Time has flown by and before we knew it, it was time for our mid-year company day again.

In keeping with the company theme for the day: ‘Getting to know each other; New, old & across the globe’, our day was split into fun-filled activities, inspiring presentations and exciting news updates.

Whilst the US meeting took place in the Manhattan offices, our EU peers from Switzerland, Oxford and London gathered at the bigger and brighter offices in Southwark, London, that the London team recently relocated to.

Some of us were lucky enough to be at both meetings, so Caroline, Christine, Jeanette and Fenna enjoyed the day not just once but twice.

One of the highlights of the day was a fun-filled photo activity, with each HRW peer bringing in three photos of themselves, each depicting a different side to them and their life. This varied from a baby photo, to a picture with friends or family, to a photo of them doing something they love. Some of the discussions around the photos uncovered some astonishing facts. So, for example, who would have thought that in the US team

  • there are several football fans in the office, and we mean American football, not fútbol (or soccer). Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets and the Penn State Nittany Lions to name a few. Ok, we’ll admit to supporting Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United too
  • we have origins from around the globe, but everyone seems to have an uncanny connection to the beach towns in Rhode Island
  • we have two twins in our ranks – one has an identical twin and one a not so identical twin

We also enjoyed some inspiring talks and news updates from our colleagues Katie Olding (Global HR Manager), Katy Irving (Research Director & Head of Innovation), Cathy Haw (Associate Research Director & Marketing team), Andrea Sutyak (Senior Research Executive, Marketing), Yuliya Fontanetti (Head of Operations), Fenna Gloggner (Head of Client Relations) and Ben Davies (Research Manager).

It became very clear that as an organisation we are ever evolving and that improving the services we offer our clients is always front of mind and very close to our heart.

As such, the innovation team challenged all HRW staff with an opportunity to help give us lift off to an innovative new idea, approach or solution, that we think has the potential to add value for our clients. Watch this space….

Another highlight in the UK was getting everyone up on their feet to take part in the ‘Salt & Pepper activity’, similar to the ‘Heads Up!’ game but with a twist. We were tagged with a household item, and had to go around the room and only ask closed questions to find out what we ‘were’ and who was our ‘other half’. Now, tasking researchers to ask closed questions, when we’ve been trained to only ever ask open questions, was certainly a challenge, but fun all the same!

Once in pairs, we shared interesting facts about each other and then with the rest of the team. Some of the astounding things we learnt were:

  • We have lots of sports stars in our team: a karate champion, a horse rider and a long jumper
  • Our team is also a little more musical than expected: a semi-professional singer, a violinist, a choir singer and a guitar player
  • We also have some adrenaline junkies: a skydiver and some skiers
  • And, we seem to be great at celeb spotting: Paul has met David Hasselhoff, Charlie has met Tom Cruise and Ella has met Tim Henman in Waitrose, of all places

Meanwhile in Manhattan, our out of town guests were in for a NYC surprise following the meeting: a pizza making class! The team spent the evening making pies from scratch all the while modelling our aprons. It is still out for debate on who crafted the tastiest pizza, but rumour has it our Basel and UK colleagues might know a thing or two on rolling the best thin crust. One thing is for certain though, each pizza was as unique as the chef who made it.

That’s pretty much a wrap for HRW’s 2017 mid-year company day… The activities were great fun and some of the baby photos will stick in our minds for a long time yet!

There is just one last thing left to say, we are very excited about the growing team at HRW and look forward to building strong internal relationships to drive our objectives forward and continue providing our clients with the best service possible.

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