An Extraordinary October at WP Engine Omaha
From volunteer efforts to Halloween hijinx, our hub in the Silicon Prairie has been busy with a slew of fall-inspired events
Brisk autumn air and the changing colors of the leaves might spark the urge for a mug of hot cocoa and a crackling fire, but for WP Engine’s team in Omaha, the fall season is when we shift into high gear.
This is certainly true “in the office,” where we’re focused on helping our customers build new sites and prepare for the busy eCommerce season ahead. But it’s also true for all of the activities we take on while away from our desks, which focus on giving back to the local community and supporting one another through respect, understanding, and a whole lot of fun!
Read on for a closer look at all of the activities that kept WP Engine employees busy throughout October.
Omaha Week of Service
As we’re starting to safely reconvene in-person, one of the first things we wanted to focus on this month was giving back to the community.
With that goal in mind, our Omaha hub kicked off a WP Engine Week of Service, hosting three different events aimed at improving our slice of the city.
First, we teamed up with InCOMMON Community Development to demo a new site. Employees spent hours tearing down an old ceiling and clearing debris from the space so it could undergo renovations. Once completed, the upper floors of the building will serve as low-cost apartments while the first floor will be used as a community center.
Days later, employees volunteered their time and efforts at The Food Bank for the Heartland where they packed more than 1,400 meals that have since been distributed to families in need.
For our final act of service, a group of employees spent an afternoon clearing trash from the grounds around the Ashton building to help clean up our own little corner of Omaha.
In total, 19 employees volunteered more than 40 hours of their time and donated $2,250—which WP Engine matched for a total of $4,500 to be split between InCOMMON, The Food Bank for the Heartland, and Keep Omaha Beautiful.
Special thanks go out to Britt who was our key organizer and the backbone that held up our Week of Service, as well as all the employees who volunteered their time or donated to these organizations!
LGBTQIA+ History Month
Observed on October 11, National Coming Out Day was meaningful for many employees, including members of Hue, our employee resource group supporting LGBTQIA+ employees and allies.
Ellie, one of the most active members of Hue and our Omaha area leader, wrote a thought-provoking article for our company-wide intranet which focused on employee experiences with coming out and what that moment (or moments) meant to them.
In doing so, she spoke with community members and allies alike about the advice they’d have for someone coming out, someone who’s trusted with a coming out story, or someone who wants to be a beacon of help and hope for those struggling with their identity.
For International Pronouns Day, celebrated on October 20, Hue leadership composed a document full of great information for gender nonconforming individuals and those who support them. It outlined ways we can all make our online presence more inclusive and answered some frequently asked questions with regard to navigating conversations about identity.
Colleagues who choose to show their own pronouns on platforms like Zoom and Slack, even if those pronouns match their born identity, pave the way for others to showcase their truest selves at work. A quick how-to sheet showed us how to make them visible, and frequently asked questions addressed topics such as what to do if you accidentally use the incorrect pronouns for a person and what to do if you hear someone else using incorrect pronouns.
On October 21, employees at all WP Engine locations were encouraged to wear purple and celebrate LGBTQIA+ Spirit Day! Organized annually by GLAAD, this small action symbolizes a community of individuals who seek an end to bullying on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender presentation. If you’d like to take the pledge to support LGBTQIA+ youth and end bullying, you can do so on GLAAD’s website.
WP Engine is proud of each individual who joins our team, and no matter how you identify yourself, know that you’re welcome here. Huge thanks go out to Ellie and all the individuals who recognized the importance of and participated in this LGBTQIA+ History Month.
Halloween Spirit Week
We rounded out a rad month of activity with a super spooky Halloween Spirit Week! Each day we connected virtually with themed questions via Slack to facilitate conversations and bring our teams together—even when large in-person gatherings aren’t in the cards.
Monstrous Monday forced us to face our deepest fears with questions about what scares us most. Tuesday, we discussed costumes, cocktails, and cuisine, sharing our favorite kinds of soup and deciding which costumes are tired and should be retired. (Quick note: The team decided Harley Quinn costumes are retired. Just so you know.)
Wednesday was double trouble as we discussed witchy topics in Slack throughout the day, and then drove in for a socially safe event after work. A double feature drive-in movie allowed us to gather for sweet treats and family flicks, sans risk.
Everyone was provided with plenty of candy, popcorn, drinks, and other goodies, including some Omaha-hub-exclusive stickers created by Arnie! Employees brought their families and waved from their cars as we snacked, laughed, and bonded over who had and had not seen the Disney Channel classic: Halloweentown.
On Thursday, we discussed childhood nostalgia and our fondest memories from the year’s most fear-filled day. Throwback topics included “what’s your favorite Halloween tradition?” and “how old were you when you saw your first scary movie?”.
By Friday, we were ready for some variety, which was delivered via our Zoom variety show! The Spooktacular Spectacular ended our fun and frightening week with Halloween-related skits, skills, and commentary by our very own oracles of Omaha.
Thank you to the Omaha Corncil (our Omaha Hub’s employee council), all of whom were instrumental in planning these activities—as well as all the individuals who helped plan or showcased their skills during Spirit Week!
Jump on the Engine!
WP Engine is up and running in Omaha, and we’re moving full-steam ahead. Want to join a team that’s making waves in the no-coast city? Check out our open positions and apply today!
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