Earlier this month, Adage employees gathered for the company’s annual retreat. This year’s highly beloved APEX event took a focus on the health and wellness of all employees. Although we would have preferred to celebrate in person, for the safety and well-being of our employees, Adage decided to host the event virtually for the second year in a row.
Despite not having our annual hackathon, we still wanted to host a successful APEX. With the stress of the past year and a half still looming over us all, Adage decided to focus on creating a space for employees to stop working and focus on themselves and their fellow coworkers. Read more to find out how we kept company culture alive during APEX 2021!
Adage chose to focus APEX 2021 on wellness. Our mental and physical wellbeing has been the main topic of discussion throughout the pandemic, and with World Mental Health Day later in the month, it felt fitting to discuss our wellness as a team.
Our event started with introductions and activities, which gave us time to catch up with Adage and one another. We heard from one of our customers who highlighted the great work our employees have done over the past year, reminding us that our work doesn’t go unnoticed.
2021 has brought a lot of changes once again, including many of our clients ramping up new projects. Adage decided to switch our usual hackathon format to a retreat to give our employees a day to learn, relax, and enjoy catching up with one another.
“Wellness is something that’s always important, but since the pandemic has been a challenging time, we wanted to focus on the importance of self-care. Our goal was to approach wellness from a holistic perspective, both mentally and physically.”Victoria Sullivan
What We Learned
The main part of APEX 2021 included discussions around wellness. Both physical and mental health were highlighted as we learned various ways to take care of our bodies and minds. We were joined by a wellness speaker who emphasized we must look after ourselves and one another so we can become the best versions of ourselves.
There are only so many hours in a day and taking care of yourself can feel low on the priority list at times. Our wellness speaker reminded the Adage team that exercise can be as simple as taking a walk during your lunch break or fitting a HIIT workout into your day to get your heart rate up. What matters most is you are moving your body every day.
While we remain in a remote work environment, it can be more difficult for employees to get outside each day. Sunlight, however, has been linked to several health benefits, including helping the body produce melatonin later at night. Staying inside and drinking caffeine well into the evening can affect the quality and quantity of sleep we are getting. Being conscious of how our habits affect our sleep cycles is important if we are looking to fix it.
Adage employees reflected on how eating habits and hydration levels affected their lives. Drinking an adequate amount of water and eating a healthy diet can not only affect your physical health but your mental health as well. Recent studies have shown a link between gut bacteria leading to higher rates of depression and anxiety. While mental illness cannot be cured simply through diet changes and drinking water, we can begin to decrease some of our stress levels through our eating habits.
Stress can feel, at times, completely inevitable thanks to circumstances in our lives. However, we do not have to endure it alone. Our speaker pushed us to reach out to family and friends when life feels unmanageable because they are there to help us. We also learned breathing exercises to calm the nervous system down in times of anxiety or stress.
Keeping Company Culture Alive
One of the best parts about company retreats is getting to spend time with your coworkers. Even in a virtual format, we made sure to have time to socialize with one another. Each team was asked to pick out a Teams background to include for the entire day, which ranged from memes to movie characters and everything in between. We also incorporated breakout rooms throughout the event to connect with our coworkers and get to know those we may not have met before.
APEX 2021 ended with a virtual happy hour for the staff. We broke out into smaller groups to play games, laugh, and enjoy each other’s (virtual) company. Being able to spend time with coworkers outside of work is a part of what makes Adage’s culture so unique, and we have done our best to maintain it while we work remotely.
Traditions Keep Going
We had hoped last year that APEX 2021would be in person, but sadly the pandemic had other plans for us. This didn’t stop us from going all out for our annual event, though. Our teams have shown how hard they can work despite the challenges of the world, and most importantly, how we can do it together.
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