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You’ve got a friend in me

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You’ve got a friend in me

To mark the International Day of Friendship, we’re taking a closer look at the pros of having pals at work you can lean on, laugh with and learn from.

Whether you’re the new kid on the block or part of the furniture, getting to know people beyond the work stuff has so many meaningful benefits. It can improve wellbeing, productivity, motivation, and employee retention rates. It can help people to grow and learn new skills and not to mention, it’s just more fun that way!

But when your calendar is crammed and your to-do list is long, it can be easy to go days or even weeks without chatting to your colleagues about their real lives – their hobbies and passions, families and summer plans, or stories and struggles.

So settle in, grab the popcorn and check out our stories and suggestions for building strong friendships with colleagues.


I’ve got skills, they’re multiplying 

Swapping and sharing skills with your colleagues is a great conversation starter and will enrich your knowledge and understanding of different job roles and give people insight into what you do too.

Whether you send each other links to interesting articles and helpful tutorial videos, or you wander over to each other’s workspaces to learn how to use a new illustration tool, skills sharing can help you get to know people at all levels of the organisation, collaborate and come up with new and innovative ideas together.

At Alive, we’re constantly absorbing each other’s knowledge. From Cam and Ally sharing their latest research on accessibility tools, to our design team working their magic using a new programme, we all understand how valuable collaboration is.

James says,

“I feel like I learn something from someone virtually every day – even while we’ve been working remotely.”

It’s so important that working from home doesn’t stop us from finding inspiration. At Alive, we’ve created a slack channel (the platform we use to communicate), dedicated to sharing and learning new things.

Andy says, “It’s my go-to for so many topics. Having it there ready to rock and roll means we can keep on top of design trends and share things that will help with our workflow. Laura is always showing me cool animation styles to work into our next projects.”


You’ve got a friend in me

Being the newbie can be daunting, especially if you joined a new team during the pandemic and haven’t actually met anyone face-to-face yet.

So ask yourself, when was the last time I reached out to someone?

Checking in with a funny meme or offer of support can make the world of difference. It’s about making people feel welcome, comfortable and confident, especially if your organisation has a tight-knit community where friendships between colleagues are already established.

Our latest addition to the Alive team, Lauren says,

“Starting a new job remotely is really difficult, but everyone at Alive has made me feel welcome and valued – often it’s the funny stories and morning meeting banter that makes me feel like I belong. I’m so excited for when we can all get together properly!”

yellow roundel with popcorn box at the bottom edge with the wording 'having the support of your colleagues can be absolutely critical in times of need.'
I’ll be there for you, ‘cus you’re there for me too

Considering how many hours a day we spend at work, whether that’s from home or in the office, having the support of your colleagues can be absolutely critical in times of need.

Whether you need advice, a shoulder to cry on or an easy distraction, your colleagues are often the people that simply get it. Being there for one another helps build trust and long-lasting bonds that more often than not, blossom into wonderful friendships.

“At Alive, we understand that everyone’s human and we all have our ups and downs. When life gets tough, I know that Alive will always have my back. They brighten up my day, make me smile and they’re always there to support me without judgment. It’s a culture I’m proud to say I’m a part of,” says Ellie.

It’s crucial that we support each other outside of work too.

Caroline says,

“Family matters at Alive. When we needed a bit of extra support, the team were there for my children as well as me. Andy and Laura shared their passion for all things illustration with my daughter Evie, teaching her drawing and calligraphy after school. And she still loves it now.”


Blue roundel with movie drinks cup image on the right with the wording 'Sometimes it’s the small things that can turn someone’s day around'

Kickass with kindness

Kindness brings people together and is key to making them feel valued and cared for. Sometimes it’s the small things that can turn someone’s day around, so tell your colleagues when they’ve done a great job, say thank you and check in regularly to see how they’re doing.

Friendship is at the heart of Alive and we care deeply about everyone we work with. There’s different dynamics between different members of the team and we’re always willing to help each other out.

Rob says,

“Being one of the more senior members of the team (in both senses of the word) means passing on some helpful things I’ve picked up along the way. From helping Andy set up the styles in an InDesign document, to showing him how to programme the radio stations in his car, kindness is all about being a mate and helping out where you can.”


Stayin’ Alive, stayin’ Alive

Let’s not forget that at Alive there’s nothing we love more than taking the mick and poking fun at each other! Whether it’s Loralie’s ‘jobettes’ (her new word for the little bits and bobs that need doing) or Stan’s obsession with running everywhere, someone is always the butt of the joke – especially on a Friday afternoon when we’ve cracked open a cider. But when push comes to shove, we’ve got each other’s backs. We’ve created a culture where we can support, encourage and celebrate one another and channel this into producing work we’re really proud of.

So, to our fellow communicators and creatives – reach out to a colleague, go for a drink after work, and check in with each other because you never know, your work pals might just become your friends for life.

“The guys at Alive understand the complexities of our business which means we don’t need to explain the detail of every project or design piece – they’re already on it, which keeps things moving and delivers the results we need.”

Emily Stoten — Head of Marketing, Selecta

“I feel like they own and care for the project as much as we do! I would not use anyone else for my creative work and think Alive is ahead of the game.”

Jo Hobbs — Communications Manager

“Thanks for all your help. We are delighted with the campaign, both in terms of the creativity and messaging but also the thought taken over the rollout of the materials. All looks absolutely fabulous!”

Sarah Crowdy — Campaign and Media Officer Communications, South East Water

“We went to ‘Alive’ for ideas on how to run a specific employee program in Europe. Alan and his team were brilliant in coming up with fresh, creative and practical approaches. The team took charge and executed brilliantly. We are pleased with the progress made so far and hope to have the same level of partnership and commitment going forward.”

Sobha Varghese — Tata Consultancy Services

“We had the privilege to work with the Alive team. It was our first time to be involved in creating an animation for our patients within paediatrics. The team were approachable, friendly, creative and very accommodating. Your vision for what you want to create, is at all times acknowledged, appreciated and accommodated by the team. They worked effectively and with great passion towards our project and worked not only alongside health professionals but also our patients who really enjoyed the experience of working with the Alive team. It has given our team the confidence and inspiration to do further projects in the future. We highly recommend Alive and their exceptional team.”

DR ELENI ATHANASAKOS, Lead Paediatric Clinical Scientist — NHS Barts Health

“‘The short animation developed in co-production with clinicians and young people is outstanding! Informative, developmentally appropriate, vitally fun and engaging. We are really grateful for the expertise of the Alive with Ideas team for their innovative approach in building children’s health literacy.'”

Kath Evans — Director of Children’s Nursing at Barts Health

“Our mission was to update our brand visuals to better reflect our innovative and forward-thinking organisation. After receiving numerous pitches from different branding agencies, Alive stood out with their clear passion and understanding of our identity and goals. We thoroughly enjoyed working with the Alive Team to create an engaging new brand that we are immensely proud of.”

Lianne Springer — Communications and Engagement Lead

“Alive wowed us during the pitch process and they didn’t stop wowing us throughout the whole project. Every person we worked with at Alive were so friendly, knowledgeable and clearly passionate about what they do. They have worked with us to really understand what we do and have created a new brand and website that really stands out from our competitors. Thank you!”

Louise Burnard, Head of Marketing and Communications UK — Be | Shaping the Future

“I think the team have done such a brilliant job, particularly with responding to our requests. It's one of the best mental health videos I've ever seen. Very proud to be associated with your exemplary work. Thank you so much.”

Dr Anna Batho — Clinical Psychologist – Critical Care, UCLH

“We have worked with Alan, Caroline and the wider Alive With Ideas team for many years. In that time, they have provided a dedicated service that is second to none. We appreciate their attention to detail and creative approach to bringing our brand, communications and stories to life. And would recommend them to anyone looking for creative communications support.”

Georgia Beech — Internal Communications Specialist, Ocado Group

“This is brilliant. I wanted to give my heartfelt thanks to all of the team who worked on this. You all understood exactly what we wanted to communicate and why, and then managed to do it in a way that was far better than anything I could have imagined. I’m a bit choked up to be honest!”

Sarah Wright, Head of Communications and Campaigns — NEA

“Each time I work with the team, I am always stunned at the effort and creativity that goes into each detail and am always eager for the end result. The team is extremely accommodating and always provide a fresh approach to our projects that elevates our communications materials!”

Alana Khaytin, Communications Specialist — Braskem America

“What I really appreciate about Alive is that they work with us as partners, and care as much about getting it right for our patients as we do.”

Sara Langston, Patient Engagement & Marketing Manager — italk

“Alive are unique in how much they deeply listen and invest in you and your ideas. I have not come across a company that listens as much as they do to ensure your needs are understood and met (actually - they always exceed my needs and expectations). Everyone I recommend Alive to has an equally brilliant experience. When you work with Alive, you are not only getting some genius creativity brought into your life, you are also hanging out with some of the best examples of human beings I’ve ever known.”

Steph Tranter, Hybrid Exec Coach & Psychologist —

“Alive helped us create a video of our response to the floods of winter 2019. Our Chief Officer received messages from all round the country praising us for it and was really pleased with both the video and the response to it.”

Alexander Mills, Communications Manager — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“Alive were professional, friendly and great to work with. Most importantly they were creative, helping us to bring an extremely important safety campaign to life.”

Jack Grasby — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“The (Alive) team were able to creatively pull together and document (in just over 2minutes) everything our service has achieved over the last few months, from thousands of prescriptions deliveries to hundreds of phone calls made to the vulnerable. The final product was so powerful and reflective of what our service has and continues to achieve. It couldn’t have been better received within the service – thanks Alive for once again helping us to communicate our vision!’”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire & Rescue

“We worked with the team at Alive to create our staff recognition video.
At a time like this, its never been more important to share the amazing work that our staff have done and continue to do on a daily basis under very difficult circumstances. We wanted to shout about this and recognise that when the time came, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue stepped up to the plate. We didn’t want an ordinary thank you post on social media or a basic email sent out internally, we wanted something special. Enter Alive. ”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“This looks amazing - brought a smile to my face scrolling through it :-)”

Jack Ford, Head of Marketing — streamGO

“Our company is fun, we have great brands, but most importantly we’re all about our people – and I wanted an agency who would understand that and help us bring it to life through our website and other comms. Straight away I felt that Alive ‘got’ us and provided the creative inspiration exactly where we needed it, as well as the technical expertise to deliver a well-functioning website.”

Keren McCarron, Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications — KP Snacks

Thank you so much. Incredible work done at incredible speed by incredible people.
Outstanding work as ever and what a turnaround. As for the concepts – wow. These are that good it would be an insult to describe them as just good. It’s a joke, quite frankly. This is exactly the Alive effect I was after. Right now I feel like I am living in an Alive With Ideas wonderland. Thank you!”

Jack Grasby, Campaigns Manager — SYFR

“If you are looking to improve creativity and build teamwork, I highly recommend a session like this for your team. No matter where you are in your creativity journey, a workshop like this can give your team a boost of energy and ideas to invigorate their creative thinking.”

Amy Lilja, IC Manager — Hennepin Healthcare

“Alive were there to help when we were working every hour to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. They gave us the creativity, ideas and support we needed to deliver campaigns which empowered our residents in the most difficult time most of us have ever seen, personally and professionally. The team understood what we needed, worked closely with us and delivered fast without any compromise on quality. Working with Alive has been a joy in the darkest of times and I have no doubt will have helped to save lives. Thanks team x”

Julie Odams, Assistant Director of Communications & Customers — Derbyshire County Council

“We got 'Alive' involved to help us shift mindsets across our organisation and they delivered! Using simple, clear and creative ideas the team have delivered us a campaign which has seen a dramatic increase in idea sharing and development. They’ve also played a significant role in creating a culture of shared success. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with again, in fact, we already are!”

Gavin Buckle — B&Q
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