The Kalico team recently headed to Gettysburg for an afternoon of horseback riding at Nat-a-Del farm, followed by dinner at Appalachian Brewing Company. Both Leigh and I are relatively new hires, and this outing was our first time experiencing a Kalico Retreat. We’re proud to be kept incredibly busy this summer with client projects, but it was nice to get out of the office and enjoy the fresh air! Plus, it’s much easier to get to know your coworkers when your eyes aren’t glued to a computer.
The trail ride through rolling pastures was the perfect activity for shaking off the stress from work. Though we chatted some during the ride, we also spent a good amount of time quietly taking in the scenery and focusing on communicating with our horses. I let my mind wander off and relished the opportunity to enjoy “me” time — a luxury I don’t get much of now that I have a baby at home!
We left the farm sweaty, a little sore and very hungry. Once drinks and meals were ordered, we settled in for a lighthearted round of get-to-know-you questions, such as, “What was your favorite college class?” The surface-level questions lead to deeper discussions, and we talked about everything from travel dreams to childhood memories. We also discovered common interests we didn’t know we shared. (For example, we’re all theater lovers. Maybe our next Kalico Retreat will be seeing a show!)
In a September 2013 Forbes article titled “How Much Coworker Socializing Is Good For Your Career,” Alexander Kjerulf, an author and speaker on happiness at work, says, “Socializing with your coworkers is essential for your career…If you’re not able to relate to your coworkers as human beings and build positive relationships, your career will suffer. Socializing and getting to know them as people will help you to communicate better, trust each other more and work better together. Also, employees who have positive workplace relationships are happier at work (in fact, good workplace relationships are one of the most important sources of workplace happiness) and we know that people who are happy at work are more productive, more creative and more successful overall.”
Stepping away from our desks for a relaxing night out gave us renewed energy for the following work week. Plus, when the night ended, I didn’t feel as though I was leaving with my boss and coworkers — I was driving home with friends.