Holly Maguire

Important little things

As the unofficial lab social secretary, I take our lab social events very seriously. Although everyone is inevitably really busy, and there are many weeks without nearly enough time in them, these little things remain important. They force us to look up from our work and take a break, to socialize with the people around us, and help us to foster a sense of community in our lab. What do I mean by little things? Well let me tell you.

I think it’s a big mistake to overlook the little things and to underestimate the positive effect they can have. From leaving a congratulations sign on the door of the colleague who aced their driving test, to a “do not touch” sign hung on the computer of the workaholic who has a hard time respecting her days off, these little things have a big impact. We decorate for Christmas and have a secret Santa baking exchange that I know we all look forward to, where we cap off the year by spending the afternoon exchanging baked goods and sitting under all our corny Christmas decor. We all try and have lunch together, whenever time and schedules allow of course, and whenever someone returns from a trip they often bring back treats. We’ve fostered an environment of collaboration and support among colleagues, but even more we’ve created a community.

I know from personal experience that I’ve had a couple really horrible days turn around drastically thanks to a nice message from an office mate or the simple offer of a cup of tea.

And if there’s cake too? Well that’s just even better.

Sincerely,

-Sinéad

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