We work completely distributed and remotely in Sendtask – except for when we go on a retreat. Four times a year we fly everyone to work in the same place. Why? To address the things that are easier to discuss in person. Strategy, Vision, Product Brainstormings, long-term roadmap and more. And last but not least – to have some fun together.
This time we’re meeting in Berlin. Most of the team did not know where we’re going until yesterday. We’re all big fans of riddles – and so the team found out about where we’re going for the retreat last night in a riddle during our weekly call.
We’re going to spend five full days together.
Our typical schedule will look like this:
- The day starts at 7 am with an hour-long workout session.
- We get to the coworking space at about 8:30 am.
- We start with an ice breaker exercise (some of the team members are with us for the first time) and the daily riddle.
- Now that our physical and mental muscles are warmed up, we dive into one of the long term topics. Some of the things that we’ll have sessions on are Vision, User Retention, Processes (How to further fine tune the way we work together? How do we prioritize features? What milestones are we working towards?) and some breakout sessions for the tech & product teams.
- After lunch, we reserve 2-4 hours per day for individual group work. Everyone will work on a weekly project that they present at the end of the retreat. This could be a set of small features that we couldn’t get done in the daily grind or catching up on documentation or some fun animation that will enhance the user experience.
- At about 4 pm we leave the office to explore Berlin and all the fun things to do there. We have quite a few fun things planned – but as most of them will be surprises (I’ll write about these after they’ve happened).
While working remotely is efficient, convenient and in many ways beneficial, it’s important for us to not forget about the human and social component. Getting together on retreats like this one allows us to both work efficiently on big topics while also having a great time together and exploring a new city!
Does your team go on retreats? How are they different from ours?