When work meets lake swimming and ropes courses (or, TrekkSoft Team Week)
If your team is anything like ours at TrekkSoft, you’re always on the lookout for a chance to do things a bit differently, especially when it comes to team events.
This week at TrekkSoft is a good example. It happens three times a year, and each time is bigger than the last. It’s Team Week!
Every Team Week, our full team (including our remote workers and guys from the Dublin and Munich offices) descends on our HQ in Interlaken, Switzerland to join us for a few days of adrenaline, adventure, and team projects.
It’s about having a brilliant time, but it’s also about getting ahead on work and strategies for our marketing, sales, development, and customer success departments.
How can we possibly balance the two?
Here’s how we make it work. If you’re planning your own team events and building a company culture that’s a bit on the wild side, this might even provide some inspiration for your startup too.
1. Our agenda keeps work and play separate
When we’re working, we’re working. When we’re not working, we’re having one hell of a time. Our standard 9am-6pm working day remains in place during Team Week, but for scheduled activities we get a complete mental and physical break.
2. Daytime team activities fuel work for the rest of the day
Let’s be honest, the Friday end-of-week party is never going to lead to impressive productivity the following day. But who cares, it’s Saturday. During the week’s working days, the activities that interrupt the normal flow of work aren’t detrimental to the rest of the day’s efficiency.
One example was the bootcamp with personal trainer Tommy Chang on Wednesday, followed by a jump in the River Aare next to the office. Ok, the bootcamp was intense, but the team didn’t fall asleep during the afternoon. Same goes for our morning lake swim and hike up the local mountain.
3. Team projects give targets to focus on
In the TrekkSoft marketing team, as in our other departments, we have several focus areas that we selected as team week projects. These are projects that we launched at the start of the week, and we’ll finish them by the end of the week.
You could think of them as sprints, and they’re proving a good way of promoting focused work and reaching targets. I’m sure that if we had a team of seventy people in the office all aiming to “work as usual” around the team events, we’d have a few efficiency issues.
4. Friday is team day
On Friday, we’ll be making our way from Interlaken to beautiful Brienz in teams by bike, kayak, or on foot. Because this day will be spent entirely outside the office, the working week essentially ends on Thursday. And that means doubling down on smart work from Monday-Thursday to make sure we stay ahead.
5. Team Week is the last week of the month
Aug 22 — Sep 2 is the timeframe for this Team Week, which places it right on the end of Aug (when we’re focused on reaching targets). Based on how the week’s been so far (and how we ended August with a bit of a boost), this seems like a much smarter decision than choosing a mid-month week.