Ah, the B.C. times. Before Covid, that is! Back when we could all stand right next to each other and no masks were necessary.
The sock fairies are proud to be part of a close-knit team, and we all feel lucky to have been part of experiences like juggling lessons and a spin on the Big SLO Bike. Team-building exercises are part of life here at The Sock Drawer!
And then …
Like just about every other business out there, the pandemic made 2020 an especially difficult year. Among the many challenges the management team here faced was, "How can we keep the team connected?"
See, BC (Before Covid) we’d all have a weekly get-together at the warehouse, where we’d talk about our work projects, and personal projects if we wanted to as well. Funny stuff, sad stuff. A little bit of everything. It was a chance to connect with co-workers we might not normally get to talk to. We’re a small team but we existed in a 6,000-square-foot warehouse. It could be surprisingly easy to lose touch with people even then!
But now, thanks to Covid, we were scattered. Everyone who was able to work from home promptly did just that. How would we keep that cohesiveness and team spirit alive?
One of our core values here is to stay nimble. Sock fairy Cindy, pictured below wrapping socks at Christmastime, introduced us to an amazing Swedish tradition called fika (pronounced FEE-kah).
Here’s a little more information about fika, from the book Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break, by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall:
“Functioning as both a verb and a noun, the concept of fika is simple. It is the moment that you take a break, often with a cup of coffee, but alternatively with tea, and find a baked good to pair with it. You can do it alone, you can do it with friends. You can do it at home, in a park or at work. But the essential thing is that you do it, that you make time to take a break: that’s what fika is all about.”
Sock fairy Katie reminded us that when we first started fika, sometimes we would have a pre-determined question, like "What were you like in high school?" or "What’s your favorite movie?" She feels that our daily coffee breaks really allow all to connect in some way. While the common threads seem to happen more randomly these days, fika “allows us to share a memory of our own, while also being able to relate to everyone else who shared a similar experience. It’s a lovely, casual bonding time!”
Sock fairy Jess agrees: “I love the fun random facts or stories that I get to learn about my co-workers, that I probably wouldn't have known otherwise.” As an example, she cites the time when sock queen and founder Brooke, who is a huge Pearl Jam fan, told us about how she drank out of Eddie Vedder's wine bottle!
Sock fairy Kathy is on the same page. “I moved halfway across the country during the pandemic, so fika is the only way I get to see the team! It’s also fun to hear about my co-worker’s lives (and not just their work projects). We’re all unique and fun people with lots of different interests.”
We even used fika to help celebrate our recent re-certification as a Great Place to Work!
So take it from a team that really does get the value of strong workplace culture, and give yours a boost! Learn more here.