2 min Read
July 13, 2009

Think globally, act in your office.

Big Duck

Who in the nonprofit sector hasn’t heard phrases like, ‘think globally, act locally’ or ‘charity begins at home’ a million times? You’re probably wearing a t-shirt right now with a phrase like that on it, I’ll wager. If we’re going to do great work, it might stand to reason that we should love coming to work. If we’re going to be effective communicators with external audiences, we should really communicate well internally first, right? But how many people do you know who really focus on office communications and quality of life? So a few years ago, we Ducks began implementing a few things internally that help us remember to take care of ourselves so we are in a strong position to do better work. Here are a few ideas we’ve implemented here we hope you’ll steal and use in your office.

Duck of the week: Every week, a Duck of the Week is selected by the previous week’s Duck of the Week during staff meeting. This is a great chance to celebrate hard work, or even a co-worker’s birthday, etc.

Green team: A small task force of people meets periodically to help make the office more environmentally friendly. Our green team has helped dramatically reduce Big Duck’s electricity bills, changed our personal habits, promoted more effective recycling, and beyond.

(Free) intranet where you can share cool stuff: we built our own private intranet using the Ning platform, which is free. We post work-related stuff but also fun stuff too- like pictures we take at staff events, or other things that remind us that we like each other.

Wellness activities: We’ve been working together to try and improve our collective health and balance for several years. Wellness activities have included having health counselors come in and give us tips, an office contest to do 100 push ups, a wellness month with prizes, and more.

Bike riding to work is encouraged. Why not get your heart racing before work, rather than while you’re there?

Treating each other: Every Friday, someone on our staff brings in snacks for the rest of the crew. Often it’s bagels, or maybe fruit- but occasionally people get really creative- waffle-making or homemade guacamole on Cinco de Mayo, for instance. 

Waffles make Kristin smile.

Sonny playing with his food.

Not only do these activities give us a chance to have fun together, they make it easier, somehow, during crunch times to hunker down and get to work. If you work someplace that values team building, that’s a good indicator that you’ve developed a culture that values individuals. This can only help your work, right? The Institute for Jewish Spirituality, for instance, has yoga breaks during staff meetings. Cool, huh?

Please leave a comment here and let us know what happens in your office that helps people to feel valued and engaged. We’ll be sure to share some of the fun we have in future Duck Calls, so stay tuned.