How one company nailed the group 'hug'
It started with a new employee walking in the door. Kris, the Art Director, walked up to her and gave her a hug. It was awkward. She held out her hand and he went in for the hug. Immediately she patted him on the back awkwardly. Then the boss came out and went to shake her hand, this time she was awkward because she didn't know what to do, and the boss was awkward because she didn't mean to shake a new female employees hand.
After a few days of settling in, she brought it up. "What about that awkward moment when I first started!". Everyone died laughing. It was funny and fortunately she saw the funny side to it as well.
But from that moment everything changed. This one person who broke down the barriers to create an office family, was instrumental in creating an office culture where hugs were greetings, that somehow were no longer awkward.
Kris is a gentle giant. Perhaps he can get away with it, or perhaps that makes it all the more powerful.
Not long after another employee started, and she was hugged on arrival - afterall it's now a 'thing'. She loved it and is the first to hug people who go on holidays, start as a new employee or just because she thinks they are great.
There is a few things that have happened from here:
Sharing lunchIt's what families do and if this is your work family, it certainly will be something that you will learn to love about working at Marketing Eye. Lunches are a big thing and are something that is celebrated together. We make it together, eat it as a family and wash up the dishes. It leaves you with a warm heart and a bond that is unbreakable.
Don't worry. This is exactly when you office family who know you well now, put their hands up and ask if they can help. They don't beat around the bush. "Your stressed out... let me help!" It is something that comes out of everyone mouth. The support is phenomenal to say the least. No-one need to have a stressful day because they are unsure as to whether they will meet a deadline. If you are not going to meet it, then everyone will drop their work, stay late and help you get over the finish line.
Too busy and stressed
So, this is the 'thing'. Once you have hugged another colleague, all boundaries are gone. I am sure its like getting nude with your colleagues (ok, I'm not being weird, as it is a thing - not in Australia but for those who practice unusual ways to bond). So hugging is the norm. Kissing is not. Stealing someone candy off their desk is yours to take. Doing quirky pictures with your face all over it, so that when you come back from holidays you know you were missed, is hilarious but the perfect welcome home.
Personal space is gone forever
This has all been the natural progression from our fearless, kind, generous Art Director who we adore. Who would have thought?