During the first university class, we were asked to draw a picture of our dream job. I did not hesitate and drew a nice beach with palm trees, as I lay on a sunbed by the sea with a laptop doing my work.
Time passed and this dream job was forgotten. Not until one day when I looked around and realised that there’s a beach and a pool outside the villa. I felt the warm sun in November as I was working. You’d probably wonder why and how it happened. Well, Sievo winter getaway happened, and the dream I had once literally came true.
Anna, our People guru, mentioned in her previous blog post that we organised a temporary office in Greece for the whole month of November. In this blog post, I want to share the insights of such a project with fellow colleagues around the world to stop for a moment and think how important is your workplace and how it affects you. The following 4 quotes by my colleagues perfectly describe how Sievonia was affected by this project ’Winter Getaway’.
- “It feels like a startup!”
When a company grows at an insane speed (like Sievo does), employees do not know each and every colleague anymore. Moreover, there is no tight collaboration between the people since the organisation structure starts to have more layers. The change of a working environment can be compared to a breath of fresh air. Colleagues work very close to each other and have restricted resources – just like in a startup. Sometimes limitations and different conditions really test the flexibility of employees. Nevertheless, people adapt to work in the startup conditions, and really start to enjoy it – it is temporary after all.
- “Who is up for a barbeque tonight?”
In Greece, Sievonians did not only work under one roof but also lived together. It was easier to cook just once for a large group, therefore common barbeques were a usual thing. In the end, the real reason everybody wanted to join a common meal was that people enjoyed being together, eating together, having common discussions in the free time and learning more about the colleagues. As simple as it sounds – bringing people to a new place, where they also spend most of their free time together, creates bonds and tightens the relationships.
- “It’s an upgrade! :)”
After the winter getaway experience, Sievonians have common stories and jokes that bring all of us together. The family feeling we have always had is even stronger now. We are not just talking about work on a daily basis, but we are also able to laugh together about the time in Greece, for example how things were always ‘upgraded’ in Greece and in reality always downgraded. Common time spent in Greek office and common experience of living and working in a foreign country provides one with an amazing story to share. Also, the employees have an opportunity to realise why Sievo is the company where they want to work.
- “Oh, you’re back from Greece!”
There is no better feeling than feeling welcome! Going back to Helsinki office, you see your colleagues all smile and genuinely being interested on how your stay in Greece had gone. You are happy to be back in the ergonomic office environment and have your healthy (and free!) fruits. You also appreciate your colleagues expecting you back from the temporary office, eagerly wanting to hear about your stories and experiences. Ever heard about employee engagement? Well, this is when it happens at its best!
Six years ago, I pictured the dream job as not being tied to a certain physical workplace with enough flexibility and time to let me relax and enjoy while working. Nowadays, I could stand behind the words that it is not only a silly dream of a university freshman, but these working life conditions are real. This is how we want to work in the software industry.
So if you are planning a winter getaway for your company or you are an employee who would like to have a twist in the boring working day routine, don’t hesitate and make a step further. Take a bold action, allow yourself to experience a different working environment. Consider the benefits of winter getaway and trust that there is always a better way to get a nice and fun refresh in your work routines.
And moreover, you might just make some dreams come true!