Since the Rendered Text team working on Semaphore is constantly growing, this month we spent two days at Mokrin House to get the entire team together and get to know each other better. We decided to spend half of our time working, and the other half on teambuilding activities, walking, biking, or whatever we felt like doing at the time.
A Change of Environment
Even though we take great care in creating a modern, minimalist, and comfortable workplace, after countless hot summer days spent at the office with chairs creaking and dust swirling in the air, we felt we needed a change. We found Mokrin House, a rural getaway, where we could choose whether to work inside the shared work space, or drag a lazy bag onto the grass and settle underneath the birch trees.
This new space provided us with more options on where we could work — the shared workspace, by the pool, in the fresh air, or in the dining room, close to all the coffee and tea we needed. We also loved the idea of replacing office kitchen breaks with playing football, pool, and badminton.
A More Relaxed Approach to Work
A few days before our retreat, we made a list of things that could use more love and attention, but, due to one reason or another, we just couldn’t fit into our regular schedule. Once we got to Mokrin, we selected a few of them to work on during our stay.
With a change of environment came a change in our work. Every team member found that spending time at Mokrin House improved at least one aspect of their job. For some, it was working outside that improved the workflow, for others it was an hour in the jacuzzi that provided incentive for work. Many of us realised a more relaxed atmosphere encouraged long brainstorming sessions.
Customer Success and Marketing teams snatches some time to get together and spend an afternoon discussing on how to collaborate with each other better in order to make our users happier.
We also finished the move of our API v2 Docker images into our Kubernetes clusters. Luckily, our staging clusters served all our API requests from Kubernetes.
Most of the team spent the evening playing tabletop games, and the early birds took an early morning yoga class.
In addition to a both relaxing and no-distraction environment, in the evening we were pampered with a five course meal and an excellent introduction to wine tasting.
At the end of our stay, we treated ourselves with a short archery class. No animals were harmed, though multiple flowers found themselves with ruffled petals and torn leaves.
You can catch some of the atmosphere and get a glimpse of the team behind Semaphore in the video below.