Don’t forget to have fun – in person

Remote working has pros and cons

Since Hyphen8 began over 12 years ago, we have never had a shared office and all of us work from home.  This situation does have its benefits.  These have been well-documented since many people were forced out of their workplaces during lockdown.  For us, a major plus point is our ability to attract extremely talented individuals who live in every part of the UK from the South Coast to Scotland and everywhere in between.  Many of them have young families and need flexible working hours.  Or they don't want the stress of commuting. So it just doesn't make sense to base ourselves in any single geographical location.

But the major downside of remote working is that we don't get to see each other in person very often.  As a values-led organisation, supporting each other, having fun and looking after our wellbeing is so important.  I think we do a pretty good job despite not being in the same room.  BUT it's just not the same as being physically together and the buzz we all get from spending quality time and building connections.

Value of spending time together in person

One of our 8 values is 'Don't forget to have fun' and we take this very seriously!

This week we had our 2 day Hyphen8 annual summer social where the whole company spends time together, in person, away from work:

  • We had silly fun with an after-dinner retro gameshow competition
  • We built hilariously-themed karts in teams to navigate round an outside course
  • We had a (not very serious) awards ceremony with trophies
  • We built in lots of down time so that people could just mingle and connect without any pressure to join in the activities
  • We formed smaller groups to play golf or go for a swim, play board games or just chat
  • We laughed a lot and learnt more about each other
Hyphen8 summer social fun
Hyphen8 summer social karting teams

It's kind of sad how humans have evolved to become so comfortable being on our own and having to build so many relationships virtually.  Working remotely is not for everyone and we can all sometimes struggle being isolated from real-life human interaction.

Which makes it even more special when we do get the chance to be in the same room.  Although we can't do them as often as I would like, I am looking forward to the next one already!  Our team is such an amazing bunch of humans and feedback is always how much they love being together in person. We remote working companies need to find ways to make this happen.