What are your thoughts on design agencies that put themselves out there as adult kindergartens?


Nicola

New Member
I've been looking for freelance work recently and have been scoping out design agency websites. Quite a few in my area use that "we're just crazy, fun-loving creatives!" image out there. Heading footballs together or they're all dressed up in crazy costumes with water guns or they have their quirky talking office dog. We're just having so much fun here! vibe. It kind of turns me off sending my portfolio to them as it doesn't look like somewhere I'd want to work. I mean i'm all for fun at work, but not when it's forced fun because that's the companies image and they need to maintain that. I like to go to work and do a good job, maybe have a drink on Fridays with the team and go home. It's seems stressful to me to maintain that fun loving image and do a job. Is it just me or are most agencies like that these days ?...While we're at it, what are your thoughts on Team Building Weekends?!
 

fisicx

Active Member
As a client, you are paying for the fun and games and the team building. It doesn't come out their pockets, it comes out the money you pay them to do your branding. website or whatever.

Same with a prestigious address. You are paying for this when they could easily be in some cheap serviced office on a business park.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
I'm all up for a pleasant working environment and I actually think it's extremely important to look after staff and keep them happy.

What I agree with and recognise in the OP is that "forced fun" thing.
It's a bit hard to give my opinion without sounding bitter or something but I think we all know. ;)
 

Nicola

New Member
I'm all up for a pleasant working environment and I actually think it's extremely important to look after staff and keep them happy.

What I agree with and recognise in the OP is that "forced fun" thing.
It's a bit hard to give my opinion without sounding bitter or something but I think we all know. ;)
You can be bitter, you're in a safe space.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
I've been there before. We had to go on a "team building" exercise, and say things like "My favouite colour is ...." and have people sit around and try and guess if you were telling the truth or lying... I guess it was to see how well you knew someone.

Another favourite of the day was the "fall and catch" exercise. I definitely didn't want to be touching off any of my co-workers for any reason, not being bad, but it's just a bit too much personal space invasion. I certainly wouldn't enjoy a colleague touching me randomly, or would I?

Anyway, I digress. I hated that job. And left it.

There was a forced element to it too - all this "pride in the jersey" bullshit, and "team player" etc. I am a team player, but I don't have to be swinging from the rafters throwing paper balls at colleagues to be a team player.

I work hard, I'm good at what I do, and I just want to sit in my chair and be left alone for the day.

All the work gets done on time.

Which is basically what happens now.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
You can be bitter, you're in a safe space.
Where shall I begin? ;)

The thought of a Team Building Workshop makes my skin crawl to be honest and it'd be WAY out of my comfort zone.
If I were ever put in that situation I'd have to refuse to do it as I just seem to get a bit hostile to things like that. Always have.
Pity the person that trusted me to catch them. :D

A lot of this shite tends to be around sales orientated jobs but it is festering its way through others and seems to be a bit of a trend in agencies.
It all feels a like peer pressure to me like when you know people don't want to do something but they're afraid not to do it.

An ex colleague of mine who worked in sales used to work selling Kirby vacuum cleaners to unsuspecting members of the public.
He told me that they all had to sing songs and dance about before their sales calls to get them all pumped and loved up with each other.
I saw a documentary about it later and it was all true.
He said it was "F@cking horrible!"

are most agencies like that these days ?
I don't think they're all like it but you do see it a lot now especially in job ad's and company web-blogs.
They all seem to do the exact same things like they've got a tick list.
Free fruit and coffee, ping-pong/table-top football, birthday off, works social every month, blah, blah, blah.

I once worked at a newspaper who's offices were over a very large city centre bar.
On Fridays, if the sales team reached their target we had a drinks run and it didn't stop at just one.
It was great and we didn't have to wear blind folds or anything. :D
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
"Hey Paul, you coming to the staff do tonight? Everyone will be there."

"No thanks Karen, I'm forced to work with you people, we're not friends."
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
"Hey Paul, you coming to the staff do tonight? Everyone will be there."

"No thanks Karen, I'm forced to work with you people, we're not friends."
LOL! I was the same and my motto was "I don't go to work to make friends".
I wouldn't even go to the Xmas works do or do the secret Santa.

God I sound a miserable git. :D
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
I wouldn't even go to the Xmas works do or do the secret Santa.
I once worked somewhere that once did a secret Santa. I didn't get anything, and the person that was supposed to be getting me a gift explained that they didn't know who I was so they didn't bother. Well yeah, I didn't know Sharon in accounts, or her husband, but I still got him a friggin' chocolate orange!
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
I once worked somewhere that once did a secret Santa. I didn't get anything, and the person that was supposed to be getting me a gift explained that they didn't know who I was so they didn't bother. Well yeah, I didn't know Sharon in accounts, or her husband, but I still got him a friggin' chocolate orange!
That's the whole point of Secret Santa though isn't it, or Kris Kindle (or as some people I work with call it Krist Kringle - which really bothers me!). Well, the whole point of Secret Santa/Kris Kindle is that if you get a person you don't normally deal with is to get to know them a bit better, or find out something about them and buy them a thoughtful present.

I once got a Lynx Deodorant and Shampoo box set - I threw it in the bin in the room where everyone was dishing out the gifts, no thought went into, it still had the sticker on it from the Spar store next door, clearly bought that day. I mean, it didn't trump the 5-mini tasting bottles of wine in a wooden wine rack that I bought someone else after I found out they enjoyed 1 glass of wine a week.

I'd rather get nothing than get a Lynx set, in fairness.
 

bigdave

Moderator
Staff member
I used to work for a company who (in my opinion) had the "fun" thing just about right.

There was a pool table in the kitchen which was used reasonably frequently. On fridays we'd do beer o'clock where we'd all stop work half an hour early, grab a drink out of the fridge (paid for by the boss) and chat, joke, laugh, catch up with what's happening in other areas of the company. Occasionally the company would close at lunch time and we'd all go into Leeds for the afternoon for beers/food etc.. (again paid for by the boss) but it wasn't forced. If you wanted to use that time to do something else thats was fine.
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
I worked at a place that did something similar, basically Friday afternoon the beers came out, and the last Friday of the month one of the departments would organise food (paid for by the company). It was optional, most people just grabbed some food and went home.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
I think this boils down to the difference between working at a good company with a nice Boss and colleagues where people are generally happy to work there and...

Working at a company that thinks employee happiness is in their interests and kind of enforces it.

 
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