Evolving Traditions: Forgoing Free Lunch for Good

Aubrey Lear, Senior Employee Engagement Manager

Article Categories: #News & Culture, #Employee Engagement

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FFLFG, the evolution of a Vigety tradition that allows us to connect with each other while giving back to our local communities.

You may have heard of our wonderful tradition, Free Lunch Friday, which we call “FLF.” A weekly company-wide meeting, FLF has been a part of Viget since our earliest days in 1999. In the beginning, it was a weekly staff meeting around a single table with a printed agenda and roundup of recent project highlights. The tradition is still alive and well, and has evolved as we’ve grown to have multiple offices across different time zones

When we added a Boulder office 8 years ago, we invented FBF, Free Brunch Friday, for our Mountain Zone teammates. It’s the same meeting, but they enjoy a different menu. We also now have five remote coworkers at Viget, and of course, they join the meeting as well. Development Director, Nate Hunzaker has been known to put on impromptu Master Chef performances from his home kitchen before we get started. We might catch a vigepet or vigebaby pop up on the video feed as well. Simply seeing the faces of our distributed teammates all in one “place” is a big part of the purpose of FLF.

First we connect over food and then we connect over work. We share some praise, local news, project updates, sales and recruiting leads, and cap off most Fridays with a Labshare, another longstanding Viget tradition. Labshares are 10 minute presentations by one Viget on a topic they are passionate about. It allows us to connect even further while giving the presenter a chance to practice public speaking skills.

What you may not have heard of before is FFLFG, or Forgoing Free Lunch For Good. No, it’s not a real acronym (although we do love those here), but it is another Vigety tradition that allows us to connect with each other while giving back to our local communities. FFLFG is another way to say potluck at Viget. (Maybe PLF is the better acronym?) Our first potluck was years ago, but we’ve refined our approach over the years, and now it’s better than ever.

First, we coordinate across offices, so we’re all in a potlucky state of mind together. Second, we forgo free lunch on Viget and cook for each other instead. Colleagues bring in a dish to share with each other, sometimes with a healthy side of competition. Chili-cookoffs and guac-offs have been popular potluck events. Lastly, we take the money we would have spent on FLF, double it, and donate it to a local charity. We still enjoy lunch together, and we still have our all-hands meeting, but we achieve a heightened sense of community and redistribute Viget’s generosity towards a worthy cause.

This month we hosted our Summer potluck. We enjoyed tex-mex inspired dishes, banana pudding, cornbread, and lots and lots of tortilla chips. We also donated to three well-deserving local charities that support our environment and community: Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, Piedmont Wildlife Center, and Thorne Nature Experience.

If you like free lunch, potlucks, or have a fantastic guacamole recipe, we’re hiring! On a more serious note, if you realize the importance of healthy company traditions, value opportunities for co-workers to connect as friends, and want to work somewhere that cares about its community, then you might appreciate the special atmosphere we have here at Viget. Learn all about our open positions here.

Aubrey Lear

Aubrey is Viget’s Senior Employee Engagement Manager based in our Falls Church, VA, HQ. She is an organized advocate for color coordinated calendars and closets, but most importantly she is a believer in team spirit and creative thinking.

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