Work Hard, Play Harder

Planit Agency
November 17, 2009

I’ve worked on the client side, on the research vendor side, and for the past few years, on the agency side. And for those who haven’t had agency experience, let me tell you: it’s like crossing to the dark side of the force. It’s a world of its own, populated by rebels, troublemakers, techies, and an assortment of other square pegs laughing hysterically at the mere thought of wanting to fit in a round hole. The culture is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. Most of the companies I’ve worked for claim to have people who “work hard and play hard,” but there was rarely a real sense of play, and the work itself was never play.

Play seems to be a big theme around Planit. When I was still adjusting to my new job, I asked one of my coworkers what he liked so much about working here. His response captured the Planit culture better than anything I’ve heard since.

He said, “We get to play.”

By that, he didn’t mean the beer in the lobby, the pool table, the guitars, the toys, the wine tastings, or even the happy hours. He meant the creative. He meant that we get to explore brands, dig into the psyche of audiences, craft messages, conjure new designs out of thin air, then launch our creations out into the world and watch what happens.

And when we’re done, we get to play.

Fortunately, our play hasn’t been hampered much just because there’s been a recession going on. This is no time to start doing things halfway or following a mold. Not for our work OR our play. Take our last happy hour. The “Recession-Proof Happy Hour” we had on June 18 had fewer bells and whistles. Fewer flower arrangements. Simpler snacks. We took the theme and played with it. And it was a blast. Clients, old coworkers, family, and friends all crowded in, taking in the view and the food and the beer and the fun. We shared stories, ideas, pictures of cats and babies. We cleared the table of snacks and played beer pong. (Okay, I was pregnant and didn’t play beer pong. But still.)

And the next day, we made our way past the empty bottles and deflated balloons and sat at our desks and cracked our knuckles and took an aspirin and got down to it. Think we’d take the day off of work to recover?

Not when we get to play.