Agency piss up vs forced fun?

Almost 2 years ago at Bounce Creative we started to make a shift away from what felt like the industry default of centering agency culture around booze.

Sure, there’s a time and place for poppin bottles (Rosé in Cannes, anyone?), but as we start to question our relationship with drinking, both as a society and in the workplace, I personally wanted to explore other ways of bringing our team together.

Having worked in agencies both big and small for almost 15 years myself, I’ve seen it all… From 10am tequila shots after pitches to beerstorms with creatives every day of the week and dance offs on the office kitchen table at 2am that ended in hospital… It seems we might have taken things a bit too far and now the next generation are helping us come together in different ways, and I’m totally here for it.

Don’t get me wrong, Bounce works with booze brands, we’ve got an office fridge full of the stuff and anyone is welcome to crack a drink at any given time. It just seems fitting that while every alc brand starts to embrace the sober curious trend with their own range of non-alc products, we also embrace a new take on team events – the two go hand in hand pretty well.

So, is it ‘forced fun’ from the top down, or are people genuinely getting behind it? Well, just as some prefer XPAs over IPAs and Sparkles over Shiraz, there are plenty of varied tastes in the team and we’ve been trying to keep things fresh and embrace the feedback. In 2023 we started a weekly run club, which led to several of us entering the Sydney Marathon. We took art classes, painting, pottery, got lost in puzzle rooms, jumped on boats, raced go karts and went surfing with our clients… We also threw down plenty of drinks, but it was about much more than just aimlessly strolling to the pub (we do that most Fridays too). It saw us embrace new experiences, learn more about our team dynamics and of course channel some healthy competitiveness. Yep, plenty of competitiveness.

Well, what’s on the horizon in 2024, fellow LinkedIn community? If you’re the kind of person who leaves comments on posts, I’d love to hear some ideas around what’s worked among your own teams, what hasn’t and what you’re dying to do for a bit of forced fun yourselves. We’re gearing up for a big year, but don’t worry, we’ll make sure we save some time to get the work done too.