Culture & Fun
At Strathcom Media, we have a work hard/play hard atmosphere. With Google prizes, foosball tournaments, bbq’s, and other team building activities, there is never a dull moment!
Now I’ve set foot in a lot of lunchrooms over the course of my life. In fact, at school, the lunchroom was where I did some of my best work. Now, I’ve been in lunchrooms where the fluorescent lights were so bright they could blind a man. I’ve been in lunchrooms so clean that even mentioning the ten-second rule was akin to handing out fascist propaganda. Conversely, I’ve been in lunchrooms so dirty I’d rather sneak off and eat my lunch in the bathroom. But I’ve never been in a lunchroom quite like the one at Strathcom…
Overly Social Workers
Let’s back up a moment, shall we? The energy at the Strathcom office is always, oh, lets say frenetic. The moment you walk in, voices boom and conversations crackle. I’ve barely had a chance to put a dent in my coffee (and become remotely close to a social human) before being dragged into a conversation about anything from political probes, hot-button issues, religion, or raisins. And that pace doesn’t really let up through the early portion of the morning once the coffee kicks in, or in the afternoon when everyone is riding the wave of an extreme sugar high thanks to the snack wall stocked with everything from granola bars to nostalgic favourites like Fruit By The Foot (sweet, sweet, diabetes-inducing memories). But if it were to reach a peak, as all things must, that peak would be lunch.
Raisin’ The Roof
Imagine, for a moment, all that energy. Just a bunch of crazed molecules, bouncing around and colliding off of one another. That’s how conversation works in the Strathcom lunchroom. If you aren’t focused, and listening carefully, all you’ll hear is fractions; bits and pieces of rants and anecdotes. The lunchroom is where the staff go to escape their brightly lit screens and socialize — even with all those good-for-nothing millennials in the room, they tend to keep their phones holstered. Recipes are recounted, war stories are traded, roasts are microwaved, microwave dinners are roasted, and the literal stand-up comedians sit and workshop their new material on an unsuspecting audience.
And That Doesn’t Even Take Into Account the Foosball…
The team at Strathcom takes its Foosball seriously. I mean, not European, chain link-fence-separated, flare-throwing, fire-starting, riot-inciting serious, but pretty damn serious nonetheless. Ignoring all of the surgeon general’s warnings to not engage in strenuous activity within thirty minutes of eating, the first four to finish their food will hop up and get behind the sticks for the type of game that makes an Oilers vs. Flames grudge match look like your 90-year-old grandma playing Bridge with her oldest friends. Those eating the more portable of foods will stand at attention and provide moral support to the inevitable loser. Shots are fired, literally and figuratively, while friendships are put to an unflinching test.
If all of that sounds, uh, intense or overwhelming, it certainly can be. But that is the type of passion that the Strathcom lunchroom incites. Nay, that’s the type of passion that Strathcom incites. We all bring something different to the table, whether that be a passion for photography, or tacos. And we bring a lot of tacos.
So are you passionate about food? Are you passionate about Foosball? Are you passionate about working in a passionate environment? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then bring what you’re passionate about into your social environment or, better yet, bring yourself into ours; our wacky and wild office may just be the place you want to work — reach out to us to make that happen! Just make sure you’re prepared for the day, especially the lunch hour.
Caffeine can do only so much to get the work day started. Here at Strathcom, we help each other by yelling at everyone in the office to meet us in the boardroom for our regular push-up challenge! At 9:30 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we put out the Lat-signal on our chatline for everyone to join us in burning some calories and grunting like apes before the heavy workload begins.
How it Started
While some of us are crazy enough to wake up early to go to the gym before work, or exercise during the lunch hour, most of us found it difficult to allocate time after the busy workday to commit to regular exercise. So one day, our web team started talking about getting more active throughout the year and our very own John Positos mentioned that he was already following a six-week program to up his push-up numbers by the end.
Within a few days, a couple of people started doing push-ups in one of the smaller offices. Next thing you know, the push-up challenge spread across various departments to the point where we have to move chairs out of the board room and even alternate doing push-ups on top of the table for extra space (sorry, Bill!). It’s one of our favorite things to do to get over the midday slump and motivate one another to finish what we started.
Our push-up challenge (courtesy of hundredpushups.com) consists of 5 sets with three different columns for people to choose from—beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Everyone can pick which column they want and do the numbers they want. What’s important is just doing them. Some of us started by doing 15-20 push-ups a set, but now, at week 5, we’ve got each other competing in trying to reach 60 on the last set! We even challenge each other to do claps in-between or do them on our knuckles. Anything to make the push-up challenge more interesting!
Our Workout Playlist
We’ve even got our boardroom bumping with our own workout playlist! We’ll typically ease into the first, second, and third set with some old-school 2000s Hip-Hop and R&B. We bump TLC in the morning because we don’t wanna end up like Scrubs that can’t get no love from anyone. Then, we start picking things up with “Drop It Like It’s Hot” By Snoop Dogg and Pharrell—pretty self explanatory. But then the last few sets is where we go hard. That’s why it’s all Kendrick! You can check out some of the songs we normally play below to start getting pumped.
High Fives, or it Didn’t Happen!
By the end of the challenge, we’re far from sitting down and being humble because we’re proud as hell that we finished. A round of high fives for everyone, or it never happened! I’ve been working on a push-up challenge high five where we push each other and explode à la Dragon-Ball Z, but no dice because I ended up pulling one of my pecs in the process. Oh well.
If you’re looking for a great team-building and support exercise (pun 100% intended) for your workplace, we highly recommend doing the push-up challenge. We like to meet our goals here at Strathcom Media, so let us help you meet yours when you’ve got advertising targets to meet for 2018 and beyond!
At Strathcom, we know the importance of giving back to our community. We know that there are things that we take for granted, and we know that sometimes it can be difficult to make the time and set aside the funds to give back. This is why Random Acts of Kindness was created. This year, every Strathcom Media employee was given $350 to give to the person or organization of their choice.
One group of people pooled their money together and assembled over 40 male and female care packages containing toiletries, food, hygienic products and warm clothing and donated them to YESS. Additional donations were sent to other organizations within the Edmonton community that support the homeless and families in need including: Kids Kottage, Boyle Street Community Services, and the Bissell Centre
Others pooled their money for an organization called SMILE. This small group of volunteers sets up what they call a sidewalk party outside the Hope Mission for the homeless people waiting in line to get shelter and a bed for the night. They do this every Sunday night without fail, their ideals are simple: bridging the gap between those who have enough & those who don’t. A kind smile, eye contact are worth their weight in gold to people that feel forgotten. To get a hug from a child is a gift, for a child to learn kindness for strangers is an even bigger gift.
We were able to buy a pair of socks, gloves, tissues, Goldfish crackers, and a sweet snack for 150 people. We also had enough money left over to purchase 16 large pizzas and hand them out. The manager at Giant Tiger gave us 30% off our purchase as well as contributed a $25.00 gift card which allowed us to stretch the money even further. He also allowed us to share his contact info with the organizer of SMILE and said he would honor the 30% discount anytime they needed it.
The organization did a little write up on it: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SmileEdmonton/permalink/631375877051080/?notif_t=group_post_mention¬if_id=1488177974504369
$350 was also used to purchase dog toys and treats for Dogs with Wings. This is an incredible organization that raises and trains assistance dogs for people with disabilities. And of course we had to stay and play while Reign tested out her new toy!
We were very humbled by all of these organizations and we can’t wait to participate again next year!
Some companies have corporate retreats where everyone falls into each other arms in order to build trust. At Strathcom, we believe there is no better way to strengthen trust within our team than to throw axes (at targets, of course!)
After work one day, we headed over to The Rec Room in Edmonton for axe throwing and dinner (a delicious gourmet poutine station) to get a little break from the daily grind and to do some team bonding.
We definitely recommend giving axe throwing a try if you haven’t already, and know that if we can throw an axe and hit a target, we can definitely hit your advertising targets as well!