Over the last 18 months, our working dynamic had changed massively, from a close-knit, open-plan office to working in the comfort of our own homes. But with restrictions easing and normal life returning, we wanted to do something to celebrate coming back together and enjoying agency life. Our Projects Director, Vicki Chastney worked with our MD, Jerry Taylor and CEO, Jane Hayward to create our 2021 WSA Away Day.
On arrival at the Villiers Hotel in Buckingham, we were greeted with bacon rolls, cups of tea and smiles. After a short gathering and chatter, we were seated in a conference room where Jerry gave an introduction to the day ahead, an overview of what the business has done throughout COVID-19 and what we expect for the future.
After Jerry’s presentation, we had a few rounds of raffles, which led to prizes being won including sweet treats, an afternoon tea for two and a signed copy of Nadiya Hussain’s latest cookbook! We kept the game theme going and played WSA bingo, with a board of all things related to the agency, such as eight office dogs, 82 office desk moves and more. After an intense tie break, our Senior Front End Developer, WSA kept her enviable winning streak going and received a trophy for her success.
After a short break with another round of tea and cookies, we had a wellbeing session with Jon from Arthur Ellis; following on from our introduction session with him a couple of months ago, he gave us advice on how to deal with slowly returning to normal life, tips to help with anxiety and much more. It was a great interactive session that everyone participated in and enjoyed.
Lunch was due and it was a great time to catch up with colleagues that some of us hadn’t seen for over 18 months. Some had never even met at all! With the buffet well received and sweet treats for dessert, the day was proving to be a success.
For the afternoon, we all enjoyed some physical and mental activities, such as a WSA twist on escape rooms, where Nellie the Elephant needed our help to escape her toy cage! Through a variety of challenges such as a cereal box puzzle, morse codes, dates in a diary and clues right under our noses (or under chairs and bins to be more precise) it was great competitive fun, even for those of us who didn’t win!
Later, we had a few rounds of The Price is Right, where we all had a good go at guessing the prices of various office appliances that we use day-to-day, from shredders to multi-packs of pens. It proved much more challenging than we expected. We then got our creative caps on for a drawing challenge, where teams had to describe the appearance of a person from a photo without using words. After much-exaggerated miming and silent giggles, our artists created some wonderfully wacky portraits.
With a positive and social atmosphere throughout the day, we were motivated and happy to get together and enjoy catching up, as well as enhancing relationships with new members of staff that joined through the pandemic. To round off the day WSA-style, we gathered back at the pub for a quick round of drinks in the sunshine.
Here’s just a few of the things that members of staff had to say about the day:
“A big thank you and a sincere well done to all involved in Friday’s Away Day. Especially, Vicki – we have worked on many events projects together and I DO know what goes into them! Thanks again, it was lovely to catch up with everyone and even to meet a couple of new colleagues for the first time, they are all lovely.”
“Such a great atmosphere and to see everyone again”
“I was buzzing the whole day!”
“I loved the afternoon of games”
Interested in doing something similar for your workplace or want to get back on planning events post COVID? Contact our Projects team here.