The Spreaker “Spring 2016” company retreat has officially come to a close and I want to publicly share the highs, the lows, and everything in between!
For those you don’t know yet, two times per year we gather the whole company together. Spreaker covers all the expenses - flights, accomodations, meals and fun activities. The retreat is a great chance to personally meet new employees, set the pace, share ideas, and chill together.
People is Amazing
The retreat is actually an empty box. People fills this box, and has the chance to make it great bringing their energy, diversity, knowledge and ideas.
During the years, we did our best to build a company culture with a strong identity. At the beginning, it was far from being perfect and we did many mistakes. We learned from our errors and iterated over it many times. The huge effort we put in building the company culture has finally showed some great results, and I’m super proud of the people I’m working with.
Sharing is the Key
One of the key factors of Spreaker is hiring people with an insatiable desire to learn. Thus, we structured this retreat like an intimate conference, where each single person brought a 30-minutes talk. We deliberately choose to not introduce a topic, giving everyone the freedom to share something related to their job.
This Spreaker retreat was like an intimate conference, packed of talented people.
I personally enjoyed every single presentation. The more a talk was far from my daily job, the more interesting it was. Learn some tips on how to write a story, or how the company is seen by new employees, or ideas to help eachother, is not strictly related to my daily job, but opens my mind and starts constructive discussions. Sharing and learning is exactely what I expect from the company retreat.
If you’re curious about the talks, here is the full list:
- Kick off and Goal definition for the retreat by Francesco (CEO)
- Any questions? Random thoughts on our weekly meeting by Tonia (Community and Marketing)
- Newbies: two interns at Spreaker by Sergio & Chiara (PR and Marketing)
- What’s the Story? Storytelling in Marketing by Anna (Community and Marketing)
- How to stay sane while working from home by Sandro (Engineer)
- The mysterious side of Administration by Giada (Administration)
- Why am i building that? by Emanuele (Engineer)
- Development is not (just) pushing features by me
- Towards a better infrastructure by Jacopo (Engineer)
- SOS: I need coffee for my creativity by Brigita (Designer)
- My 10% is your 10% by Rocco (Engineer)
- Podcast REC, Publishing and Process Improvement Ideas by Rob (Head of Content)
We spent our days in a cottage on the hills close to Bologna, Italy. Pictures speak louder than words ;)
Photos by Sandro.
Work Hard, Play Hard
The retreat schedule was pretty tight and packed of stuff to do. It was supposed to spend an afternoon hiking all together on the hills, but we screwed up the schedule and we didn’t have time to do it. However, we had other moments to spend time together, including cooking lunch and dinner, or play some games during the evening. And we had an amazing BBQ too!
The Next Retreat
This was the second official company retreat (the first one was last December in Barcelona). The organization of this retreat was definitely better compared to the first one, yet there’re still some things we wanna improve at the next retreat:
- Great talks, bad time management: we didn’t respect talks time slots and screwed up the schedule. We didn’t have time for our planned main activity (hiking) and the end of the retreat we were all happy yet tired.
- Great location, bad internet connection: having a good internet connection is important, but unfortunately the location didn’t help to get it. The connection was poor, mobile network included.
- Tight schedule: the retreat lasted from Thursday evening till Sunday morning, so it covered the full weekend. We worked on Thu, left for the retreat, travelled back on Sun afternoon and on Mon morning we were back to work. Having no free day in between was pretty tough.
Tired, but happy, I’m back home, full of positive energy and ideas, looking forward for the next retreat!