Busy weeks, long collaborative work sessions and not enough undisturbed time to think can leave us feeling overwhelmed. In fact, 80% of organizations believe their employees are overwhelmed with information and activity. Here at M+Co, we understand that these things are inevitable, but they can be alleviated by taking a step back and doing team activities outside of work.
It’s called “White Space” – and our friends at White Space at Work have inspired us to focus a bit more on thoughtfulness and creativity rather than exertion and busyness. The company we’re building here wants to play a part in this culture shift and contribute to our collective health, creativity and productivity.
We plan days like this with the mindset that we need to take a nice deep breath in and unwind to refresh our creative minds and collaborative ideas. Providing us an opportunity to interact, connect, and make relations that may not have made themselves available at the office. Collaborating in this fashion allows our minds to exercise in unique and effective ways.
Our 2nd “White Space Day” of the 2017 Summer started with a hike down Forbidden Drive alongside of the Wissahickon Creek. We walked and talked for over six miles before we needed to refuel with some lunch. Sitting down as an entire team for lunch opened up to some interesting feedback and conversations. A good portion of the conversation was about our eagerness to learn more about our next team activity on the day’s agenda….glassblowing.
After lunch, we spent the rest of the day learning the art of glassblowing at East Falls Glassworks. There aren’t too many things that will keep you on your toes like handling 2100 degree molten glass! The art of glassblowing can teach some valuable skills that directly relate to skills needed in an office space. Some of these key skills include organization, communication, awareness and big picture thinking.
Handling this powerfully-hot molten glass needs a great deal of these skills because one slip up could cause serious injury to someone. For example, most of the tools do not have the ability to show exactly how hot they actually are. Therefore, we needed to keep the tools used to shape the glass organized in a very particular way, as well as communicate that they were just used so that someone did not accidentally pick up a burning hot tool and seriously injure themselves. Glassblowing takes a lot of precision and accuracy because the glass cannot hold its shape while that hot. Always thinking and being aware of the next step is vital to keeping the desired shape of the glass you are working with.
It may be a surprise to some that glassblowing is a team oriented activity that requires careful coordination in order to achieve the final product. We had the opportunity to learn and make individual pieces, as well as combine what we learned to work as one to create a glass bowl. Every team member applied what we learned and had a hand in making the final product: our new team bowl. Take a moment to watch the video below that demonstrates how we came together to create a beautiful piece!
This day provided a fantastic opportunity to officially welcome Bill Heemer to our team! Over the past six months, he has been responsible for much of our photography in a freelance capacity but will now be joining us full time as Designer + Photographer. With prior collaborative experience, along with the fact that Bill and Naz studied together at West Chester University, there is strong rapport and will lead to a quick integration of Bill’s creative talents. With a background of identity creation, brand marketing, design, and photography, Bill joins our creative team lead by Naz Luzzi Castro and Adam Muhlenhaupt.