Building Community in the Workplace

By Angela Carlson, Project Development Coordinator, HandsOn Twin Cities

Here at HandsOn Twin Cities, we’ve taken the challenge of building community very seriously.  We have the great fortune of being a cohesive group of people, who genuinely enjoy one another and we are glad for it.  We’ve strengthened our sense of community in the office primarily by taking lunch very seriously…

A couple times each week, those in the office who are available and interested, gather to eat lunch together.  This has facilitated a safe environment for us to get to know one another in ways that encourage congenial working relationships.  We playfully tease one another’s lunch choices, discuss the books we’re reading or films we’ve seen, and as the holidays approach, we share traditions and memories with one another.  Out of these luncheons friendships emerge, as do connections that make workplace collaboration richer.

The crème de la crème of our community-building this winter has been everyone’s participation in “Souper Thursdays.”  Each Thursday for four weeks someone has brought soup to share for everyone.  We’ve had black bean, chili, red lentil, and corn chowders, and each has been a great mid-week pick-me-up.  This has further engaged everyone in the office community as we’ve marveled over one another’s culinary skills and traded recipes.  With ten more weeks scheduled (into February!), I look forward to lovely shared meals with the fantastic HandsOn Twin Cities community!

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