Our work at Seal is important, but sometimes business should not be about work. On Tuesday, my coworkers and I were given a “Spring Break” day to attend the San Francisco Giant’s opening day. Thanks to Seal (not Lou Seal), all HQ employees were treated to an amazing Audi Legends suite for the Giants first home game of the season, all catered with food and drinks. Attending Opening Day is a tradition at Seal. Adding to the excitement, this year the Giants are celebrating 60 years in San Francisco. Now I may not be the biggest baseball fan (hailing from Sweden), nor too familiar with the sport compared to my American counterparts. Go figure; the pitcher is not the guy holding the water for the players (just kidding). But, I do know how to have a good time at any event, and the Giants put on a fantastic show. Between the hot dogs, peanuts, beer, and giant foam fingers, all the “Seals” had a good time. I want to share with you why this outing was more for me than just a day at the ballpark, here are my top takeaways from my first Giant’s Opening Day Seal outing:
1. Family involvement: Seal encouraged us to bring family or a friend to share in the excitement. This open invitation was probably the best part of the company outing. It shows that Seal not only cares about its staff but their families as well. The Seal family is inclusive and welcoming. Even though my wife could not make it to the game, I felt the sense of belonging and overall happiness among the employees, family, and friends. This glimpse into our coworker’s personal life and families brings us all closer together, building memories that build and reinforce the Seal company culture.
2. Building relationships, teamwork, and commitment: An icebreaker or trust fall event is one way to bring a team together – but these facilitated events feel forced. This baseball outing was anything but forced, and it built relationships that are stronger by far than ones mandated by a facilitator. Another great thing about attending a baseball game – aside from the awesome garlic fries – is that the die-hard fan can actively watch the game and still socialize. Personally, most of the time I relied on crowd audio cues to catch the top plays. After all, it is called “America’s favorite pastime” for a reason, I can pass the time with friends and don’t have to focus on the game (Go Giants though). I shared a few beers and caught up with coworkers I don’t get to work with at the office. Bonding and forging personal relationships with them and their family members translate back into my work. These positive interactions strengthen our bonds and commitment to Seal’s success. We work alongside each other not only as employees but friends. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with their friends all day?
3. The time to relax and step away from work: Although we all want the business to succeed at all times, life isn’t all about working around the clock (even though I check my email every 15 minutes). Ulf (our CEO and CSF Chief Sports Fan) hosts these types of events to remind us that it is okay, even good, to take our mind off work for an afternoon, enjoy friends, and allow everyone to recharge, refocus, and come back to the office with more intensity. (And weekends don’t count as a break.)
At Seal, we understand the importance of taking a break from work now and then, because it makes us happier overall. Plus, we get a chance to show off the good times on our social media pages. The point is, these outings make people happy; happy workers are more productive. Therefore, events like this are an investment that will pay-off in many ways.
In Swedish, there is a phrase that does not have a proper translation (like so many other Swedish phrases). The concept of “Arbetsglädje,” a phrase that can translate into a couple of things; The joy of working, job satisfaction, and the pleasure of our work. This activity we all shared on Tuesday, among all the other extracurricular events we get to enjoy at Seal, boosts the workers’ “Arbetsglädje.”
These are some of the takeaways I gathered from the Giant’s Opening Day. I would like to offer my thanks to all involved for organizing this event, for giving us a chance come closer together as a company, and even though the Giants lost their Opening Day game against the Mariners, we Seals surely won.
My invitation and recommendation, if you are looking for a culture that appreciates both you and your family, feel free to look at our current job openings here. I look forward to seeing you at our next company outing and the day that will surely be a company holiday, June 18th – when Sweden (44% favorite) will crush South Korea in their first match of the 2018 World Cup.
Here are some pictures from Opening Day 2018: