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Teambuilding in a Co-working Space | Interview with ReSourceYYC

We are a lean team here at Fitneff, so we are tighter knit than most small businesses, but we always keep an eye out for teambuilding opportunities. Teambuilding is fundamental to improving productivity and motivation amongst the people in a company. Between annual summer BBQ and team lunches, we all at Fitneff look forward to the Annual Step Challenge, a 30-day challenge where each of us would try to log in as many steps as possible.  The Step Challenge revealed underlying competitive streaks in everyone and turned out to be a great to bond and strengthen the team dynamics.

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Fitneff headquarters at ReSourceYYC, which is a coworking space for a wide gamut of entrepreneurial businesses. We all have access to events, workshops, and communal spaces, like meeting rooms, printers, front desk, and of course, the kitchen; so, we naturally interact as a group. However, how do all these companies interact beyond the 'hi' at the printers and the 'excuse me' in the kitchen? We speak with Marlene Hernandez, the Resource Coordinator, and Shanel Barette, Resource Associate, on the importance and effects of teambuilding in a co-working space. 

 

Fitneff: Thank you for sitting down with us today, we see how busy you are with running the show. First, what is ReSourceYYC?

Marlene: ReSourceYYC is a co-working space for professionals. There are approximately 50+ co-working spaces in Calgary: some have a coffee shop atmosphere, while some are more like a vacant office space while a company is in transition for long-term leasing solution. At ReSourceYYC, our space focuses on building an active community and professional environment and this is done by constant teambuilding amongst our members.

 

Fitneff: We definitely get the community feeling at ResourceYYC. How do you conduct teambuilding amongst all these different companies and businesses?

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Marlene: The aim is to make our members feel like they are part of a community and less isolated. Our members can easily work remotely from home or a coffee shop, but instead, they choose to come into their office.  We focus on creating spaces and events for more face-to-face interactions. We have two kitchens, and several break-out rooms with couches and treadmill desks. A huge success is Beers with Peers on Thursdays at 4 pm. We invite our members and their guests to the breakout area for beers, wine, and snacks to casually catch up and connect with others.

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Shanel: We find these smaller, more intimate gatherings to be extremely effective. We also are currently hosting Wine Survivor, and we draw the names out during Beers with Peers every Thursday, as a result, we get a higher turnout.

 

Marlene: We also found that listening to what our members’ simple requests help draw more people out.  For instance, during Beers with Peers, we started offering snacks and non-alcoholic beverages for people who aren’t interested in beer. We also started stocking the kitchen with almond milk creamer and making decaf coffee first thing in the morning. Delivering on these requests got more people out of their offices.

Not to mention, we set up posters to attract people to networking events and workshops, which are usually hosted at ReSourceYYC, so it is convenient and usually relevant to their professional growth.

 

Fitneff: Yes! We really love how accommodating ReSourceYYC has been! Since you host so many events, how to do you create enthusiasm for teambuilding?

Marlene: Communication! From posters to face-to-face, we make sure our members are welcomed to join us for Beers with Peers or upcoming events. Again, we listen to what our members want and we deliver within our means. A member suggested we introduce other beverages like wine and whiskey during Beers with Peers, it was important for us to hear this feedback and diversify our offerings.

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Shanel: It is also not much effort to pop into each office to ask them to join in.  

Marlene: We noticed our members enjoy a competition element too; there are some very vested names still left in the Wine Survivor.

 

Fitneff: Oh yes, some strong personalities come out during Wine Survivor. What’s your favourite event for teambuilding?

Marlene: I like our bigger annual events like our Christmas Party. It takes people out of the office completely, dressed up, and at ease with their S/O and/or their clients. We seem to get to know the members even better with other facets of their life also present.

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Shanel: Mine would be the Stampede Party, it is hosted on the patio of the Calgary Tower building: it is larger gathering, everyone is casual, and letting lose more. These annual events become something we talk about for months leading up and after it.

Fitneff: Ooh totally, the bigger events are lots of fun! Last question, what result do you hope to get out of teambuilding?

Marlene: We prioritize teambuilding at ReSourceYYC with all our members because it has the potential for collaboration. Businesses that need the services of another or contracting a specialist from one company to work on a project; it has been wonderful to see these connections made over drinks on Thursdays.

Shanel: We would spontaneously be caught in a member’s travel stories or another’s home renovation updates, and we are happy to put our day on pause to involve ourselves for these conversations as it is the sort of social interaction we crave.

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Marlene: We gearing up for a networking event that is open to members and the public on November 7th, 2019, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 at ReSourceYYC, Are Professional Associations Still Relevant in Alberta Today?

It is a great opportunity for professionals to connect and learn more about the topic at hand. Everyone is welcome, please RSVP at Eventbrite.

 

We thank Marlene and Shanel for taking time out of their busy schedule to sit down with us to share their team building and event planning strategies and tactics with us today! For more information about ReSourceYYC, please visit their website and keep up with their events on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

October 31, 2019 — ANITA HSIEH

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