Giving Thanks

Benjamin Hawkyard
2 min readJan 28, 2016

I’ve been at GatherContent for almost four months now. Being part of a team that’s distributed over five countries isn’t easy, but we make it work incredibly well.

One of the reasons for this is that we’re constantly looking for ways to improve every aspect of our working lives, whether that’s through new tools that can help us communicate in a more human way (we just switched from HipChat to Slack and the change has been profound, even if we were a little late to the party), to reading up and testing out the latest ideas and processes to increase team engagement and happiness across the board.

We spend around 50% of our total waking hours with each other on an average working day, why not try out new techniques that can make that time even more enjoyable than it already is?

At GatherContent, we recently had our retrospective, where the team gets together to discuss a myriad of topics that we add to Trello every two weeks. From our recent and long overdue switch to Slack, to hosting a server so we could play Minecraft with our new hire (think of it like an alternative to team drinks on a Friday), everything is open for discussion.

One result of our retrospective was the idea that we should set up a Slack channel specifically to give Thanks to each other. Not that we’re an ungrateful bunch, but being a remote team means less face-to-face interaction than would usually occur, thus a Thanks room would be handy for popping a quick message in there to give someone a pat on the back, or a bit of appreciation, whether it’s for helping fix a Github issue or someone’s assistance in setting up a new dev environment.

Can you feel the love tonight?

The result? We’ve had numerous thank you messages that otherwise might have gone under the radar, in just under a day. That’s a big win for us. Not only are we actively taking time to say a meaningful thank you to each other, our dedicated Thanks room has become a shining example of just how, well, thankful we are to each other for all the help we get throughout the day.

Whether you’re remote or in-office, think about the benefits of setting up a Thanks room will have for your team. It’s a great feeling saying thank you to someone, even more so when you get one back, and it takes so little effort to brighten someone else’s day.

I believe company culture should always be evolving, and I’d love to hear more about how you’re improving culture where you work, just shoot me a message on Twitter.

Thanks for reading!

I’m Ben, a product designer at GatherContent, a simple content collaboration platform that helps you organise and produce content before it’s published.