Destination: Remote — 10Clouds workation
Has your company organised a workation before? Perhaps you call it a retreat or an away week? If you haven’t, I’ll give you a definition in a nutshell — it’s essentially a period of time away from the office (or from home working) in which you get together with your colleagues to work from a relaxing location. The brilliant by-product is that you also get to spend some leisure time together, get to know each other, and perhaps even use the period for some live brainstorming of innovative ideas. Find out more about what we got up to on our workation, and read about the benefits of hosting your own below. I hope I might inspire you!
1. Really get to know your colleagues
In a post-pandemic world, work has become increasingly dispersed. There are many benefits to this way of working and 10Clouds embraced a remote setup from the outset (even before COVID-19), seeing the positive impact it had on work-life balance. At the same time, we know the value of face-to-face interaction, which is why we thought that a workation would be perfect for us.
We rented a cottage in the countryside for a ten-day period and gave different teams the opportunity to stay and work there for a few days at a time. In the evenings we socialised, had a bonfire, played games, danced, laughed and generally got to know our colleagues better outside of a work context (including warming up in the hot sauna and then diving in a cold pool)! Nobody was restricted by having to travel home at a given time, and we all enjoyed some leisure time in between work.
"10C workation was a great opportunity to work in teams in an almost office setup. It was a great boost for brainstorming as everyone was on site. The intensivity of the event was a refreshing change to constant home office work."
Dominika, Marketing Operations Specialist
2. Brainstorm live
There’s nothing like getting together for a live idea brainstorming session, which is quite different to conducting such a meeting on screen. For a start you get to bounce ideas off each other, and see each other's enthusiasm and reaction to certain proposed solutions. You’ll find that some of your colleagues might be much more willing to share their thoughts in this less formal setting, rather than having to unmute themselves on a video call and ‘disrupt’ the flow of a larger conversation. You might also find that decisions are made quicker in such a setting, as conclusions may be reached more efficiently. On our 10Clouds’ workation, we enjoyed several high level brainstorming sessions and found them to be very productive.
"I believe workation is a marvelous idea for all remotely working employees. The time I’ve spent with 10Clouders was efficiently used for various workshops, brainstorming, and articulating the precise steps for future activities. It’s worth mentioning that we had a lot of fun after working hours, such as dancing, karaoke, and bonfire, and it was fantastic!"
Daiji, Sales Development Representative
3. Improve productivity
Gallup polls have revealed a strong correlation between making friends at work and employee productivity. The research says employee friendships make workers seven times more engaged in their work. In a remote-first work setup building up such important relationships is tricky, which is why regular in-person meetups are important.
A workation takes team-building to a new level, because it takes everyone out of a traditional work context and facilitates getting to know the person behind the role. For us it was a great way to find out about each other’s personalities and interests outside of work. Several people have already commented that it’s made their working relationships with team-members a lot better, which will no doubt lead to improved productivity further down the line.
4. Set clear short-term workation goals
The best use of a company workation is when you have an important project that you’re planning, or a strategic decision that you need to make.
Our management team used this time to pull together the company strategy and its short-term execution plans, while individual teams took the opportunity to brainstorm given campaigns and challenges. Don’t worry if you don’t finish everything, but do make sure that you log all the decisions that you make, so that you can return to them when you’re back to your usual work setup.
"I honestly think that this is the best type of team integration, and definitely beats any of the ones conducted online. You get to really hang out with your colleagues and get to know them as people."
Tomek, Workplace Experience Manager
But remember the essentials when you’re choosing your location
Choose your location wisely. If you have different office locations or work hubs, make sure that you select a venue that’s relatively easy for everyone to get to. Check that it has a high-speed internet connection and common workspaces for teams to get together (with screens and whiteboards if necessary). Provide transportation from each office and arrange rooms, having consulted with your teams on who is comfortable sharing with whom. Finally, remember not to pressurize your colleagues into joining if they don’t feel comfortable. Not everyone will be able to get away from home due to lifestyle and family commitments.
Reap the rewards of your company workation
We hope we’ve enticed you to try a workation of your own. Here are a few additional quotes from attendees to prove it!
"Honestly, I was so sceptical when I was packing my stuff, because there were only 3 people I knew. But it was like a school camp for adults - there was even a lady saying 'hey guys, it's lunchtime, hurry up!' What can bring you together better than a bonfire and a glass of wine with a bit of singing? This was a completely different level of integration! We had such a good time together - I only regret I had to leave earlier and could not stay for one more day. Definitely QA approved."
"I think it's a once in a lifetime experience to start your new job during workation! I had the privilege to spend quality time with members of the team and really get a first-hand feel of the culture at 10Clouds. Thank you guys for the warm welcome!"
Gabriel, Account Manager (New to 10Clouds)