Work, Work, Work
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average working person spends nearly nine hours a day at work or engaged in work related activities. That’s 45 hours a week, 180 hours a month, and 2,160 hours a year! Many of us spend as much time with our colleagues as we do our families.
Looking at it that way, it’s easy to see why fun is such an important part of DC’s culture. Ever since our founding in 1992, we’ve worked hard to make sure that we take our work seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We think fun is one of the most effective ways to build camaraderie, relationships, and provide ammunition for embarrassing stories. Without fun, work is just a job, and that has always sounded pretty unfulfilling to us.
Fun, Fun, Fun
So, how do we keep things fun? Here are a few examples of the things we do to make sure we’re connecting beyond everyday deadlines and project meetings.
On Monday mornings, we get together as an office and start the week off by sharing our weekend highlights. When else are you going to learn which of your colleagues has sheared llamas, wrestled alligators, been mildly electrocuted, or successfully deployed “controlled burns” on their property?
At the end of the week, we get together again, this time around the office kegerator — it was a Christmas gift, we promise — to unwind, decompress, and welcome in the weekend. We think it’s important to start and end the week together.
We’re pretty sure we pioneered the use of Photoshop to create embarrassing pictures of co-workers. Partner or project manager, architect or interior designer, no resume picture is safe from the swift justice of the magic wand tool.
We celebrate every office birthday together with a special treat in the lobby, and occasionally with an awkward singing of “Happy Birthday.” Cookies and cake are acceptable, but hot wings are hard to beat!
Every month we have a DC Fun Event, where we take an hour or so out of our day and go do something fun together as an office. Whether it’s go karting, pontoon riding, kayaking, playing dodgeball or h-o-r-s-e, bowling, or turning the office into a miniature golf course, you can bet that it will be fun and, more than likely, a little competitive.
A new summer tradition is the DC Blockbuster, where we all go to a cool theater on a hot July day and take in the latest popcorn blockbuster. There may or may not be a standing moratorium on super hero movies.
Every fall after the DC Bonanza, our annual off-site company seminar, we head to founding partner Terry Wagner’s property with our significant others. We sit on hay bales, roast marshmallows, eat great food, and enjoy even better company.
Late summer is the season for the annual Partners vs. Pickles match, a sand volleyball game where leadership valiantly plays the young all-stars from the rest of the office, usually proving that it’s not important whether you win or lose; it’s how you play the game.
You might say that we work pretty hard at having fun. You wouldn’t be wrong. We spend a lot of time with one another and with our clients – why shouldn’t it be fun? When it comes down to it, we try to have fun because we want to create a place that doesn’t feel like any other 8:00-5:00 job.
We want to create a team of people that are as dedicated to one another as they are to themselves. We want people who care about people. And, the occasional trip to the bowling alley isn’t too shabby, either.
Kelli Warner, Jordan Backer, and Kelly Shields