Contact centers, Webex messages, calls, emails, workstations, monitors, the commute (for some of us), and daily meetings – working in an office (even for a company as great as Bucher + Suter – for any managers reading 😉) can feel a little routine sometimes. Sometimes, we need a change of scenery to get some fresh air and break free from the screen overload. So, a couple of weeks back, a small team of b+s Switzerland employees traded our office chairs for hammers and nails and headed out for an adventure – a day of “Volunteer Time Off” (VTO) made possible for us through Bucher + Suter’s commitment to Pledge 1% through the b+s Plus program.
On a sunny Thursday, the time had come: we, a group of nine adventurous developers and media specialists, decided to trade our desks for the beautiful outdoors. Our destination? The “Wildwasser” hiking trail – in the village of Wattenwil, Switzerland – that was in need of a little upkeep.
First, we were divided into groups. Each group had an experienced supervisor by their side, each of whom was a volunteer for the restoration of the hiking trails and works for the association Berner Wanderwege (DE). You could see how passionate they were about their work.
Bridging the gap – not just in the contact center!
Our first mission was to build a bridge. Sounds simple, right? But sawing a tree, precisely arranging the parts, and connecting everything with nails proved to be a tricky task. However, we didn’t give up. We collected stones and placed them carefully to give the bridge a rustic touch. And to top it all off, gravel was spread over the bridge. Voilà, the “Wildwasserweg”(Wildwater trail) Bridge was born!
Working step by step
Then we were focused on restoring the steps and building new stairs for hikers. The old and worn-out wood and iron bars were removed and replaced with new materials. Then fresh soil and gravel were carried up from the riverbed and used to fill in the stair steps.
Of course, lunch should not be missed during such arduous work, and we feasted on sandwiches, cheese, and sausages – renewing our energy and ensuring we were ready for the second round!
A safe path in the blink of an eye
We walked down a steep slope to continue working on the trail. The starting point was a fragile, narrow path that was barely passable. But our guide and the forester had a brilliant idea – we built a “wooden box”.
A fresh tree was cut down, trimmed, and placed in a carefully hollowed hole. Another tree was placed on top to provide stability. This process was repeated to ensure that everything would remain sturdy for several years. The result? A safe path for all hiking enthusiasts.
At the end of the day, we left our day of VTO tired but happy. We had not only completed physical work but also formed new cross-functional friendships that strengthened our team spirit.
Sometimes we need a break from the office routine. And who would have thought that media specialists and developers could so competently handle hard-graft manual labour?
A big thank you goes to the Berner Wanderwege organization and especially to our awesome guides, who took the time and were consistently patient with us. You made this day an unforgettable experience!