottle as a gift and it’s been with me every day, since! It’s my side-kick :).
Passions & interests outside of the office:
Outside of the office, I can be found hustlin’ socks for my beloved passion project, Neon Bandits, kicking it with family and friends in Boston and beyond, or planning my next trip off the grid. (I recently visited a remote island off the coast of Panama– HIGHLY recommend it!)
Often times, the Office Manager is on the front lines of a continuous battle between those employees who value convenience and those who prioritize environmental impact. From balancing the office’s budget to fielding all types of employee complaints, the Office Manager is almost always stuck between a rock and a hard place.
As with any daunting task, it’s best to start small.And implementing a Bring Your Own Reusable Bottle initiative is a great place to start.
Rather than stocking and restocking sky-scrapers of plastic cups in your kitchen, reduce your plastic waste exponentially by encouraging employees to take their favorite canteen into work with them. This BYOB approach will not only save the Office Manager time, but save money — money that can be reinvested in something everyone in the office will love, like fruit or snacks!
Don’t left the office kitchen battles continue: check out these 5 tactful ways to get everyone on board — and even excited about — the new BYOB initiative.
Green Strategy #1: Form an eco-minded task force
Remember: there’s strength in numbers.
Whether you’re an Office Manager or an environmentally-conscious employee, it’s best to have a team of people behind you when proposing a new and drastic change to life at the office.
Don’t face the rebuttals and complaints alone. Gather a squad, inform them of the change and its rationale, and let the company know that there’s a whole group of excited employees ready to answer any questions that may come up.
Especially at larger companies, where it’s unlikely everyone knows each other on a first name basis, try to involve a few people from each department in your sustainability task force. Employees are more likely to trust and support the people they work with everyday than a faceless email announcement from someone they’ve never met.
Before kicking-off your BYOB program, be sure to form a squad of people who can help hype up its positive, environmental impact, as well as field any comments or concerns different departments may have.
For some offices, getting rid of plastic cups might be as simple as never buying them again. In other offices, however, the transition might not be as smooth. If you’re worried about an impromptu employee mutiny, there are several ways to ease your office into a more zero-waste approach to water cooler talk.
After launching your BYOB program, try leaving only a small stack of plastic cups in plain sight. Chances are, many folks won’t go looking — or won’t know where to look — when the stack disappears. This will help to incentivize people to bring in their bottles, since having to find and restock the plastic cups is more effort than carrying your own bottle. You might get some annoyed comments about the lack of cups over Slack, but stay strong! Tell these folks where they can find more cups, but don’t restock them yourself.
If your office isn’t equipped with reusable glassware, keeping an emergency pack of single-use cups on hand is kind of a must — especially if you frequently have visitors. In this case, stash the solo cups away in a secret cabinet or drawer, and reveal them only when you’re expecting guests.
Green strategy #3: Get custom bottles made for your office
If you’ve got the budget, this is a no brainer.
What better way to launch your BYOB initiative than to purchase a personalized or company-branded (or both!) reusable bottle for each of your employees.
Many companies that are both getting a Bevi and moving into a completely new office space like to include reusable bottles as part of a ‘Welcome to Your New Office’ gift for each employee. Broadly speaking, moving into a new space is the perfect occasion to put new, eco-friendly systems in place!
While not every office has the funds to purchase bottles for everyone, there are many work-arounds. Water proof stickers are a simple and affordable way to get employees hyped about showing off their newly decorated reusable bottle around the office. Have your designers create a whole series of stickers to pick and choose from, or get everyone a decal of their name. Another solution is to work with your team to select and design a bottle that people can order on their own if they so choose — this works well in offices in which most people already have a favorite bottle, and may not need the company topurchase one for them.
Once your custom bottles arrive, encourage folks to leave them at work. With shiny, new reusable bottles on their desks, the die-hard plastic cup users will surely become BYOB champions.
Green Strategy #4: Reinforce — and reward! — positive behaviors
At Bevi, we love giving shoutouts over Slack or in our HR portal, Namely.
Ever heard of intermittent reinforcement conditioning? If you haven’t, all you need to know is this: it works! As foreign as this term may sound, chances are it’s something you’re already doing in the office. Each time you randomly give a shoutout to an employee over Slack, you are using the power of intermittent conditioning to motivate and reinforce positive behaviors!
The true beauty of intermittent conditioning lies in the fact that you only have to reward behaviors occasionally in order to reinforce them. In knowing that they might get recognition for their positive behavior, employees will start to make good habits part of their normal routine, whether it’s helping to clean out the fridge or bringing their reusable bottle into work.
Don’t take this the wrong way: we’re not suggesting you treat your co-workers like Pavlov’s dogs!
All we’re saying is that highlighting or rewarding someone who has brought their reusable bottle into work is a really great way to motivate that individual — and others — to keep your BYOB initiative going strong.
Green Strategy #5: Proudly share positive results
A toast, to all those who use a reusable bottle. Cheers!
Similar to Green Strategy #4, keep your BYOB program top-of-mind by frequently sharing how it has positively impacted your office and beyond.
In addition to a company-wide email or appreciation post, go big and briefly share results in the next All Hands meeting. If eliminating plastic cups has saved you enough money to buy more snacks for your office, put a sign on the fridge or water cooler explaining how the new treats are the fruits of your office’s collective labor!
For companies that have an explicitly environmental mission, your newly instated BYOB initiative could be a great occasion to brag about your company’s awesomeness on social media. Some companies might even opt to highlight an eco-warrior of the month; in other words, give a shoutout to an employee that has gone above and beyond when it comes to keeping things green at work.
Whether you’re a small startup or an international corporation, a Bring Your Own Reusable Bottle initiative is a simple and effective way to reduce your office’s footprint.
Not all company growth requires a brand new office; often times, a few adjustments to the current office layout can make a big impact, ultimately helping your space become both more productive as well as accommodating of future growth.
For quickly growing startups like Bevi, each round of hiring presents a challenge to the delicate balance of the current floor plan. Teams begin to outgrow their original areas, and suddenly 7 people are sitting in a space that was designed for 2. And since many startups have an accelerated hiring timeline, this puts a lot of pressure on Office Managers, HR, or Facilities Managers to change the office layout quickly and seamlessly. No matter what the occasion, rearranging an office space can be stressful — especially when current employees are not 100% on board.
We’ve got your back. We interviewed our own all-star Office Manager, Claire, to put together this list of 11 things to do before, during, and after a change to the office layout. We can’t promise that the office won’t mutiny, but at least you’ll have a contingency plan if they do (see #3 for some of Claire’s tips).
1. Get key stakeholders on board
Regardless of your company’s size, getting key stakeholders on board is the first step towards getting the entire office to buy into the changes. Key stakeholders are more likely to recognize how space adjustments will benefit the company as a whole and can communicate this directly with their respective teams. Especially if you work for a larger company and don’t know everyone by name, employees are more likely to cooperate with someone they know and trust.
2. Use the layout change as an excuse to check in and ask what each team needs
Another strategy for getting each team excited about the change-up is to actively incorporate their goals and needs into the new office schematic. Whether informally in the hallway or at an all-hands meeting, check in with each team to see what they like about their current format and what they would change. By proactively discussing their needs and concerns, you are helping deflect any dissent in the long term.
3. Establish a trial period and streamlined feedback system
No matter how much you plan, there will always be something to work out after the rearranging is done. For this reason, it’s good to establish a trial period, so that in one or two weeks time you can reassess whether the new layout is working out.
During the trial period, have your employees send feedback to a designated Slack channel or survey. This way, folks have a space to express their concerns and you have the ability to mute their reactions until the trial period comes to a close.
If you’re really getting bombarded with comments or requests, ask your own manager to openly address (and shut down) any opposition. It’s always nice to have someone on your side to help deflect any whining — it really gets old after awhile.
4. Keep open positions in the hiring pipeline in mind
If you have the opportunity to make a change, think big! Chances are there are several open positions at your company, so think about how your desks will be populated once new employees arrive. Consider syncing-up with HR or senior management to find out the teams the company is looking to expand over the next quarter (or year) so you minimize the amount of times you’ll have to reorganize the office.
5. Put yourselves in a visitor’s shoes
Whether they’re investors or user testing groups, visitors expect to see people hard at work upon entering your office. Put your company’s best foot forward by making sure the teams closest to your front door (or visitor entrance, if you have a larger company) are typically in the office.
Here at Bevi HQ, we have a stellar hardware team that spends a good portion of their time in our engineering lab a few floors down. Our Office Manager Claire had the foresight to situate the hardware team in the back corner of our office, so our visitors would never be greeted by empty desks.
6. Constant communication before, during, and after
Similar to #2 and #3, constant communication is key. Between Slack messages and email updates, be sure to remind your employees to pack up their belongs 1 week and 1 day before the move as well as on the day of.
Once the layout has been changed, it’s a good idea to send an early morning reminder with the new seating chart and instructions on how to inquire about any missing belongings. Our Office Manager Claire made sure everyone stayed in the loop by giving email and in-person reminders in the days leading up to the reshuffling.
7. Sketches, diagrams, and maps, oh my!
X marks the spot. Before moving anything in your office, sketch out a few options for a new office set-up. Pro-tip: always make sure they are to scale!
Office Manager Claire breaks down Bevi HQ’s most recent layout change.
If you consider yourself visually or spatially inept, ask a designer or engineer to help you realize your vision. They might even have some handy software that can help make testing different layouts much more efficient than using a ruler and graphing paper. For example, Eliza, one of Bevi’s co-founders, helped Claire model different versions of the office without moving a single desk.
8. Strategically pick a time when the office will be nearly empty
While you will need an extra set of hands to make the rearrangement happen, less is more when it comes to having people in the office during all of the shuffling.
Aside from staying late on an arbitrary weekday, the day before a long weekend or holiday is often the perfect time to make your move. Back in November, our superstar Office Manager Claire planned to change things around in the office on the day before Thanksgiving. It worked out well as there were a few folks in the office to lend a hand and enough room to reposition the furniture without disturbing anyone. Within a few hours, everything was readjusted and ready for the new hires starting the following Tuesday — myself included!
Plus, let’s be honest: when the majority of people are out of the office, those who do come into work often look for fun side projects to work on. These people are your biggest asset on the day of the move.
9. Set aside time for furniture assembly
A new layout often means new furniture. But don’t be fooled: you’re going to need a screwdriver and hammer before your furniture looks as shiny and perfect as it did on Ikea’s website.
10. Four hands are better than two
Even the office hero needs a little help once in a while. Rather than trying to rough it by yourself, enlist a few helpers to move or assemble desks and chairs while you double check the diagram of the new set-up. For medium-sized or large companies, you’re better off hiring movers to help you get the job done quickly and efficiently.
11. Label like your life depends on it
With just over 30 people working in Bevi HQ, the office is certainly on the smaller side. Nevertheless, a few things did get lost in our most recent round of office rearrangements. Take it from us: labeling is everything.
Whether with masking tape, printed labels, sharpies, or cute cat stickers, make sure everyone clearly labels the box containing their belongings before anything gets touched. You’ll thank yourself later.
Looking for more ways to keep your office happy and healthy? Meet Bevi, the smart water cooler designed to make your life as office manager that much easier.
Request a free flavor tasting for your office here.
How often do you gather your employees together for something that has nothing to do with business?
Creating camaraderie and a sense of social engagement in the office goes a long way to not only spreading your company culture but strengthening it as well. Giving everyone a chance to relax a little and get to know each other better can boost employee morale and collaboration.
Ice cream social: Invite an ice cream truck to pull up outside your office or buy a few gallons from the closest grocery story and set up a sundae bar on a Wednesday afternoon.
Chili Cook-off: Or any kind of cook-off. Assign a panel of judges and tell everyone to get cooking and bring their best. Just be sure to have a prize for the winner.
Pot Luck: Amp up the Friday afternoon happy hour by assigning snack, drink, and even dessert duty to different teams around the office.
Non-business meetings: Survey the office to see what folks are interested in and then bring in an expert. A sommelier could come in to teach about wine tasting or a local stand-up comedian could run an improv workshop.
Game Day: Ask everyone to bring in a favorite board game and spend an afternoon of a little friendly competition.
Start a Book Club: Maybe you read and discuss books related to your work, maybe you work through the latest NYT best sellers. Either way, it will bring folks together.
Office Talent Show: What are your colleagues good at outside of the office? It’s time to find out.
Afternoon Snack Time: Take yourselves back to your Kindergarten days and schedule afternoon snack time for all to come together. (We recommend gathering around the Bevi).
Afternoon at the Movies: Take everyone out to the local theater or pop some popcorn and bring one in.
Scavenger Hunt: Plot one out within the office or break into teams and take to the streets for exploration and team building at the same time.
DIY Awards Show: Think of fun office awards (e.g. best smelling lunch, first in every morning, best email sign off) or create your own based on inside jokes. Don’t forget to hand out trophies.
A Day of Pampering: Bring in a masseuse for seated massages, a barista to make coffee to order, and anything else that will leave employees feeling well taken care of.
Contests for Anything: Create a contest around anything that gets you all engaged—from a costume contest at Halloween to a friendly step-counting contest and beyond, there are countless ways to get everyone cheering each other on.
Bevi Taste Test: This one’s our personal favorite—an afternoon of ‘name that flavor!’
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