Ladies' Brunch, BBQs, Halloween, and Beyond: Rebbix's Gatherings for a Work-Life Blend


Iryna Yaskiv

Brand Writer
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One thing that amazes candidates is that Rebbix has an office-first setup and our teams are co-located. In a remote-dominated world it’s a real gem. One delightful by-product of that? Well, our frequent gatherings—almost legendary in the past. But, just like everything, they’ve changed roughly since recently.  How exactly and what togetherness they foster - in the interview with Galka Hutorianska, our HR Team Lead.

spontaneous spirit: rebbix's unscripted gathering culture

IY: What types of gatherings do you have at Rebbix. And why?

GH: First things first - we don’t have a calendar of must-have events or gatherings at Rebbix. All the time, and especially now, we need to keep our ears to the ground and tune into the vibe, spirit, and moods in the air. Are people into something? Are they looking for an occasion to come together? In other words, we act on the spot, relying on intuition and flexibility to organize gatherings, rather than following any kind of plan. 

On the other hand, we do have certain well-kept traditions and events that happen on and on, year after year. And they are tied to all kinds of things - seasonality, traditions, Rebbix evolution, etc. 

Some of them are big, others small. Some emerge instantly - like we might convene to play poker, or board games, or hit the road on the bikes to spend time together. Some common interest plus a good company you enjoy - that’s basically everything you need to unwind these days. 

IY: I see. The landscape changed much and the moods nowadays are far from celebrating one and big parties seem to be out of place. How do you navigate through this new reality?

GH: Well, it is like walking on very thin ice, indeed.

We did not host any events during the first year of full-scale invasion. But then, we saw folks itching to come together, so we had the first BBQ. 

Summer BBQs

The main reason is that as humans, we need a circle of our people to melt our grievances and get the support you need. Nowadays, our get-togethers aren't all about wild fun, and dancing like there's no tomorrow – it's about hanging out with the folks you like, trust, and enjoy. It's a break from work and lunch, you know?

As HRs, we are extremely sensible and sensitive as to what time to pick to throw a gathering. We may cancel them if things get worse, or instead, bring a call if we see some occasion to be together once more. We watch to see if people stick around or head home, whether they bring their families, kids, or pets – it all matters. We've also changed our game plan for company events. No more big end-of-year parties, but we keep some pre-New-Year gigs because, well, we still want to mark the transition from old to new.

The bottom line - it’s all about gut feeling today. No fancy spreadsheets, no plan, just common sense. 

evolution of traditions: from wild parties to pysankas

IY: You’ve mentioned that you have many traditional celebrations at Rebbix. So, can you name any - the oldest or loved ones?

GH: Yeah, sure, I’ll walk you through a bit. When I joined Rebbix, it was kind of a small company and we celebrated the birthdays of each and every teammate. Then we thought of uniting them into some thematic parties and they were quite, well, wild. We had 90s parties, rap, raggy, everything you can dream of. Good old days. It lasted for about a year, yeah. 

Good old parties

Today, we've shifted away from birthday celebrations, but we've found other reasons to hang out.

One of my favorite and nice ones is painting Easter eggs - pysankas. A week or two before Easter we get together, inviting Dzvinka Zahayska who curate us and spread some creative vibes all around. I must say, we are quite diverse in how we approach religion and we keep it private. Still, as a part of Western Ukrainian tradition, we do celebrate big Christian holidays. So, Christmas & Easter brunches - it is when we put on vyshyvanka, take our tasties from home, order some extras from Jerusalem (local cafe, hah), and sit together to celebrate.

Traditional Christmas brunch

And have you seen our yard? Isn’t it American? At least, it seemed so to us, and we started gathering to have some more-or-less random BBQs. 

One more idea seemed very authentic  - the celebration of Halloween. Atop from carving out grimaces on pumpkins and freeing some negatives, marking Halloween helps us get through November, the most, well, wet, windy, work-from-home month. Fun fact: we usually decide what to part ways with on Halloween. One year it was PHP, and Objective C, but they turned out to be quite resilient. 

Every Halloween we decide what is not moving to the future

And as summer winds down, we say goodbye with movie nights. We pop some popcorn, print tickets, and vote on what movie to watch together.

Getting ready for the movie night

IY: That’s cool! I know of one more tradition of yours - Ladies’ Brunch. What is it?

GH: Well, sometime after I joined Rebbix I noticed that our female community grew a bit, so why not unite around, well, women’s topics and identity, to support each other and so on. And, to be honest, we wanted to aaaargh boys - you know, so many women being together. Hah. 

Lady's Brunch

It could be dinner, lunch, or even on-spot cooking - I love that above all. Yeah, we have a quite big kitchen here at the Rebbix office where we throw some food and decide, well, what to cook next. 

all-inclusive gatherings: families, kids, and more

IY: How do you come up with ideas on what to celebrate or cheer up?

GH: Well, the info comes in all kinds of ways. At the office, we have one very social thing - hookah. It helps to relax after a tough day and also to, well, exchange news and scan the ideas of spending time together. Some other reactions, moods, and feedback we collect during 1-on-1, kitchen talks, chats, etc. And of course, we catch up on those ideas and we definitely support those who step up and volunteer to organize some event/gathering. 

Hookah, connecting people

And what I like most about Rebbix is that here we practice radical candor - be sure, if everything goes off, we’ll get to know about it as someone would say it directly to our faces. 

IY: Families, kids, partners - you invite them all. Why?

GH: Yeah, we usually offer to bring your +1 and children, if any. Nowadays, we invite the family members of guys who serve in the Armed Forces as well. It’s not like we’re a family, no. This instinct of bringing everyone in is more rooted in what Rebbix is: one of our values is a work-life blend, so we don’t draw a strict line between personal and work life. Plus, we did not want guys to choose between the option to spend time with their families or coworkers - so we offered to do both. And it works. 

Everybody's in

Plus, we believe the best ambassadors are your current employees. If their loved ones turn into ambassadors, too, it is a combo. 

IY: In the end - what is it all about?

GH: It is never about retention or keeping our teammates in. No. It’s more a part of the corporate spirit, of who we are, and how these events changed reflected our evolution, too. In the past we liked wild parties. Today there should be some kind of kids’ agenda because we’ve got ones and we bring them to our gatherings, too. No music, no dance, just the essentials left. 

Christmas market on Rebbix yard in 2021

Gatherings today are usually about just being together and enjoying each other's company. At Rebbix, people are each a universe of their own, with different interests, opinions, and perspectives.

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