JustPark has always had a reputation for having a great company culture - our team tell us over and over again that the people they work with and their relationships with their teammates is one of the things that makes working for us really special.
So we're bringing you a new series to bring that culture alive and showcase some of the things that we think make us unique as we go under the hood of life at JustPark.
This week we're talking about our Thursday celebration of birthdays and ParkDays, and how we've kept the tradition alive through Covid.
What's the Thursday celebration all about?
Each week, at 4pm on a Thursday the whole company comes together to celebrate that week's birthdays with a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday. Pre-covid, this took place in our 'hot wing' - the communal space at the heart of our Camden offices - and was followed by cake, provided by our incredible chef Julie.
But through lockdown, everyone now joins a Zoom call. And let me tell you, the sound of 60+ people singing happy birthday fully remote, out of sync with one another and with varying degrees of musicality is a thing to behold. (I was told under no circumstances am I allowed to record and share it with you here, apparently such things are best experienced in person!)
More than just a sing-song
As well as birthdays, we also have our infamous ParkDay speeches, given every year in acknowledgement of a JustParker's anniversary. ParkDay speeches come in many forms - we've had PowerPoint presentations, poems, slide shows, and more. But the format normally combines a good roast, re-telling of a person's great hits during their time at JustPark, with a heartfelt reflection on what makes them awesome.
As Jules van Lent, one of our most recent joiners explains, "what I saw was a family who dares to not take itself too seriously but who are, in effect, showing great admiration for each other".
Jess Dennison, who has given speeches for her own team as well as recently celebrating her 3rd ParkDay, agrees: "What is fulfilling about preparing a ParkDay speech for team members is taking the time to reflect on what they’ve achieved over the year and present that to the company."
Taking time out to celebrate
At JustPark, one of our core values is to Be human. For us, that means being able to bring your authentic self to work and have your individuality celebrated. Our Thursday celebrations are an opportunity to acknowledge the incredible work our team put in year after year in a fun, irreverent way.
Jess puts it best: "They remind people we're not just about heads down, working working working. We actually have a great social scene and, especially while working from home, it’s good to be reminded of that. Also, I’m really encouraged to hear about peoples achievements over the year in ParkDay speeches. And who doesn’t feel a bit uplifted after hearing the JustPark choir's terrible zoom singing?"