Every day as a Chief Happiness Officer is different. And when you add my other role as the Office Manager into the mix, there’s no time to be bored! Although my job involves ensuring team well-being and cohesion here at Agorize, I also deal with invoices, contracts and supplier orders.
Come and experience a day in the life of a Chief Happiness Officer at a startup. I hope you’re not scared of heights, because it can be a real balancing act!
Monday, 9.15 am: The day begins. I go straight to the kitchen to put the kettle on and chat with the first people to arrive. As it’s very warm, I make a few large jugs of iced tea for the team.
9.25 am: I receive a Google Calendar alert – today is a team member’s birthday. As I always do, I mark the occasion by sending the team an amusing email highlighting the team member’s character and personality.
9.30 am: Almost everybody’s here. I use this time to walk around the offices and see what’s new with everyone. I give the offices a quick check to make sure that nothing needs to be done. I enjoy these moments with the team – it’s important to take the time to talk with everyone and take the office pulse.
10.00 am: I begin preparing Agorize TV – an internal communication tool that displays a wide range of work-related and other information. It includes the week’s weather, great places in Paris, a horoscope (every week, this is always the team’s favourite item!), the diary for the week, and the month’s best deals, which will be celebrated at a monthly event called ‘Closer’s Drinks’.
12.30 pm: After plugging in the USB sticks to play the Agorize TV video, I join my colleagues in the kitchen while another part of the team goes to the local gym together. Lunch is always good fun, with a really friendly atmosphere. There are fans of takeaway food, people who think ahead and bring a lunchbox, and spontaneous types who whip something up in the office. Lunch is usually rounded off in three different ways – a few games at the ping-pong and pool tables, a nap on one of the sofas, or sitting out on the terrace setting the world to rights.
2.00 pm: When I return to my desk, I send yet another email to remind people that the growing pile of dirty dishes in the sink won’t wash themselves. But they’ve got wise this, so I have to take an innovative approach, with email subjects that sound a bit more intriguing than ‘Dirty dishes’.
2.10 pm: To encourage a bit of team building, I suggest that we start a ping-pong tournament. People like the idea, so I set up two competitions – one for beginners, the other for experienced players (the people who play when they’re on break). My boss and I draw up a complicated table of pools and matches (a lot of it goes over my not-so-sporty head), then share it with the team. The matches start soon after the table is sent out.
3.00 pm: I go to a meeting with the 3 co-founders to pitch ideas for events we could hold. Although my idea to show episodes of Game of Thrones on the projector in the creative design room between noon and two was rejected, they’re definitely interested in my idea for a team weekend away. After searching on Airbnb and Booking, we work out some of the details and the project starts to take shape. All we need to do now is find a date that suits everyone!
5.00 pm: I meet with the business developer with the best turnover this month to talk about the Closer’s Drinks. We need to agree on a date, a theme and how it will be organized. It’s a chance to talk about our jobs and to work on something that’s a bit more relaxed and that brings the team together.
6.00 pm: The quarterly team checkpoint will take place tomorrow, when each department will present its latest work and current projects. It will also be an opportunity for the new arrivals to undergo their initiation (singing a song, usually) and to draw lots to pick the two people in charge of preparing a ‘team gift’ with a budget provided by Agorize. I need to get the room ready and go to the local convenience store to buy some things for breakfast.
7.00 pm: It’s not unusual for us to end the day with a drink on the terrace or in one of the local bars. It’s a chance to finish our lunchtime chats and relax a bit before facing the hustle and bustle of public transport.