by Brian Nordli
October 16, 2018

Most companies approach health and wellness as a spectator sport, leaving it up to employees to take advantage of gym perks or financial programs that contribute to a balanced life.

Not Vivid Seats.

For one week this September, the online ticketing company turned health and wellness into a company-wide event, coaxing employees out of their swivel chairs and away from monitors to get their blood pumping. They hosted a packed schedule of fitness challenges, exercise classes and lunch and learns.

Throughout Vivid Seats’ first annual Wellness Week, employees also traded recipes, competed to see who could do the most push-ups and relaxed with chair massages — activities all chosen to encourage physical and mental wellness.

We spoke to three employees about their Wellness Week experiences.

 

Vivid Seats Front Desk
Photography by Chris Murphy
Vivid Seats meeting area
Photography by Chris Murphy
Vivid Seats Logo
Photography By Chris Murphy

 

FOUNDED: 2001

EMPLOYEES: 500

WHAT THEY DO: Vivid Seats connects fans to their favorite live events — whether it’s a Chicago Bulls game or a Beyoncé concert — through an online ticket platform.   

WHERE THEY DO IT: Chicago

DA BEARS: Employees can cheer on the Chicago Bears from the Vivid Seats Skydeck at Soldier Field.

WELLNESS WEEK: Employees took a break from work to participate in a week of push-up challenges, pull-up competitions, recipe exchanges and keg talks to promote a healthy work-life balance.

 

 

Tim wall sits

Tim Portrait

 

Tim Malican, Recruiting Team Lead

Tim partners with other teams to find strong job candidates, develop consistent interview processes and help Vivid Seats staff its teams with quality new hires.

BEYOND WORK: Tim is a snowboarding enthusiast constantly on the hunt for the best ride. Last year, he dropped from a helicopter to shred a slope in Revelstoke, British Columbia.

 

What role do individual employees have in shaping Vivid Seats’ culture?

Every employee contributes. We have a floor plan that encourages visibility and communication across our teams. Software product showcases, open forums with leadership, catered lunches, happy hours, company-sponsored sports teams and meetups are all great avenues for employees to meet new people. They encourage employees to ask questions, share ideas and learn about each other. Everyone is encouraged to come up with new ideas to enhance our culture or innovate our business.

 

We understand Vivid Seats recently held a fitness week. What activity did you enjoy the most?

We held fitness challenges to see who could do the most push-ups, pull-ups and wall sits. They were done in a group setting, which only enhanced the competitive spirit. Participants stuck around to see the end of each competition, and encouraged each other to deliver some impressive performances.

 

What does wellness mean to you?

I started my career in health education. Wellness is the right balance of mental, physical and emotional health. Throughout the day, I value physical activity, healthy eating, cognitive challenges and social interactions. Outside of work, I maintain wellness by traveling (I visited France and Spain this year), spending time with friends and family, and exploring Chicago’s neighborhoods.

 

Vivid Seats’ commitment to wellness makes me feel energized, balanced and healthy.” 

 

How important is wellness to your experience at Vivid Seats?

Every day, I take advantage of our free onsite bike storage, gym, fitness classes and healthy snacks. Our flexible hours and work from home and paid time off policies promote a great work-life balance, allowing employees to travel and recharge throughout the year. Vivid Seats’ commitment to wellness makes me feel energized, balanced and healthy.

 

 

Claire at work

Claire portrait

 

Claire Ruser, Email Production Associate

Claire works on Vivid Seats’ customer relationship marketing team, where she crafts and sends emails to engage new and existing customers. Her emails provide the most relevant and up-to-date event content for each user.

BEYOND WORK: Claire recently developed a passion for weight lifting. Each new weight she attempts to lift is a challenge for her to overcome, mentally as well as physically.

 

What keeps you inspired at work?

Vivid Seats celebrates uniqueness. We often do things differently from others in the industry. We know our worth, and we continue to strive to be better than the day before. As an employee, this has been one of the most inspiring messages I continue to receive.

Comparison to others can be a useful measure of success and growth, but measuring against ourselves provides a unique spirit to our culture that I’ve found infectious. On the customer relationship marketing team, this mindset is magnified by our desire to share the spirit of Vivid Seats with customers.  

 

How did you participate in Wellness Week?

I participated in some of the brainstorming. Our goal was to bring employees together in a low-pressure environment through activities designed to suit various interests.

I competed in many of the physical challenge events and lunchtime learning opportunities. It was a great way to learn about others who share similar interests, and to learn about the process of collaborative event planning in the office.  

 

In two years, I’ve been promoted three times and moved from our customer-based operations to our marketing department.”

 

What opportunities are there for career growth at Vivid Seats?

Vivid Seats has provided me with flexibility in shaping my future. In two years, I’ve been promoted three times and moved from our customer-based operations to our marketing department.

I came to Vivid Seats unsure of where I wanted to end up, but my supervisors and coworkers have been helping me hone my strengths and recognize where I could excel. I know the sky is truly the limit here.

 

 

Jonathan at work

Jonathan Portrait

 

Jonathan Harrison, Assistant Manager of PPC Advertising

Jonathan works with a team of nine to develop multi-channel marketing strategies for an array of live events.

BEYOND WORK: Jonathan loves bouldering. For him, tackling a route is an exercise in patience and forethought, forcing him to weigh each movement to solve the puzzle.

 

What role can individual employees have in shaping Vivid Seats’ culture?

Vivid Seats emphasizes extracurricular activities, whether in the form of post-work outings or intramural sports. Participating in sports has provided the best opportunity to influence the culture because it brings together employees from different departments. Our volleyball team included engineers, designers, customer success reps and people from teams that may not intersect on a daily basis but contribute to the same product.

Participation is not mandatory, though everyone is welcome to join. From there, we can share ideas for future outings, expand the pool of employees participating and promote a more cohesive company culture.

 

In what other ways does Vivid Seats promote wellness?

We have a partnership with the building’s gym on the first floor. I’ve never been one to maintain a gym membership, so the ability to access one at work has made a big impact on my personal wellness.

Having access to a shower also allows me to bike to work in the morning or go for a run at lunch. I’ve encountered many members of our upper management team mid-workout. The gym offers visibility into their wellness, inspiring me to prioritize my own.

 

Whenever a candidate asks what keeps me at Vivid Seats, I always reply that it’s the work-life balance.” 

 

What does it mean to you to have an employer that supports your well-being?

Whenever a candidate asks what keeps me at Vivid Seats, I always reply that it’s the work-life balance. While my work fulfills many parts of my life, the greatest value lies in what my work affords me outside of my career. The best example would be traveling. I grew up in Los Angeles and my family still lives there. I have the flexibility to see them and still go on excursions to new countries and cities.

I recently went to Sao Miguel, one of the Azores Islands off Portugal, where I spent much of my time on beaches, in forests, near oceans and waterfalls, and absorbing the wonders of a new country. To me, wellness is an effort to be whole. Cultural experiences are critical to wellness, and I’ve always felt supported in my role to journey into the unknown.

 

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