Getting Out of the Office: How a Workathon Creates Breakthroughs

Latest posts by Steffen Hedebrandt (see all)

This summer, we took our entire team to Corfu, Greece for our fourth annual 10-day workathon. Our much-anticipated workathon is a mix between a hackathon and a company retreat where all of our team members from Denmark, the United States and other remote areas come together to live, work and play. This event has become an important part of how we keep our company thriving.

Creating a new comfort zone

Because most of our company’s interactions occur through a screen, over a phone or via email, having a week of in-person collaboration between all of our departments allows team members to create a more personal relationship with their coworkers.  

Our first workathon was four years ago. Back then, we called it “Launch Camp,” and the concept was based on camping out together in an out-of-office environment where we could relax, get to know one another more personally and get some serious work done. We got so much out of the first camp that the following year, we did it again and continued to see the positive impact as our team grew. For our third year, we rented a big house complete with a sauna, personal chef and swimming pool.

Productivity was at a high, but what we learned is that bringing everyone together like this created personal connections that made us better as a whole.

This year, we are a team of 54. We rented out an entire hotel in Corfu, Greece and spent our days tackling projects in between hikes, trips to the beach and naps by the pool. In the evening, some team members continued to work with laptops on the terrace while others shared drinks, signature dance moves and conversations. There were some planned activities, such as a daily standup meeting, shared meals, yoga and day trips. But a focused majority of the time allowed for team members to work collaboratively in an exciting new environment.

Having otherwise impossible conversations

Living and breathing the company for the full week brought about productive breakthroughs and insights that would have otherwise been impossible through remote work. Throughout the retreat, all departments intermingle as teams work on projects in different locations of the hotel.

The environment becomes so rich in creativity that team members have said not only do they get more work done in less time, but it makes them feel more connected to their coworkers and more inspired when they return home. This level of bonding is invaluable when you are working remotely to resolve an issue or communicate with another team member in a different time zone.

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Workathon bonding creates productivity

Our company culture is what makes us who we are. We’re a young company that pushes boundaries while living on the edge of wireless technology. Our workathon gave us the fresh perspective and drive to accomplish an entirely new product update, Airtame 3.0.

We found the greatest hack for productivity is togetherness. Our workathon creates a community that allows our team to connect on a deeper level. This bonding contributes to better communication and a more productive workflow throughout the year.

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