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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Whamond

Passions outside of work help to shape company culture

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

Carrie Whamond, Founding Partner at AlternitOne (A1) explores the role of culture within the business and how A1 seeks to foster it within the business.

For business leaders, investing in company culture is a top priority for maintaining organisational viability and effectiveness. According to the Harvard Business Review Spotlight Series on the culture factor in 2018, ‘culture is the expression of goals through beliefs and values. It guides activity through shared assumptions and group norms’. The values and activities that business leaders invest in help to shape a value system for employees who work for them.

The term company culture is something we are all familiar with and it is often discussed within the business community. At A1, we have our own understanding of this term and how we incorporate it into our business. Culture is very much anchored in the unspoken behaviours that go on in the workplace. It is shaped by the mindset and social patterns of people working for a business. A huge part of how we represent ourselves at work is defined by the people we are in our personal lives.

To reference the Harvard Business Review again, back in 2012 the publication shared an article stating that ‘culture is what happens when the CEO leaves the room’. It is how people interact with one another, their responses to new challenges, their capacity and ease to be able to express themselves. Ten years on, this phrase is still relevant and true. A large part of how this culture that exists once the CEO leaves the room is created by the people we are beyond the workplace. Our values and belief systems are reflected in the activities we carry out in our spare time.

Having passions outside of work helps employees to balance their lives. Whether it is sport or another hobby, actively taking time away from work gives people mental respite and allows them to recharge and take care of themselves. This can have a great impact on their overall mental health, wellbeing and stress management.

There are also many transferable skills that employees can bring to the table from the time they invest in their passions outside of work. A great example of this would be team sports, where teamwork, strategic thinking and interpersonal skills are all learnt and developed.

In my spare time, I play rugby for Old Gravesendians RFC. It is a passion of mine because I am investing in not only supporting women from all walks of life, I am able to do this within grassroots rugby. Not only do I let go of my day to day stresses and gain the health benefits of participating in sport, it also provides me with many transferable skills that I can bring into work on a Monday morning. These skills include building effective working relationships, delegation and empowerment, communication and assertiveness.

Whilst the services that we provide to clients are rooted in technology and IT, our team consists of human beings. At A1, we are invested in the overall health and happiness of the people who work for us. A key part of investing in company culture for us is to help encourage our team to embrace their passions beyond the workplace. It is important because it helps us to stay healthy, motivated, energised and more likely to thrive in our personal and professional lives.

In 2023, we will be spotlighting across social media activities and hobbies our team do beyond the workplace. We look forward to sharing our collective passions and interests with you.

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