The blind dates are intended to help Fresh Books create a more collaborative workplace and allow employees to get to know each other as people, not just roles.“As Fresh Books has grown over the years, I noticed more and more people didn’t know each other’s names anymore,” says Grace Antonio, manager of support operations and organizer of the Blind Dates initiative.
Antonio had joined the 200-person company when it was staffed by less than 20 people.
Understanding the goals of different departments was important to Terry Thrasher, a member of Fresh Books’ Mobile Development Team.
“In my role, it’s important to have good awareness about the people at the company and what they’re doing.
The more I learn, the easier it is to understand what various teams are achieving, and how we can share knowledge across groups,” says Thrasher.
Meeting people from different departments can present an opportunity for collaboration that would never have happened in the course of the normal business day.
You also need to think about your interactions at work and how this news may affect others.
Do you work in different departments or directly on the same team?
If everyone already knows you’re together and have embraced the relationship, then you’re probably in the clear to get more creative with how you drop the big news.
The company has already undergone two rounds of blind dates, setting up 92 employees, nearly half the company.
The results of the blind dates initiative have been widespread:“Getting to know people from all different backgrounds, roles, and departments is a great way to develop empathy and have a better bird’s eye view of the business,” says Antonio.
It makes sense—sharing long hours with like-minded people can be a major relationship catalyst.
Marrying work and love (and maybe actually marrying your co-worker) might sound like an ideal situation, but navigating intertwining schedules and office hierarchies present their own pitfalls, not to mention spending all that time together.