Solar eclipse inspires Chicago companies to do employee teambuilding – Consumer News

on Aug18

18 August 2017 | 10:30 am

People will converge on Carbondale in southern Illinois. Companies have postponed meetings because too many people took off.

On August 21, Illinoisans will watch as moon passes over the sun. Those in the Chicago area will witness the most complete eclipse since 1806. In response to employee excitement, many local office managers have planned parties to celebrate the historic cosmic event. Between beer and goggles, here is the lowdown on how some local companies are celebrating the eclipse.

On August 21, eight new employees will start at DMC, a software and engineering firm based in Chicago. Instead of hosting a welcome lunch and making the requisite introductions, the company has bought ISO glasses and instructed its 50 employees to head up to the roof, stare at the sky and watch as the moon nearly eclipses the sun.

“It’s kind of a nerdy thing for sure, but we want people to experience something this epic,” said Courtney Mitchell, recruiting manager. “We don’t want people to sit in their desks when something so awesome is going on.”

Marty Maloney, spokesman at Chicago-based MillerCoors, said eclipses only come around “once in a blue moon.” It is for this reason, he said, that every employee will receive complimentary Blue Moon beers at Monday’s company eclipse party. “Our flagship wheat beer (was) literally named after an astronomical phenomenon because someone remarked that, ‘A beer this good only comes along once in a blue moon,'” Maloney said in a statement. Along with cosmic-named beer, attendees will also receive ISO-certified glasses to watch the eclipse, themed drinking glasses and snacks of moon cakes and cheese. Hundreds of MillerCoors employees are expected to attend the company party.

Playing hooky? Here’s where to watch the eclipse

Chicago-based Clune Construction celebrated national chocolate chip cookie day on May 15 with a bakeoff. An employee estimates there’s at least one company “special day” celebration every month. At a firm committed to recognizing even the most minute days, of course the construction company has plans to celebrate the eclipse. “It helps foster a community feeling within the office,” said Denise Moy Duffy, vice president and national marketing manager. “It lets people take a breath and look up from their desk. Once in awhile, I think everybody appreciates time to spend together and socialize outside of work.” The company has bought more than 50 pairs of ISO glasses for employees, and plans to celebrate together on the roof.

At Oak Park-based Shaker Recruitment Marketing, Amanda Shaker thinks Monday’s “wild sight” will be employees modeling their eclipse glasses, rather than the lunar event. “It’s just important to have those moments where you can be not doing work, and experiencing some of those real-life opportunities together,” said Shaker, director of press relations and communications. “You get so caught up on the next deliverable to the client, (that) to unplug, step away and experience something together is a nice way reconnect.”

Meanwhile, LaSalle Network, a staffing and recruiting firm based in the Loop, circulated an internal memo to employees articulating that if they wanted to watch the eclipse, they should feel free to take a few moments off. But it’s OK if they don’t. “There are a lot of people who don’t want to be made to do things,” said Tom Gimbel, founder and CEO. “A lot of people are like, ‘Who cares?’ Others think it’s such a rarity. We want them to know there’s no pressure either way.”

At Ulta’s corporate offices in Bolingbrook, all employees have received glasses and will be watching the rare event.



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