16 Dec Inside: Havas Village Sofia
Our team in Sofia, Bulgaria is so cohesive and integrated that not only do they create highly collaborative and innovative work for clients, they also hang out together in their free time, cheat on their diets together, and swap notes on the latest episode of “Game of Thrones” as a group.
Take the tour with us below.
The Mag: What does being a Village mean to you?
Sofia: As Aristotle said, man by nature is a social animal. And not only because together we are stronger in the sense of expertise, experience, and knowledge. In the connected environment of a Village, an individual has a greater chance to grow, to compete, to praise, and to be praised. This is a stronger motivation than any, and this is what being a Village means to us.
The Mag: How has the collaborative nature of your Village influenced your culture?
Sofia: You get to witness first-hand the habits of your co-workers. You know them better. You are happy and sad when they are happy and sad. Bonding between different companies is hard, but bonding between individuals is easy. We are now no longer defined by corporate structure. We are defined by being part of one Village.
The Mag: How do teams from across the Village collaborate?
Sofia: Despite the fact that teams have different experiences and knowledge, under the roof of our Village every task, every problem, and every victory is common. Collaboration brought to perfection is a process, doesn’t happen immediately, but needs to be nurtured. That’s something that brings us together–the desire to bring to this market a unified team of professionals with different disciplines, but one goal–professionalism, inspiration and success for our clients.
Among our joint clients are Happy Socks, Volkswagen, Roche, President, and Telus. For Happy Socks, one of our newest clients, we worked together across media and creative to introduce the brand and create the brand identity for the official distributor for Bulgaria, The Socks.
The Mag: What makes your Village a great place to work?
Sofia: The Village gave us the opportunity to create a space for interaction and connection that goes beyond work. A good team is defined by the time it spends together outside of office hours–if it still wants to talk about the meaning of life or the next season of “Game of Thrones,” even after the work is done. And luckily, we have a meeting point for these conversations, the roof of our building which provides a magnificent view of Sofia.
We’ve launched a few special initiatives since the Village was born, including our in-house board game competition and “Havas Cheat Day,” which is when someone brings in homemade sweets to the office to share with all colleagues.
The Mag: Tell us a bit about the office space. Where does everyone like to gather?
Sofia: Our rooftop is a great “chill zone” during the warmer months. Besides that, we use creative brainstorming areas to discuss projects or to just share stories with each other.
The Mag: What recent work is most talked about around the office?
Sofia: How many dogs does it take to reach 204 horsepower? That’s the question we sought out to answer in a recent innovative project for Volkswagen. We created an installation called “Voltswheel” to demonstrate the functions of the new hybrid Golf GTE in the most distinguishable way. When the wheel rotates, the dogs inside are having fun and generating enough electricity to charge your mobile phone. Check it out here.
The Mag: How has the culture of your city influenced or inspired your team?
Sofia: The electric soul of our city inspires us every day. Sofia is an incredibly diverse and surprising city. On just a five-minute walk through the city center, you’ll come across an old socialistic block covered in graffiti, a communist monument next to a beautiful green park with free WiFi, a modern futuristic building neighboring ancient ruins from 2000 B.C. In addition to all of this, Sofia has a mountain nearby (which is also our office view). During the winter months, we can see people leaving the office for their lunch break just to go on the slopes for an hour or two before heading back. (Yes, we know you’re jealous. But we at Havas Village Sofia are very hospitable and enjoy welcoming colleagues from around the world. Please come say hi!)