At Mediocre, we crave the vibrancy that comes with a healthy work culture. It is the bedrock, the heartbeat if you will, of our principles, work environment, expectations, and relationships among team members. 

We create a workspace where our crew feels a sense of belonging and appreciation for their creative minds. To boot, we desire collaborative growth, with continuous learning and application that is simultaneously fun and exciting. 

And I wouldn’t be the first to say that we, as a company, are doing something pretty spectacular in pursuit of this co-creation and strategy. 

How so? 

Well, for starters, we play games. 

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY GAMES?

I’m talking about good old-fashioned board and card games. 

They are an integral part of Mediocre’s social dynamic and practically a core value in and of itself (kidding, but that’s something to consider). We’ve designated a gaming bookshelf in the office’s common area, ranging from classic and modern to even some of our very own homebrews. It’s also not uncommon for team members to bring their personal favorites from home to share with the rest of the crew. 

At first, new team members may not come with a predisposition for gaming, but that quickly changes. I, for one, am proud to say that I’ve undergone this transformation and now love socializing amidst some strategy. Each game we play is fun and interactive: the perfect stimulation in preparation for the office work ahead. 

SO, WHEN IS GAME TIME?

Not to worry about the compromise of productivity, as all games take place outside of “work” hours. We have designated times and spaces for these collaborative activities, primarily during our Weekly Team Lunches and Monthly Team Hangouts. The latter provides ample time for more immersive game sessions. 

WHY GAMES?

I’d say my initial experience with games at the workplace speaks pretty well to this unique facet of Mediocre. 

It was back in July 2023, during my first lunch outing with the team. I was woefully unfamiliar with the routine and team atmosphere. It wouldn’t be surprising if I looked like a deer in headlights while deciding on my meal order and choosing where to sit alongside the team. Needless to say, I was completely thrown for a loop when suddenly handed cards from a game I had never heard of before: Secret Hitler. Within the first few experimental turns as a Liberal, my nerves quickly gave way to a toothy grin as I made pointed accusations towards team members whom I deduced were Fascists. Did my side win? No, we most certainly did not. But it was all in good fun, laughs, and broken ice.

Having spent a year at Mediocre, I’ve noticed a significant improvement in my cooperative strategy skills. Marketing, at its core, involves solving complex problems to achieve real-world objectives. Board games, particularly those with intricate conditions and unforeseen challenges, offer a controlled environment for honing problem-solving skills directly transferable to our work.

So, when a problem arises on a project? Pfft… It’s no sweat off our backs. With the help of our trusty tabletop companions, our team navigates challenges as creatively as possible. These curveballs become games in and of themselves.

PURPOSE BEHIND PLEASURE

The thing is, it’s not just about the game. It’s about the shared experience, the communication, and the camaraderie that naturally unfolds during these small pockets of time. 

The low-stakes environment enables team members to feel comfortable participating, regardless of their level of familiarity with the game. If not already a habit, we learn value and acknowledge everyone’s contributions regardless of performance. It helps us all loosen up and have fun however we see fit.

Our game sessions organically create a sense of belonging in the office, which bleeds into our work. We collaborate on projects more effectively, are more productive on the clock, and feel set up for success as independent creatives. 

And our team sees the fruits of this labor as we develop critical thinking during complex situations. We analyze the current state of the game, evaluate our options, and make informed decisions that propel us forward. Game, point, match.

POSITIVE Team IMPACT

When it comes to a flourishing company culture, collaboration and communication are paramount. Games are one of the unique team-building activities that we do as a team, and they create a workplace where every member thrives. 

That’s the biggest takeaway, I think. When we prioritize the human element of work, it’s a game-changer. 😉

Emily Eppard headshot

Emily Eppard interned with Mediocre’s team through 2023-2024. She’s finishing her Bachelor’s in Writing, Rhetoric, and Communications at Transylvania University, and has a knack for strategic storytelling. She wears many hats around the office and is always enthusiastic to grow her skill set in advertising and branding.

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