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Over the last couple of months, we’ve learned that what people miss most about the workplace is culture, community, and connection. No matter where building customers are, they’ll find just that delivered to their inboxes thanks to 71 South Wacker’s weekly WorkLife emails. We caught up with the curator of the emails, Emma Ryan, Concierge & Event Specialist at 71 South Wacker, to dive into what content customers can expect and the impact it will have on their daily work lives.

Events, News and More — Right to Your Inbox

71 South Wacker’s WorkLife emails are part of Irvine Company’s culture-forward collection of experiences, created for how people work and live today. The weekly e-blast was already in operation before the onset of COVID-19, but when the shelter-in-place order set in early last year, Ryan, like the rest of our Workplace Success Teams, was ready to pivot and continue providing unparalleled service tailored to customers’ needs in the moment. 

Ryan shares that at that point, weekly content shifted “to focus on virtual events and lifestyle content, such as at-home haircuts and gift ideas for Mother’s and Father’s Day.” As time went on and the situation progressed, the emails became an invaluable hub for information and updates regarding the return to the workplace. “I then added information about how the building was handling COVID-19, including our additional cleaning procedures, directional floor stickers, and signage around the building,” says Ryan. 

Throughout the past year, Ryan has continued to strike a balance between timely informational updates and the latest in virtual programming — not just at 71 South Wacker, but around the city. Each time, the emails were working to brighten customers’ days and continue to foster a strong sense of community. 

A New Level of Connection

As a source of continued connection, “the WorkLife emails help foster community in a way that I never thought it could,” reflects Ryan. Back in January of last year, Ryan shared with us that brightening someone’s day is her favorite job perk. She continues to hold to that with the WorkLife emails. They’ve been a constant throughout this difficult year, providing not just a sense of normalcy, but a source of collective joy for building customers.

In fact, the accessibility of virtual community initiatives means building customers were perhaps more connected than ever. “It was so wonderful we were still able to have our Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest in 2020. We just decided to go virtual this year. We had people submitting their pumpkin photos right up until voting time too! There were over 300 online votes, which is more than we had when the event was in person. And by making the voting online, it offered the customers of 71 South Wacker who may be working remotely a chance to participate in our events,” shares Ryan. Events like this continue to create a sense of community within the workplace by fostering engagement and connection in creative, exciting ways. 

Looking ahead, Ryan tells us, “Last month we hosted a virtual blood drive. Since many of our customers aren’t on-site, we wanted to offer an opportunity for our customers to participate in a blood drive wherever is closest to them. Vitalant/Life Source, who is our blood drive provider (and typically hosts these events in our conference center), offered the chance to donate on behalf of 71 South Wacker at their local donor site. We had many people sign up, which is really helping the community while maintaining that connection to each other and 71 South Wacker while we are away,” says Ryan.

In addition to keeping customers connected with one another, these virtual drives continue to help customers connect with their community and to strive to make it better together. Besides the virtual blood drive, through the WorkLife emails, Ryan invited building customers to participate in the annual holiday food drive for Greater Chicago Food Depository — virtually. Customers were so excited to come together for the good of the community that we were able to collectively raise over $2,000 to provide 15,000 meals to families in need.

And there’s more on the horizon: “We have many charitable virtual event ideas coming up and cannot wait to share them with the whole building,” Ryan alludes.

Want to get plugged into your building’s community and sign up to receive 71 South Wacker’s WorkLife emails? Ryan instructs: “Please do so at, and select our wonderful building, 71 South Wacker.”

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