After a year and a half of working remote most of the time, we at CloudBilling were eager to finally spend some proper time together during our annual offsite program. CloudBilling annually organizes an offsite program for the team members to take a step away from the day-to-day work, build team spirit, enhance commitment and cohesion within the team and increase productivity. The offsite program is a combination of leisure and learning with different activities, such as brainstorm sessions, business case studies, presentations, fun activities, and culinary exploration of authentic food from different cultures.
This year the offsite program took us to Rotterdam’s iconic Hotel New York on the Kop van Zuid. The former head office of the Holland America Line breathes history and innovation. An appropriate location to get inspired, we’d say! In the early afternoon of October 28th all our colleagues, coming from all corners of The Netherlands, gathered at the entrance of the hotel. We kicked off with a brainstorm session at a conference room that overlooked the Maas River and skyline of Rotterdam. The team split into two groups, coached by Rob and Robin. Both groups were given two business case scenarios to rack their brains about new ideas for product solutions.
During the brainstorm sessions the afternoon sun comes through the windows, and with the beautiful view of the Rotterdam skyline, created a warm and delightful atmosphere. Every team member, from commercial to devOps and operations, had the chance to participate and express their ideas. After insightful and open discussions, the brainstorm session was wrapped up with fresh inspiration and a sunny mindset.
As the sun set, it was time for our evening program: a culinary exploration! The team was pleasantly surprised with delicious Afghan dishes, refined with a modern twist, and seasoned with aromatic herbs and spices that play a leading role in Afghan’s kitchen. The evening ended with after-dinner drinks at the rooftop bar of the hotel, accompanied by a beautiful night view of the Erasmus bridge.
After a good night sleep at Hotel New York, the team gathered in the hotel’s restaurant, set in the classy vintage signature look that characterizes the location, for breakfast. After breakfast it was time for presentations. All team members gathered at the conference room and started working on a presentation to pitch their ideas. Each group got the stage to present their best ideas, and everyone had the opportunity to speak their mind. After receiving constructive feedback from coaches Rob and Robin, it was time for lunch, another culinary exploration.
For this culinary exploration, the team was treated for lunch at Foodhallen. A colorful food court with a wide variety of cuisines from all over the world. After lunch it was time for a fun activity. Since the weather was a bit cloudy and rain was predicted, the team choose to do an indoor activity: bowling! An excellent way to build team trust in a relaxed and fun environment – at least that’s what the winners would say. After the game we called it a day, and everyone went their separate ways.
In conclusion, it was a fruitful program that brought the team close to each other for better communication and productivity. The main benefits of the offsite program were accelerating innovation, leaving the usual environment, changing the daily routine, and interacting with colleagues that you do not usually work with.
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