Team Retreats – Twice a year (when health and safety permit) we gather as a team in person for a week-long retreat. We use these times to work together, have fun together and reconnect after six months apart. As a fully remote company, these two weeks a year that we are all in the same place are highly impactful and we all look forward to them a ton!
We expect everyone to help create an environment that’s respectful, fun, and safe for all team members. We encourage everyone to hang out in common areas instead of bedrooms to help everyone feel welcome to join conversations. While drinking and games occur, we expect team members to drink responsibly and know their own limits.
Are Team Retreats Mandatory? – While retreats aren’t mandatory, we expect everyone to attend unless there is a good reason you can’t make it. Examples would include: parental or medical leave, death or major illness in the family, etc. Just ask if you are unsure and we’re always willing to work with you.
The Schedule – Our retreats are broken out into all team meetings, group activities (hiking, rafting, surfing, escape rooms, etc), meetings within your team, and quality time getting to know your co-workers. We try to keep evenings open to allow you to connect and recharge from the day.
A few weeks before the retreat you’ll receive a full schedule (and invites on your Google Calendar) so you know where to be.
Meals – Meals at the retreat are planned and the menu is shared ahead of time. A chef/caterer makes the main meals taking into account allergies and food preferences. We also purchase plenty of snacks and drinks for the rest of the time. You can eat these anytime or leftovers from prior meals.
We do try to take everyone out for at least one meal later in the week. Visiting a local coffee shop is also an option. It can be nice to grab a snack and a change of scenery. Just let someone know where you’ve gone!
Rooming – Sometimes rooming with a co-worker may make you nervous, especially if you haven’t been to a retreat before. If that’s you, there are always single rooms available, just request one in the survey ahead of time!
We also do have shared rooms for ideally two team members. Each person has their own bed and we group people by gender. Sometimes there’s a bunk room, but we’re trying to move away from that for future retreat locations.
We try to give everyone who requests a single room what they want, but if they are limited we have prioritized for light sleepers, snorers (unless there’s a few of them), international team members (for dealing with jet lag), expectant mothers, and new hires to ensure everyone gets the rest they need.
Hugs – Because we all work remotely, you’ll often work with teammates for months before you meet them in person. So don’t be surprised when they want to greet you with a giant hug, rather than a formal handshake. It’s just how we do it around here. And we realize not everyone hugs, so if that’s you, that’s totally okay. We’d love to know to ensure you feel comfortable.
Hugs are meant to be occasional and friendly. Exercise good judgement – when in doubt, ask for consent to hug another team member!
As of 2020, we also greet one another with elbow bumps or foot taps for everyone’s health and safety.
Unsolicited Feedback – Because trust is so important to us, we’ve created simple rituals to build deeper trust. Unsolicited feedback is 10 mins of your co-workers talking about you as if you’re not in the room. At the end of your session you have 5 mins to respond to the feedback given.
This time ends up being an insightful look into how you are perceived and what you can improve in your work. You’ll also hear the best compliments from your teammates who really appreciate working with you!
It sounds crazy, but it’s actually really helpful! Nathan wrote an article about the first time he did it at a mastermind group. The unique combination of vulnerability, trust, and care for others creates a great opportunity for growth.
A Place for Introverts and Extroverts – We want you to feel comfortable and at home during our team retreats. If that means you need to spend more time in your room away from others to recharge, that’s totally fine!
Or if you’re on the other side and prefer to be the life of the party, just respect everyone else (including the neighbors) and be quiet after 10pm.
Whether you prefer a boisterous game with coworkers or a quiet cup of coffee out on the deck, we want to make sure you get what you need out of the retreat.
How to Dress – You can leave your business attire at home. For these retreats we are normally on the beach or in the mountains, so casual and comfortable is the way to go. Dress in layers as the days are often warm with cool evenings. Don’t forget to bring a swimsuit for the hot tub or other water activities (if you want to participate).
On the last evening we always go out to dinner and to take our team photo, so bring one nice outfit.