Being Traditional

With so much happening every day, and the stress of work and world events, it can be easy to let special moments pass you by. At BEING, part of our culture at work is taking time to enjoy the little things and appreciate all of our wins — no matter how small.

After recently welcoming some new Beings to our team, we noticed just how many quirky traditions we’ve accumulated over the years. So, here’s a little peek into the customs that make up everyday life at The Being Group.

The Everyday

Check-in

What? Every morning we gather all departments to touch base on the work ahead. We run through the day’s meetings and all client projects on the agenda. Sometimes there are special announcements — like an overview of a recent holiday or a moment of appreciation for a new haircut.

Why? Daily check-ins help us prioritise our workloads, see who has capacity and make sure nothing gets forgotten. It’s also a great way to say hello to everyone in the team before we break off to our own projects. We’re stronger together, so we like to start our day this way.

When? Daily, 9:05am.

Marking our Wins

What? New clients and contracts, big and small, are celebrated by ringing a bell. In 2020 we rang the now retired Massive. (Long story short, he’s Stuart Little’s older, larger brother.) In 2021 we ring Tiny the Ox. Get it? They’re the Lunar New Year animals! Large tenders and proposals are sent into the world with a cry of “Schling!” and appropriate clapping and cheering. When a new website we’ve created goes live, we announce it with a round of applause from our moose Propagate. (You may think that sounds ridiculous. You’d be right.)

Why? It’s important to celebrate even the smallest of wins, which can make such an impact during difficult times.

When? Whenever a new contract is approved, a tender or proposal is sent, or a website goes live.

Displaying Memories

What? Group photos from occasions (parties, Christmas) and events (award ceremonies, big launches) are framed and displayed on the wall of our lunchroom. We also have two Polaroid walls of Beings on birthdays, first days, last days, silly days and everything in-between.

Why? So we never forget the good times!

When? Whenever the occasion calls for it.

The Leaf Blower

What? Friday afternoon drinks are signalled by the soothing sound of our mini-leaf blower. Each week a different team member does something a little bit individual to ring the alarm. At this point, it’s getting pretty creative.

Why? At our old office, the building gardener would work on Friday afternoons. Every week we’d hear the leaf blower fire up at 4:30pm. That was how you knew it was time for an end-of-week beer, wine or soda. Naturally, we had to have our own leaf blower for our new location.

When? Every Friday, 4:30pm.

Jam Sessions

What? End-of-week drinks are sometimes sound-tracked by the musical stylings of our multi-talented team. We’ve got a range of talented guitarists, from band players to buskers to beginners.

Why? When several of your staff play guitar — including the CEO — it just happens.

When? Occasional Fridays, from 5pm. (And at any party held at our CEO’s house.)

Office Pets

What? While we wish we could bring real pets to the office, we love our cute substitutes. When Beings return from a holiday, they bring a small animal figurine from their travels. Pets are introduced at morning check-in and placed into the wooden quarantine tray — a tradition that pre-dates the global pandemic, we’ll have you know — for a week or two, before being added to our ever-growing collection.

Why? It all started with Hoppy, a grass Easter bunny from Spotlight. Our founder took that pet and ran with it, bringing back Bam-Bam, Jamala, Bugsy and Braaa-d from New Zealand. They were closely followed by Breneece, the tiny turtle from Hawaii.

When? Anytime a team member goes on holiday.

Champagne Corks

What? Corks popped from celebratory bottles of champagne are dated and kept in a glass jar.

Why? We toast to record months as we grow and grow and grow.

When? When we have a record month and for important moments — like when the marriage equality Yes vote passed and when we launched our new office and brand.

Post-its

What? When we started in our first teeny-tiny office, our team of four used green, blue, pink and orange post-its to track individual workflow. This system worked well for a while — until the team grew, we ran out of colours, and big post-it clumps fell off the wall. Now we’ve switched to digital tracking and our post-its live comfortably as a statement piece in our meeting room.

Why? In our early stages, the post-it wall provided an eye-catching and easy-to-follow overview of the week. We knew who was working on what at a glance.

When? Never again.

“Put it on the Story”

What? Pics, or it didn’t happen. When something fun happens in the office — a website goes live, two people arrive dressed the same, someone sends us something cool — you can be sure we’re going to Boomerang it. You’ll hear the phrase floating around the office daily. Team lunch? “Put it on the story.” New work? “Put it on the story.” Literally anything? “Put it on the story.”

Why? We like our clients and followers to feel included.

When? Every. Day. (Except weekends.)

The Events

Alvos Day

What? Alvos Day (adapted from Salvos) is a big clothing swap that sees the office transformed into our own private op-shop. Everyone brings in clothes and accessories they no longer want or wear, items are hung on racks made from photography equipment, and then we “shop” throughout the day. Anything left over by close of business is donated to a local charity.

Why? Our first Alvos Day was a surprise for our Relationship Manager (and resident op-shop queen) Alex’s birthday. We all loved it so much it’s now a permanent event.

When? Annually, sometime between July and September.

Monthly Meetings

What? Led by our CEO Siebert, we end each month with a team meeting and workshop. The meeting kicks off with nominations for great work that embodies our company values. Everyone gets involved in acknowledging the month’s achievements, big and small. Meetings usually involve a learning session by Siebert, or a presentation of a topic a Being is passionate about. (We’ve had team talks on filing, book design and the science of storytelling.) Sometimes we have a little fun with throwbacks, like baby pics and bad hair snaps.

Why? Transparency, solidarity, appreciation, staff development, team building — the list goes on!

When? Monthly, usually the first or last Friday of the month.

Fancy Friday

What? To celebrate the end of financial year, we host our very own Fancy Friday, where team members suit up and dress a little bit extra. You can come in “fancy” dress (like a character in Cluedo) or “fancy dress” (like a Halloween costume). Faux fur and gloves encouraged.

Why? Why not?

When? Annually, the first Friday of July.

International Lunch

What? Beings take turns hosting an International Lunch, where they get to share food from their birth country or ancestry. We’ve enjoyed lunch from America, Malaysia, Colombia, Italy, South Africa, Croatia, England and Germany, to name a few. Sometimes there’s a presentation about where the Being grew up, where we do some intense Google Map street-view stalking. There’s even an International Lunch music video, set to the tune of Pitbull’s International Love.

Why? In 2019, International Lunch was pitched by our former Senior Web Developer Pavel, who wanted to share a taste of his Russian heritage with the team. The event gives us a chance to celebrate our diversity and dig into some really good food.

When? Monthly, coinciding with a Monthly Meeting.

The BEING Birthday Party

What? Usually celebrated with a picnic or garden event, we eat cake and drink champagne in honour of another year as a company. In 2020, we took a painting class with varying results. Our founder LOVES surprises and goes to great lengths to keep the location details a secret. Planning is extreme and excitement is high.

Why? We’re proud of how far we’ve come and love any excuse for cake!

When? 7 September.

Personal Birthday Parties

What? Every team member’s birthday is marked with a surprise party tailored to their interests — ranging from really niche to rather arbitrary. This always includes extravagant decorations and costumes that raise a few eyebrows in the local coffee shop. We’ve created fine dining experiences, taken a trip to Europe, gone camping, clubbing, surfing and race car driving, and stepped into The Simpsons, Harry Potter and James Bond. It’s great to pause and laugh.

Why? Each Being is uniquely special and deserves a day just for them. And of course, cake.

When? Whenever there’s a birthday! (So, like, two times a month as our team grows. Don’t even talk about November.)

Welcoming New Staff

What? Starting a new job is intimidating enough, so we make our onboarding process really welcoming. New staff are always greeted by the full team, a few sweet treats and a nice gift to make their day a little easier. Beings from all departments are involved in showing new people the ropes in their first few days and weeks.

Why? We’re always excited to welcome new Beings and want to make sure they feel at home from the get-go.

When? On a new hire’s first day.

Pass the Parcel

What? Christmas parties include an epic game of pass the parcel where everyone ends up with a gift. Usually that gift is something ridiculous, like high intensity flashing jewellery or an inflatable headpiece. After the infamous three-hour pass the parcel game of 2018, we’ve learned to manage our time more efficiently.

Why? Our founder loves to be a little bit silly. It doesn’t feel festive without pass the parcel.

When? The annual Christmas party.

Fostering a fun and enjoyable culture at work is something we keep in mind with everything that we do. These traditions have grown from that.

For more, read about the importance of play for adults in the workplace or get in touch to chat about how you can improve your own office culture.


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