inStreamly Retreat – Amazing Offline Meetings in a Remote Work Startup!
Remote work is fun and games. However, having a space to see each other in real life and bond is crucial. We decided to organise a week-long trip for our entire team.
Where Remote Work Meets Offline
We chose the picturesque Kazimierz Dolny, a couple of hours outside of Warsaw, as our destination. We stayed in a beautiful place hidden among nature, surrounded by forests and meadows, reserved only for us.
The “official part” was planned from Wednesday to Friday. However, we booked the entire place for the week so our team could on Monday, work from there and chill together. Guess how many people chose the second option 😉
(spoiler alter, not that many!)
“I liked the offline meeting very much. It was very insightful and inspiring for me. It also brought a general understanding of the direction we are leaning as a company. It’s great to have such events as it allow us to know each other better.”
We planned the week according to various activities. Some of them were mandatory, others optional. Workshops, contests, sports, parties – everyone had something to participate in and enjoy!
Run by our CEO, Maciej Sawicki, the meeting included context workshops that showed us how to become independent decision-makers who make judgments and consult the manager when they are unsure of the right decision.
At every level, the leader’s task is to set a clear context of our job so that employees have correct information and guidelines to make good decisions.
From our perspective, good communication is one of the most important things the company needs to run smoothly. That’s why we had Communication Workshops led by a professional coach.
The purpose was to improve communication between teams and team members simply so that we could understand each other better. So among other things, we learned how to pass information effectively and what to do to avoid miscommunication.
Team Workshops for Remote Work
Besides mandatory workshops, each team ran workshops and brainstorming sessions open for everyone from the company to join and give their input.
We don’t always have time or resources to include every employee in the discussion. So hearing new opinions on our dashboard, technology, or marketing allowed us to gain a fresh perspective and improve our thinking.
What is it like to be a founder? This question gave us an idea to run an internal competition, where participants could play a role of an inStreamly founder, who makes a pitch in front of a VC. The main goal was to sell a project by explaining how it works and why it’s worth the investment.
Of course, besides having fun, participants had an opportunity to win a special gift – an ebook reader!
Let’s Get This Party Started
Even with a packed plan full of different workshops, we didn’t forget about fun and diverse physical activities! We sit enough at our homes while working remotely, so it was even more essential to remember getting our limbs into motion!
Every night we celebrated together by chill evenings, going to a bar to celebrate a team member’s birthday, or a barbecue on the last day of our stay in Kazimierz Dolny.
Following the saying that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body, we hired a personal trainer who ensured we wouldn’t forget it. Besides yoga sessions, Karolina showed us the basics of Animal Flow.
This system is designed to improve strength, power, flexibility, mobility, and coordination for all levels of fitness enthusiasts. Animal Flow includes a range of movements and combinations grouped into categories we call The Six Components, for example, wrist mobilisations, activations, and stretches.
Other than that, we had a lot of movement through playing, like working with Jenga blocks, tennis balls, or practice balls on a string. But that’s not all! We also had a soccer game, a bike trip during the rain, and took a walk exploring Kazimierz Dolny!
These workshops taught us the importance of teamwork – respecting others and their choices and improving our empathy towards our teammates. We learned the basics of improvisation during the workshop, developing various skills at work and in life.
“I’m super glad I could join everyone in the offline meeting. I was happy to see everyone live and got great knowledge, which supports my onboarding even more.”
The whole trip was a great experience for a multitude of reasons. Even when working 100% remotely, it’s nice to see each other from time to time. Meetings like this one bring us closer together and create bonds.