Preserving and strengthening the Community at August

My guess is that almost everyone who’s ever come across August has at least some idea of the importance of community for us. It’s one of August’s core values, our super-asset and key differentiator. In short, it’s a crucial piece of the August experience.

So, how is the August community doing today? Well, looking in the rearview mirror it’s fair to say that the last few years certainly “have been windy” (to quote the Finnish rap duo JVG), with unprecedented highs and lows. The pandemic with its lockdowns and restrictions was a true purgatory for the August community. Things we’d come to take for granted were all of a sudden gone: teams sitting literally next to each other, lunches with colleagues, break activities, social activities and festivities, laughter echoing off the walls in the office. We were able to adapt to the circumstances, it’s no exaggeration to say we did just about everything in our power to preserve a sense of community in the virtual format. But while we may have succeeded to the best of our ability (at least considering the circumstances), I have no illusion that success at best meant maintaining what was before and more often, just trying to stall the slow decay that was inevitable.

Even after the pandemic was declared ended and lockdown and restrictions removed, we found ourselves struggling with difficult emotions, such as detachment, disappointment, loneliness, and waning energy. It wasn’t as simple as snapping our fingers and have everything “back to normal”. We didn’t understand it at the time, but in hindsight the reason has become clear: our connections had weakened, they’d become narrower and more transactional.

Over the last year or so, we’ve put a lot of effort collectively into strengthening the sense of community by reinforcing connections between one another, as well as with our clients. We’ve done this in a variety of ways: from the straightforward and visible (e.g. finetuning hybrid ways of working, increasing the amount and variety of social activities) to the somewhat more challenging but unsurprising (developing practices that directly relate to connections, e.g. feedback culture, mentoring, and DE&I) to the perhaps less obvious or visible (e.g. encouraging and facilitating sharing of non-work-related aspects of life, fostering compassion through concrete actions). Most importantly, on a grassroot level our everyday interactions with each other are evolving in a direction that I think deepens connections in way that it is different from before. We are becoming more connected to each other, and as a result our community is once again thriving. At the same time, our community is also growing in size, and all indicators tell us that its attraction is stronger than ever.

This doesn’t mean that we are ready, quite the opposite, the work undoubtedly continues. But just judging based on the atmosphere on our average day at the office, I think we are on the right path.


Andreas Lindholm
+358 50 547 9487