Ah, the Office Manager. The unsung heroes of the corporate world, Office Managers are often the backbone of thriving company cultures. From onboarding newcomers to organizing external-facing events and internal team-building activities, Office Managers are the ones who make sure everything runs smoothly.
Often the only people on staff who engage with employees at every level, in every department – from interns to upper management – Office Managers have a bird’s-eye view into how companies work. With this unique perspective comes great opportunity and great responsibility. As an Office Manager, you are not just managing spaces. You’re curating the modern work experience and helping people effectively collaborate. Office Managers have to keep the fire going by setting the right vibe and making things run smoothly. Like the Greek goddess Hestia, they keep the homefront cozy, prevent workplace conflict, and ensure the company is recruiting and retaining world-class talent.
In the post-pandemic world, enabling in-person collaboration has never been more important or more difficult. With the transition to hybrid work, the Office Manager’s role has gotten more complicated, having to encourage workplace attendance while maintaining communication flows and cultural consistency between co-workers who work remote and in-person.
Gone are the days when offices were just a place full of chairs, tables, and that one flickering fluorescent light that drove you insane. With average office attendance hovering at just over 50% of pre-COVID levels, an Office Manager must create an ambience that makes people want to brave public transportation to come in. Today the workplace has to galvanize employees and support their creativity through the nine-to-whatever grind.
There’s not a lot of guidance on how to take on the new set of responsibilities while continuing to balance the previous ones. That’s why we have compiled the Office Manager’s Survival Guide – nine tips for making workplaces enjoyable or at least bearable, courtesy of your friends at Bevi.
Have an important client coming in? Wow them with your selection of niche coffees and sparkling water – offered in a glass, not paper or plastic, because you run a classy, environmentally-conscious workplace, of course.
And why not throw in a plant or two? Studies show that having indoor plants in the office can lower stress levels, promote relaxation, and even improve employees’ brain functioning and cognition through their gradual release of oxygen. We love Bloomscape’s curated collection of exotic succulents and flowers that can be delivered straight from their greenhouse right to your office’s doorstep, arriving healthy and mature, in pots made from recycled plastic. Gather around the Money Tree, which, besides the inspiring name, we appreciate for its air-purifying abilities. They also offer a line of low-maintenance plants which can handle a bit of neglect – perfect for those days when the irreplaceable, on-top-of-it Office Manager needs to call in sick.
After the pandemic disrupted regular office life, employees around the world had a chance to reflect on how their workplace setting could better support creativity and productivity. There’s been a new opening for re-imagining common spaces – for the creative Office Manager, the post-pandemic workplace is a blank canvas.
Think about your company’s values and mission, and how they can be mirrored in your choice of decor. If your company is a creative team of entrepreneurial types seeking to disrupt an industry, the art on the wall should be energizing and inspire forward thinking. If your company is all about inspiring beauty or promoting wellness, perhaps creating a zen-like atmosphere will be best for aligning employees’ state of mind with the product or service.
Whether you need furnishings for a lounge where workers can comfortably collaborate side-by-side or a conference room that will enable hours of focused conversation, Poppin can be a great resource for inspiration. (This standing table is on our personal wish list, and we like their Goal Dry Erase board for furiously jotting down ideas).
Often neglected, workplace common spaces are essential for making sure communication flows seamlessly and creating a place where people working on different teams can share what they’re working on while hydrating and/or caffeinating – or both, simultaneously. These places can double as sites for sharing HBO recommendations.
Yes – the team building event. We know, we know, everyone loves to make fun of them. But what could be better for forging bonds than taking twenty colleagues who would otherwise never spend time together and locking them in a small room that they have to figure out how to escape together? For the claustrophobic, an outdoor excursion or karaoke night can be a good Escape Room alternative. To engage remote teams, Luna Park offers a series of logic, wordplay, and trivia games, moderated by a live comedian from their production studio.
While sometimes scoffed at, giving people opportunities to make friends at the office can have huge trickle-down benefits. Team building events provide opportunities for people working on different projects to have a chance to connect and remember they’re a part of a common mission. A 2022 Gallup survey found that people with close work friendships were seven times more engaged than other employees, and were also less likely to be looking for jobs elsewhere. When people trust each other, they can work together better and challenge each other more, which can help your company innovate into the future.
Heads of departments may seek your help in organizing events for their teams, but the biggest impact can come from cross-departmental mixing. Easy options include everyone who started in a certain quarter, or even everyone whose birthday is in a certain month. A great opportunity for Office Managers to show leadership is to proactively propose a budget and plan for these events.
In the bustling world of modern business, most Office Managers have more things to do than time in the day. To juggle all the tasks on your hands, a few techniques that work for our team members. For intense tasks that require prolonged concentration, try Pomodoro: 25 minutes of sustained attention, followed by a break of five minutes. Since building relationships throughout the company is an important part of an Office Manager’s success, those five minutes can be a great chance to grab a coffee or water with a colleague.
To keep the to-do list to the essential, the 2-minute Rule can help you put out fires before they happen: if
something takes less than two minutes to complete, do it immediately. When the to-do list piles up, productivity tools like Notion and Asana are great for letting you organize your big-picture goals and time-sensitive tasks, all in one place.
Time management is personal, and every Office Manager needs to get in the flow of what works best for them. But the best way to maximize efficiency is to stop an item from even entering your to-do list.
You don’t mind a little shameless self-promotion, do you? Good, because this is where we introduce ourselves.
Bevi is a revolutionary water dispenser serving sparkling water on tap with the option to add caffeine, electrolytes, vitamins, and your choice of thirteen mix-and-match flavors. Wi-fi connected and sleek, installing a Bevi in your office saves you time and significantly reduces your office’s carbon footprint, removing the clutter of plastic bottles and cans from the office. Bevi dispensers automatically keep track of inventory and have teams on the ground across the country ready to help you restock. Gone are the days of taking inventory, storing, replenishing, and recycling – we know you have enough to think about already.
A few other options if you like your caffeine hot in a mug: Cafection’s Encore Ground coffee machine offers everything from hot chocolate to gourmet barista options, and like Bevi can be touchless, so employees can order recipes from their smart phones. VendiBean’s machines, designed for high volume offices, offer vegan-friendly choices. Like the Bevi Countertop and Standup 2.0, Cafection and VendiBean’s machines utilize real-time data reporting: providers are alerted when service is needed, without you needing to break from what you’re doing.
Whether you’re looking for coffee, healthy snacks, or sparkling water, building partnerships with trustworthy, innovative vendors is a great way to outsource your office administration tasks so you can
focus on the big picture.
Organizing volunteer side-events or company-wide charity drives are all ways Office Managers can reconnect daily workplace operations with the company’s larger mission, or simply with an important cause. At Bevi we’ve done beach clean-ups and neighborhood plastic pick-ups because our mission as a company is to eliminate single-use plastics, but we encourage you to explore options that align with your company’s mission and values.
A leader needs to rally the company to take time from their day jobs – since realistically their responsibilities aren’t going anywhere – and block off their calendar for volunteer activities. That leader could be you! For volunteer events to truly demonstrate a commitment to a cause, both junior and senior members of the team must participate. Office Managers are uniquely positioned to pull in team members throughout the ranks.
Is your office plagued by rule-breakers, blocking off the conference room for recurring meetings and not showing up for them? Does it make you frustrated to see groups of energetic people, dying to collaborate but missing out on a space for it? Try implementing some of entrepreneur Ben Horowitz’s advice and switch up your system.
Noting how placing a horse head on a bed of a Hollywood producer worked better for getting an actress a role than politely sliding a bill across the table – at least in The Godfather – Horowitz observes that shock can be a useful mechanism for producing cultural change. It’s hard to shake people out of repeat behavior.
Rather than put a gentle sign on the wall reminding people to cancel reservations they don’t need in advance, try offering an incentive system. Leaders with a star record of checking-in for their conference room sign-ups could be rewarded with a nice plant or lunch on the company. It doesn’t have to be something big – just a small sign of appreciation for how they’re contributing to the general good work atmosphere and office efficiency.
We all know life changes in a second, and some clients are unpredictable. So make your booking system flexible and easy to access. Companies like Meetio offer software solutions for streamlining meeting room management, so employees can book and cancel rooms from their smart phones and get reminders of their upcoming reservations.
You don’t need to kill a horse to change conference room culture. Just some new tools.
Hungry, anyone? Providing lunch for workers is a meaningful way to promote a healthy work culture, boost productivity, and increase employee retention. EzCater’s Food for Work study found that free or subsidized lunches were the most-appreciated work perk, beating wellness benefits and flexible work arrangements. Having food on site significantly increased employees’ office attendance. We’re not surprised – we love food, too.
EzCater offers corporate catering solutions where companies can easily track expenses and set limits on price-per-head and delivery fees. Employees get to choose from a rotating selection of local caterers, allowing for a variety of cuisine.
If free lunch isn’t realistic for your company’s budget, you can still take steps to encourage employees to break bread, or clink forks, by organizing occasional group take-out orders from local restaurants. The health-conscious Office Manager might consider setting up a Sweetgreen Outpost, so customizable, healthy lunches are sent in batch orders to your company’s designated pickup location, at a reliable time co-workers can count on.
Last but not least, always seek feedback. Whether it’s about the new seating arrangement or the latest addition to the pantry, it’s essential to know what employees think. Regular feedback sessions can offer valuable insights and help you make informed decisions, as you help lead your company through its next chapter. We’ve found that brief surveys via Google Forms, Survey Monkey, or more specialized
tools like CultureAmp are very effective to collect feedback after team-building events, volunteer events, or even about the day-to-day workplace. They also convey to the team that you’re serious about continuously improving the employee experience.
For more office tips and tricks, like 10 Ways to Cut Costs Around Your Office, check out our other blog posts!
Since the start of the pandemic, the traditional workplace has been turned upside down many times over. The Great Resignation, endless Zoom meetings, a looming recession, and massive layoffs. What will happen next?
We gathered outside research and pulled dispense data from thousands of Bevi machines currently installed in offices and commercial spaces throughout North America to understand one question: What does the future of work look like?
Turns out water coolers can tell you more than the latest office gossip. Here are the three biggest trends we see continuing as we enter 2023:
The days of expecting employees to come into the office Monday through Friday appear to be firmly in the past. Instead of forcing employees back to the office full-time, businesses will continue to embrace hybrid models, looking for incentives to make the office more enjoyable when employees are there.
According to a McKinsey study, 52% of workers prefer a more flexible working model post-pandemic. Simply put, most employees are not interested in coming into the office five days a week anymore—and their Bevi machine usage patterns confirm it!
When you take a close look at machine dispense trends, it’s clear that people are working from home much more in general, with usage in residential apartment buildings reaching 121% of 2019 levels in September of 2022. Meanwhile, in-office usage has struggled to return to its pre-pandemic heights across a number of industries.
That said, while more time is being spent working from home, a consistent hybrid schedule is emerging, as Tuesdays-Thursdays are the most popular days to be in the office, with Finance and CPG leading the way on a trend that was already taking shape prior to the pandemic.
As we look ahead to 2023, it’s clear that businesses will continue to embrace a hybrid model that combines flexibility with facetime. Hybrid models and flexible work arrangements will remain to keep employee satisfaction high. When Bevi moved to a hybrid work model, Bevi’s CEO and Co-Founder, Sean Grundy, shared his thoughts on hybrid work.
“It’s important to get people back together at least two days a week, first and foremost, because I think friendship at work is important. When you actually genuinely care about the people you work with, I think you’re more motivated to do your job, and you go out of your way to help other people, especially people in other departments. Plus, work gets a lot easier, and it gets more fun. So I think it’s important to foster an environment where that friendship can happen.”
Even so, the onus will be on companies to create incentives to get employees excited about coming back into the office and fostering an environment they want to be in. This leads us to our next prediction…
Why are employees not interested in coming back five days a week and instead spending that extra commute time doing the things they love? Because it makes them happy. And why would we want to go back to our old ways if it’s not bringing us joy?
In 2023, there will be an emphasis on workplace happiness, as many workers continue to prioritize their well-being more than they did pre-pandemic. Offering employee perks that support this mentality will become a vital component of attracting and retaining top talent.
A McKinsey study shows that 47% of employees are eager to see their organizations put a greater emphasis on well-being post-pandemic. Additionally, Glassdoor and Indeed’s Hiring and Workplace Trends report surveyed thousands of workers to understand what the work trends for 2023 look like. What they found is really telling:
“Nearly half of workers surveyed said that their expectation around happiness at work has increased in the last year, and 86% of those surveyed say that how they feel at work impacts how they feel at home. What’s more, Glassdoor and Indeed estimate that 90% of people believe that how we feel at work matters, but only 49% of people report their company is measuring happiness and well-being.”
In the coming year, companies must consider offering perks to prioritize employee happiness if they want to remain competitive. Some examples include gym memberships, tuition reimbursement, healthy catered snacks, meals, and beverage options, on-site massages, therapy sessions, nap pods, and more.
Understanding, measuring, and taking action to maintain employee well-being and happiness will be crucial for attracting and retaining talent in the future.
And speaking of attracting talent in the future, our next prediction is closely related to this as well…
In 2023, businesses will experience greater demand for proof of sustainable practices from current and prospective employees, as well as stakeholders, partners, and customers. According to a new report from Handshake, a career resource platform, almost two-thirds of 1,800 respondents stated that they were more likely to apply to a job that committed to sustainable practices.
Additionally, according to GreenBiz’s Business Guide to Carbon Accounting released earlier this year, “Organizations that proactively prioritize sustainable solutions not only cultivate positive stakeholder sentiment in the short term, but set themselves up for long-term success by minimizing risk, capturing new opportunities, and gaining competitive advantage.”
As consumers and corporations grow increasingly environmentally conscious, they can make small changes like reducing their consumption of single-use packaging, implementing recycling and composting programs, or instituting “bring-your-own-bottle” policies.
Another one of those steps is switching from single-use bottled and canned water to a Bevi machine. The bottled beverage industry is arguably the most environmentally wasteful industry in the world as billions of plastic bottles get produced every year in the U.S. alone. Bevi’s mission is to change the beverage supply chain from the inside out, offering a more environmentally friendly method for providing high-quality beverages.
Since its founding in 2013, Bevi machines have displaced the waste of over 300 million plastic bottles and cans, and each machine saves an average of 30,000 bottles per year. By providing quality, flavored water in the spaces people frequent most often, Bevi machines significantly reduce the amount of single-use bottles and cans used across offices and commercial spaces—a mission that will only grow in importance in 2023 and beyond.
Hybrid and flexible work, employee happiness, and sustainable business practices are three important trends that will guide the future of work in 2023. While we wish we had a magic eight ball, only time will tell what the next year truly holds. What predictions and trends do you foresee for the future of work both next year and beyond? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn!
Whether you’re hosting a small get-together with a few coworkers or planning a holiday bash for the entire company, nothing beats serving up a few holiday-themed cocktails for all to enjoy. But, have you ever thought about including your office Bevi machine in all the merry to spruce up your holiday drinks?
You’ll save money on all of the sparkling water and flavored chasers needed, no more lugging the bottles and cans up to the office and recycling all of them afterward, and bonus, you’ll be helping the planet!
Here are 4 delicious holiday cocktails you and your coworkers can make using the office Bevi machine:
Our version of this holiday classic features Bevi Lime Mint sparkling water and creme de cacao to create a mint chocolate treat that’s perfect for your holiday party.
Even the Grinch wouldn’t be able to resist this refreshing, fruity cocktail made from Bevi Lemon + Key Lime sparkling water, Midori melon liqueur, and rum!
If you’re looking to offer your guests a drink that will keep them warm and cozy all evening, look no further than the hot toddy.
A fun twist on a childhood favorite, our Dirty Shirley is made using vodka, grenadine syrup, and Bevi Lemon + Key Lime sparkling water. Don’t forget the maraschino cherries!
If you try any of these Bevi cocktails at your next holiday party, we’d love to see them! Share your photos or videos with us on our Instagram, Facebook, TikTok or Twitter!
Whatever your company vibe, Bevi can slot right in and reinforce it—it’s all about making it uniquely yours. That’s easier said than done, so for some added inspiration, consider these other easily-customizable ways of incorporating a Bevi into your culture:
For a pre-planned way to make Bevi your own, check out our annual Halloween Costume Contest.
Every year leading up to Halloween, our customers dress up their Bevi and share the images and videos with us—and we’re always pretty blown away by the results. We’ve seen creepy Frankenstein monsters, adorable Minions, and everything in between.
After Halloween, we announce the winner in a few different categories, and each winner gets a Bevi Swag Bag: there’s Best Countertop, Best Standup, Best Dressed as Bevi, and Best Overall.
There aren’t tons of rules and restrictions, so the contest is simply a take-it-and-run-with-it chance to get your office into the Halloween spirit, rally together to create an epic costume, and create a Halloween decoration that fits and reflects your vibe as a company.
If you’re laid-back and witty, maybe you create a pun-tastic costume that matches that unique company humor. If you’re hip and trendy, maybe you make a bold statement with an eclectic design. If you’re bright and bubbly, maybe you create a charming, heartwarming costume that brings added cheer to the office. It’s totally open—think of it as a chance to put your company culture into costume form.
Every upcoming event and holiday brings with it a special chance to celebrate your company’s culture, boost morale, and add some festive spirit to the office. You probably already do a lot to mark these special events in the office, and your Bevi machine can make for an added opportunity to mark these occasions.
For example, let’s say you want to celebrate the start of spring (only a few weeks away!). Dress up your Bevi with flowers and bright colors, and consider adding “spring intentions” to the machine—whether it’s spring cleaning the office, enjoying the sunshine, or making a commitment to healthier hydration. Your Bevi can help your office mark special events, build excitement, and reinforce shared values and goals.
Whether you’re a rapidly growing company with a constant influx of new people, or a small team with a fairly stable staff, creating opportunities for people to connect and get to know each other beyond quick email exchanges and routine meetings can often do a lot to strengthen your culture.
But, creating those opportunities can often be difficult (too many busy schedules), time-consuming, and expensive. Not to mention, everyone tends to communicate digitally these days.
Allow Bevi to help!
Use your Bevi as the upgraded, smart water cooler that it is, by using it to spark upgraded water cooler chat—with ice-breakers.
One way to do this is to do a version of the “candy introductions” ice-breaker: assign a question to each flavor in your Bevi, and write those questions on the machine. Then, whenever someone fills up at the Bevi with another person around, they have to answer the questions based on their chosen flavors. These can be simple questions like “Tell me about your favorite vacation,” or more heavy-hitting—whatever you’d like to spark conversations and help your team get to know each other better.
If you’re looking to build camaraderie through some friendly competition inside your office, Bevi can help. Use your Bevi to hold office-wide hydration contests—break up into teams, set a goal and a timeline, track your water consumption, and offer a prize for the winner. This can be part of a broader wellness initiative while allowing for some cross-department bonding.
Eager to find ways to incorporate Bevi into your culture? Check out our options to find the best fit for your office.
Cultivating a consistent company culture that permeates every aspect of your business can be a challenge. It’s a delicate ecosystem—the wrong hires, norms, and even office layout can threaten to throw it off balance. We know that something as big as a new machine can feel like a risk. Will it fit in here and reinforce our vision and values? Or, will it be that weird elephant in the room that disrupts our carefully curated dynamics?
With Bevi, you don’t have to worry. We can say with confidence that Bevi can fit into just about any company’s culture, seamlessly, like it’s always belonged. But hey—don’t just take our word for it. Hear it directly from the source: our customers.
We’re thrilled to share some real-life examples from a wide mix of companies that have integrated Bevi into their offices and seen it support and strengthen their cultures.
First up: The Orchard.
The Orchard, a leading music distribution company, has stayed ahead of the curve in entertainment since 1997. Fittingly, their office in the heart of the East Village boasts a balance of this high-tech, forward-thinking culture with a laid-back feel. Looped into this culture is a deep appreciation for their employees, which—among other things—translates to offering fun, high-tech perks to their staff.
Enter, the challenge: The Orchard needed a water option that matched their culture—and they’d already been burned in the past by an unreliable water machine. Could Bevi fit in with this high-tech, laid-back, employee-valued vibe?
Mike P., their Procurement and Administrative Services Manager, introduced one stand-up machine and one countertop machine to their office, and they were an immediate hit.
The Bevi’s touchscreen and animations fit in with The Orchard’s “what’s next” identity, while its customizable drinks blended right in with their commitment to providing awesome perks for their employees.
Plus, The Orchard saved 30,000 bottles in the first month from one machine—which we can all feel pretty good about.
Up next: MIT Venture Mentoring Service.
Venture Mentoring Service at MIT supports innovation throughout the MIT community by offering entrepreneurial mentoring services. According to their Operations Manager, Haley, even though their office is small, they get a lot of traffic at unpredictable rates.
Now, the challenge: MIT VMS wanted to be able to provide filtered drinking water to everyone coming through their doors. Could Bevi meet their unpredictable demand and fit into their culture as a community resource?
You know it!
By connecting to a water line and filtering tap water, Bevi means that VMS is never left without purified drinking water.
The result? Not only did their new machine reduce the headache of having to deal with an unpredictable supply and demand, it also reinforced VMS’ identity as a welcoming spot for the community: students come from the classroom next door, gym-goers climb a floor out of their way, and one MIT policeman hauls his bike up the stairs, all to fill up their bottles at VMS.
We’re picky. We work with only the best-of-the-best partners to develop our flavors. We choose our flavor partners carefully to make sure we’re 1) getting the best possible flavors, and 2) working with companies that align with our commitment to sustainability.
Next up: Ginkgo.
Ginkgo Bioworks, “the organism company,” designs custom products for customers in multiple markets by harnessing the power of biology.
They decided to add a Bevi to their office. In the leadup to delivery, their office manager headed to Slack and invited their team to vote on their first four flavors.
Emojis flooded in as everyone chimed in with their votes—having fun with it, getting excited about the new addition to their office, and allowing everyone to have a voice in the process.
Kudos, Ginkgo. Building in this kind of choice and customization often translates to higher water intake, higher employee satisfaction, and improved health—and they’ve done it right at the outset. Win-win-win.
Now, we turn our attention to theSkimm, a membership company focused on helping female millennials “live smarter,” and their New York City office.
If you’re in need of a little lighthearted fun to liven up the office, take a page out of their Bevi playbook.
They’ve added a fresh spin to their machine, and have found fun ways to make it their own—bringing some extra humor to the office in the process. Check it out:
A well-decorated machine and witty lyric swaps? Yes, please.
Their office has been enjoying the machine and the sustainable, customizable drinks it brings, so they’ve made it uniquely theirs with these little “Odes to Bevi.” It’s fun, dynamic, and sure to boost the mood on even the longest days.
Already buzzing with a ton of ideas of how to incorporate Bevi into your company culture? Get your Bevi now—we can’t wait to see how you make it your own!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
And if you’re interested in joining the team check out our current job openings here: https://bevi.co/careers/#opportunities
Planning a company retreat is not easy; there are so many things to remember and take care of! We at Bevi recently took two days off for our retreat in Maine, and even if we say so ourselves, it was PERFECT! In this article, our Office Operations Manager, Jill Rudnicki, shares her guide to planning your corporate retreat, and making it a success!
A company retreat provides employees a chance to decompress and bond in a social setting, away from the stresses of everyday deliverables. Retreats are the perfect way to boost employee morale, increase communication and collaboration across departments and, ultimately create better working relationships with increased productivity. The Bevi team has been growing across the country, and we believe in building in-person connections. The retreat was a way to bring everyone in one room outside work and get to know each other.
Jill organized our retreat meticulously, and our 3D2N trip had it all – from outdoor activities to a raging 80s themed Prom! Lovingly named the Watyr Festival, our team members traveled from across the country to the relaxing and beautiful state of Maine to unwind and bond.
Here is your guide to planning a successful corporate retreat!
Work with your leadership team to decide on the purpose of the corporate retreat. The purpose will then dictate the types of events you plan out. If you want to focus on team building, activities like scavenger hunts are an excellent way to get everyone moving, working together with people outside their own departments and forming bonds. The team-building purpose allows you to measure the success of your retreat. We could say the retreat was a success, as during lunch on day 2, each table had a mix of members from different teams enjoying lunch together and bonding!
“The Bevi retreat was one of the best I’ve been on. Being a remote rep, I don’t get to interact with others at the company so I really appreciated getting to know more of the staff! The accommodations were top-notch and Jill did an outstanding job of coordinating all the logistics. Let’s see 2020!!!”
– Matthew Macdonald
Involve the whole team in the planning. It gets people invested and excited. Ask team members if they have been to past retreats, what they liked, and what could be improved. Have new team members answer open-ended questions about activities, etc. that they would enjoy participating in. This way, you will also get a feel for the types of activities that people might enjoy. Incorporating their preferred activities is a sure-fire way of increasing their engagement. This is how we came up with an 80’s Prom!
Another tip is to involve future team members too. Incoming Business Development team member Alexis Bryant’s first day was scheduled for after the retreat. We invited her to join us in Maine for a deep dive into the Bevi culture.
“I instantly felt comfortable at the retreat. I was really nervous to go because I didn’t know anyone but everyone was so kind and welcoming and I had the time of my life. Bevi is such a mix of personalities and backgrounds but everyone is respectful and kind-hearted. I feel lucky to work here!” – Alexis Bryant
Having been in the hotel industry for over 15 years, Jill knew that overnight rates at hotels drastically vary from day to day. It’s common for rates to quadruple from the night before based on expected occupancy in the area. Her tip is to have 3-4 dates that work for your company. Share these dates with the hotel or resort and choose the dates with the lowest rates. This will make the most significant impact on your budget. Of course, make sure the time works in terms of business. We avoided dates near the end of the month or quarter and organized the retreat just after our annual sales summit. This ensured that people did not have to fly down to New England twice in the same quarter.
Being an environmental company, it was important to us that our site was a certified green property. We chose Sebasco Harbor Resort, located in Maine, due to the resort’s unwavering commitment to eco-friendly standards from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Additionally, the retreat has earned the Gold status from the Tripadvisor GreenLeaders program.
To get the most out of your budget, choose a location with activities included to save money or a CMP (complete meeting package), which will have breakfast, lunch, and dinner included in the rate. Bundling lodging and meals or most meals into a rate will save a lot of money. AND negotiate! No price is set in stone, especially when your company is flexible with dates.
Planned activities with randomized groups help break the ice and get people talking. We planned a games night, karaoke, the 80s themed prom night, scavenger hunt, trivia session, and Bevi core values revamp focus group sessions from an outside facilitator as part of the activities.
Jill shared a detailed presentation about other outdoor activities available – including hiking trails, best places to watch the sunset, canoeing, and bike trails before the trip. Everyone likes a different outdoor activity, and giving people options to choose from allows those who have the same interests to get to know each other!
“I really enjoyed the retreat this year. I loved the blend of togetherness and structure with free time to just hang out together. I’d love to have had even more time with my coworkers, but I’m not going to complain about spending a day at the onsite spa!”
– Rhiannon Chiacchiaro
It can be challenging to ensure that everyone is on time, and no one gets lost! Over-communicate when and where everything is, what activities are mandatory, and what people can choose to do. Let them know what is included, very precisely, and what they should be expected to pay for on their own. Create a packing list so everyone is prepared for the climate and any outdoor activities that you may have planned. A list of emergency phone numbers and a map of the resort with locations marked for each event should be shared before the event. This reduces the chances of people wandering off to an incorrect place and delaying the activities. Jill created a detailed guide for the Watyr Festival, that was shared internally. She organized welcome bags for everyone, which had a printed card with the itinerary for the trip along with some useful goodies for the trip.
Be prepared for things not to go 100% smoothly – stay calm and smile. As the planner, you see things and stress about stuff that no one else is noticing. As long as you look around and see people smiling, then everything is okay. And lastly, don’t forget to take a feedback survey at the end of the retreat. This will allow you to collect valuable information, and plan better for the next one!
“The retreat was like being a cast member on a corporate version of The Real World. I got picked to live on a resort with many people from different departments who came into the weekend as strangers to me. We partied. We shared ideas. We developed relationships that have outlasted our stay. At points, I had my life taped but people didn’t stop being polite in order to get real. It was an absolute blast and the most memorable company retreat I’ve ever been on.”
– Ryan Garcia
Every company has a unique culture, do what works for you and your company culture. In summary, Jill’s tips for planning your next staff retreat are:
We hope this guide was useful! We had a blast at our staff retreat, and we hope you have an excellent retreat!
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!
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.
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!
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.
If you want to commit to volunteering, there are so many ways to do so. Just figure out what’s important to you and get googling. Start here if need be: https://www.today.com/pages/volunteer-tips!
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.
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.
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).
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Bevi was actually my first full-time job outside of school. Before, I used to work in data centers.
Specifically, being a part of the environmental impact is a huge deal to me. We save countless bottles a month.
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.
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.
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!
And if you’re interested in joining the team check out our current job openings here: https://bevi.co/careers/
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.
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!
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”.
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 :).
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!)
Check out Sammy’s passion project Neon Bandits here!
Look out for new employee spotlights MONTHLY! Meet Jenny Seto, Rhiannon Chiacchiaro, and Alyssa Parchment in our June 2019 Employee Spotlight!
And if you’re interested in joining the team check out our current job openings here: https://bevi.co/careers/#opportunities