It was day full of spooky surprises as the Diversify offices underwent a slight transformation last Friday. The Halloween spirit was in full force in both our Makati and BGC offices last week as the staff took some time to dress up both their workstations and themselves for the occasion.
Fun and Games Galore
Like we did last year, an overall theme was decided on for the competition and would have to be followed by each of our teams. With last year’s Carnival theme in the books, this year Diversify celebrated some favourites in television, movies and fantasy. To get things started, it was decided that our Makati and BGC offices would adopt a Hogwarts theme for the offices’ general area. Whether it was in Makati or BGC, this meant there were posters, House symbols, Golden Snitches, Sorting Hats and Invisibility Cloaks all around the Diversify offices. Some of the movies and television shows represented were Star Wars, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Pan’s Labyrinth, Alice in Wonderland and Stranger Things. Even Shake Rattle and Roll, a popular horror movie anthology that has been a staple of Philippine cinema for more than 30 years, was represented by one of our teams. To go with these themes, the staff also dressed up to match their respective set, with a representative briefly explaining why they chose that particular theme.
It wasn’t just about candy and costumes though as there were also some surprises that made both Halloween parties extra special. Taking inspiration from escape rooms like Mystery Manila, the Diversify management team presented everyone with the “Guess The Murderer” game. Based on a short story given by a host, three teams would be provided clues in the form of puzzles that they would need to solve in an effort to determine who the culprit is. Clues were hidden all over selected areas of Diversify’s offices and would needed to be solved on the spot to determine where the next clue could be found. The team that finished fasted would be declared the winner. It certainly was a different but timely game that is often not present during Halloween parties. As an added bonus, teams got to also explore Diversify’s offices a little more!
Your Spooky Self
To say that that some of our teams went “all out” this year would be underselling just how much effort was put into making this year’s Halloween party so much fun. In our Makati office, there was an eclectic mix of fantasy and science fiction as Star Wars and Chronicles of Narnia themes adorned two stations. Both teams showed off their creativity and ingenuity by having Aslan from Narnia be represented by one of Diversify’s employees, while R2-D2 was created from a rubbish bin! Perhaps the most talked about set was the Alice in Wonderland station, which boasted a full set design of giant mushrooms, playing cards and signs directing you to where tea with the Mad Hatter (who was also present) would be.
Meanwhile, over at the BGC office, the Willy Wonka set was an assortment of bright coloured balloons and different candies scattered all over. Music was also continuously on loop as Wonka herself welcomed guests and judges to her “factory.” The team behind Stranger Things stayed true to Halloween’s horror roots by making use of familiar elements of the popular show, from the music of the 80s to the Christmas lights strewn all over the wall with an alphabet. The team also recreated the show’s main antagonist –the Demogorgon – that also growled whenever someone would approach it.
Needless to say, our judges had a hard time choosing which themes and costumes stood out from the rest.
In the end however, there had to be winners from each side and one overall best theme. It was clear that the team behind Alice in Wonderland put in plenty of thought, time and effort into creating their stations and they took home first place. Second place was a tie between two other sets in our Makati office: Star Wars and Pan’s Labyrinth, another movie popular for its strange and fantasy motifs. The Narnia set took third place and was also tied with the Stranger Things set. Individual costume awards were also awarded to each of the offices. Rolly Castro, who dressed up as the Mad Hatter, took first place for the Makati office while Quina Halbi’s interpretation of Willy Wonka made her the best dressed in our BGC office.
Diversify certainly has a reputation for throwing some pretty memorable celebrations, and the 2016 Halloween party was a definite addition to that list. Everyone at both Makati and BGC contributed considerable time and effort to make sure it was a great way to cap off their work week, with memories of the day still echoing in them as this piece goes up. Indeed, none of it would have been possible with the staff – whether they were from management or newly hired ones – coming together for an afternoon of candies, scares and laughs.
They say if you love what you do then you will never work a day in your life. I always find that if the organisation you work for takes the time to build a fun, collaborative and positive working environment then it is far easier to enjoy coming into the office each day. I believe this is engagement at a deeper more emotional level, surpassing just the execution of my position but embracing the opportunity to develop relationships with my colleagues and clients (hopefully for a long time). You can probably gather that workplace culture is very important to me. Over here in the Philippines, your work colleagues and clients become a second family so the quicker the relationships can be developed, both internally and externally, the better! I learned all of this during our recent Halloween party at Diversify.
I have only just joined the team at Diversify but I already feel like a member of the family. The moment I stepped through the doors, I was welcomed with open arms. The work has been diverse and my colleagues warm and receptive! Better yet, I scored my invite to one of the hottest tickets on the Diversify social calendar: the annual Halloween extravaganza. The sense of excitement and anticipation whenever a large event at Diversify is on the horizon is intoxicating and really does get everyone talking and working together. I cannot emphasise the impact that having a range of internal annual events scheduled throughout the year has on employee engagement and satisfaction. It really drives and motivates us throughout the working week and in the case of the Halloween extravaganza, we were organized into teams with key themes and the incentive of winning! Needless to say, the days leading up to event were electric as we all raced to prepare (making sure that the other teams didn’t know what we were doing).
Sharing our excitement, plans and thoughts also passed on to our clients who were eager to see how we did and look at the photos of the night.
The 2015 event was a little different as each team was provided with a little area to which they were responsible for creating a space reflecting this year’s theme, “Carnival.” On the day of the event, each team assembled at their designated bays and the creativity and innovativeness usually seen during the working week was on display! Terrifying, fun, weird and downright disturbing are all words that come to mind as carnival elements were assembled across the floor, such as balloon pop games, murder mystery games and the general scaring of people (as the costumes were actually scary).
As our new CEO Angela Vidler is in town for two months she made sure she came along to witness the festivities. As Angela had not attended one of these events in person before, she was quite shocked and impressed (as well as being a little bit scared) at how much we all got into the theme and how great our themed areas were! On the 30th of October, judging commenced as each team’s costumes and displays were reviewed. Each team had to explain their concepts and provide a backstory as to why they opted on creating the display for the evening, obviously relating it back to the theme.
The judges tasked with the exceptionally difficult job of selecting the winner were Angela Vidler; Jez Batulan ourOperations Manager and Daniel Fresco our IT Manager.
While waiting for the judges to reveal their decision, Diversify employees waited in anticipation whilst reveling in the electric atmosphere, passing comment on the great stalls and costumes and enjoying the range of carnival themed food and mini games to end the Halloween event.
I guess you’re all wondering which team were declared winners? Well after a lengthy deliberation (which apparently went down to the wire), the winners were:
1st Place Perya (a dark Filipino carnival)
This space was inspired by the Philippines’ local carnival with a dark twist presented by the members of Archers, Bentley’s, Capitol, Hynes Legal, Medland, Ticketfire and Turner & Townsend Thinc teams.
2nd Place Carnevil
The AMBS Solutions teams developed a deceptively fun space where the motive was to murder unsuspecting visitors.
3rd Place Death Wheel
This space was set up by the Dingu Blue team who created a ‘shoot the target’ game with popping balloons the aim for visitors.
Ran Perez, a Diversify employee and one of the masterminds behind winning space Perya could not hide his glee when discussing his team’s win:
“The victory was unexpected. I’m glad we have events like this where we can showcase our creativity and work as a team. We’re looking forward to more Diversify events like this”.
After sharing some laughs with colleagues and taking a few pictures with fellow teammates in their costumes, the Halloween event ended successfully with the staff going home with smiles on their faces.