Countdown to Christmas: Day two – embracing celebrations

This is the latest in my Advent series of articles where I feature guest writers and posts from the past 12 months every day between now and Christmas.

Today it’s Jo Osborn who wrote about the FIFA World Cup in June this year and how to embrace celebratory occasions in the workplace but keep work, er, working…

Embracing the World Cup celebrations

Last week I featured an article looking at ‘World Cup fever’ and the challenges companies face in managing expectations from employees who want to watch the football.

Today Jo Osborn @Osborn_Jo, (pictured) Communications Manager at South East Water here in the UK contacted me after reading the article to share what her company are doing.

Jo says: “With the World Cup kicking off in Brazil, our Customer Services department has been busy getting into the footballing spirit by taking part in a World Cup decorating competition.”

Each team was given a country and challenged to decorate their area to the country’s theme and was then judged on the opening day of the competition (12 June).

The competition was arranged by Simon Bye, South East Water Customer Services Team Leader, who understood it was crucial that work was not affected while the World Cup fun and games kicked off.

Dutch teamHe said: “It was great to see all the teams working so hard to decorate their office areas. Everyone joined together and the team spirit was clear to see. We’ve loved seeing the inner artistic talents of colleagues as some of the decorations were brilliant, I am glad it wasn’t me that had to judge the winning team!

“It was business as usual though with our service level being reached as we took over 2,000 calls with just under 70% of them answered within 30 seconds. Our evening staff also assisted the Out of Hours team when needed so it just goes to show that you can still have fun while getting the job done.”

The competition is set to continue throughout the tournament, with a variety of different challenges including a world food tasting day and learning new languages still to come.

Pictured is South East Water’s Dutch team hard at work.

Steve Andrews, Head of Customer Service at South East Water, said: “I’m sure that having a happy atmosphere at work will translate as a positive experience for our customers and I’ve loved seeing the creativity of the team on display.

“I’ve been particularly impressed with the effort everyone has gone to, making decorations in their own time and even roping in their children and partners to get involved. It’s been a real family effort.”

Thanks for sharing your story Jo.


First published on All Things IC 18 June 2014 and republished 2 December 2014.

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