How did we challenge our colleagues around the world to a 3-week-sports challenge?

Life at Storyblok Nisrin Said Christel Forey Nisrin Said & Christel Forey
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A few months ago, back in July 2021, Storyblok hosted its first mini-games virtually. This was the first time we all had come together to participate in a team-building event from our otherwise would-be company retreat that couldn’t happen this year. After these first games, the operations and talent team sought out feedback from everyone to continuously build and foster an interactive culture that could involve everyone based around the world. In the spirit of the Tokyo Olympics this year, the idea of creating a sports event came around.

While sports are an essential part of one’s health, working from home in whichever setup can have detrimental effects on our bodies after sitting so long in front of our computers. Sometimes, we even forget to exercise because of this. This was one of the main reasons why the 3-week-sports-challenge was created.

We also knew that some of our employees use the sports application, Strava, from the numerous cycling and running photos we continuously receive in our #random Slack channel amongst the sporty ones amongst us. This inspired us to integrate the application, and focus on running, cycling, and walking - all feasible activities. We chose these three types of activities as there was something for everyone, whether they’d be working out, walking to do their groceries, or simply taking a cycle in nature. We set ourselves the goal of running, cycling, and walking a total of 2017 kilometers (2017 was the year of Storyblok’s founding).

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How did we coordinate to make this happen?

It was important to us to create a sense of community to encourage people to do sports and strengthen our team spirit despite the physical distance between each other. It was also important for us to create something where everyone could walk, cycle or run at any time and accessibly. Because we are all very different, some people prefer to do sports before work, some after, and some specifically during their weekend. We wanted to give everyone the flexibility to enjoy and participate in the activities wherever and whenever possible.

We then integrated Strava into Slack, where we created a channel for our challenge to encourage and support each other’s achievements. Whenever someone completed their activity, it would be automatically posted into the channel, with the opportunity to post photos. This was also supported by weekly fun photo challenges where the winner could win a one-year subscription to a gym of their choice in their city, wherever it was in the world they lived. This was particularly important to us as not all of us are equally sporty, and they would still have a chance to win something.

We wanted to get as many as possible on board with the challenge. Through our post-evaluation, we learned that the activities and photos of others encouraged everyone to exercise as well.

How did the challenge resonate with the values at Storyblok and the culture we are building?

This challenge is consistent with Storyblok’s culture. We allowed complete flexibility for all employees to participate anywhere in the world, at any time of day, and at their own pace. Some have even joined during their business trip and sent us photos. Also, we didn’t want to force anyone to participate.

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Nevertheless, about 80% participated, which made it possible to win the challenge. Storyblok decided that if we reached the 2017kms together, we wanted to do something good for the environment. Therefore, we decided to support the organization “Plant for the Planet” by planting 768 trees in Brazil, Kenya, Ukraine, and Thailand.

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Overall, we want to continue planning more sports activities in the future and other creative activities, mainly because it was so well received - stay tuned for more activities coming soon!

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