Many assume that 'working remotely' means being isolated, hunched over a laptop under a coffee-stained blanket in a dimly lit room. But for us, remote work is pretty much the opposite! It's about staying connected, not working in isolation.
At MailerLite, we believe that human connection is the foundation of a successful workforce. And, coffee-stained blankets or not, we take pride in our strong, well-connected teams.
But team spirit doesn’t grow on its own, especially with teams working across multiple timezones. You need to nurture it.
That’s where Work-togethers come in. Annual meetups in an exotic location where we can get to know each other, discuss goals and connect as humans.
The study “Shared Experiences Are Amplified” by Yale University proves that individuals who undergo shared experiences with others tend to develop stronger interpersonal connections and increased levels of trust, making them more inclined to collaborate effectively.
One thoughtful shared experience with your team can be stronger than hundreds of days at the office to improve teamwork.
We understood the importance of fostering trust and communication and wanted to build a sense of belonging among our colleagues. We shaped our Work-together events to build that bond. And in turn, our team learned how to better communicate with one another and overcome challenges together.
This year we had in total 11 Work-togethers in 10 countries:
New York City, USA
San Jose, Costa Rica
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Having amazing destinations to visit is an experience in itself. For some team members, this is the first time visiting the country, or continent, or even the first time traveling by plane! Those are stories that last a lifetime.
Here are 5 lessons we’ve learned from hosting our Work-together events:
While a nice destination is great for organizing a magic itinerary, what matters the most at the end of Work-together is the conversations we have and the experiences we shared. We choose destinations that provide the best possible environment for team bonding. We ask team members to be intentional and make the most of every minute together.
During these events, the priority is to do the things we can’t do remotely. Like sharing meals, go on adventures and talk without muted mics and screen-sharing! Here are some of the things we do to get the most out of our Work-togethers.
Living in the same house
Dinners in groups
Night walks through the city/beach
At MailerLite, we try to limit the number of meetings we have. No one wants to sit for an hour in the middle of their workday (or outside of workhours for some people) talking to a screen, muting and unmuting yourself to share an opinion. Things change when you hold a cup of coffee and sit at the same table for breakfast, is the perfect time to talk about team vision and reflect on the work you’ve done.
A well-nurtured creative spirit benefits not only you but also the work you do when you return refreshed and inspired. MailerLite Creative Days are a tradition we’ve been embracing for years now, one day every quarter, we encourage everyone on the team to switch off their screens and partake in inspirational activities.
This same tradition is part of our Work-together events! The entire team chooses an activity in their location and takes a day away from screens to experience something new together. It’s the perfect plan to unwind and find inspiration for new projects.
Here are some of the ways we live to spend Creative days together:
Hiking and outdoor activities
Day at the beach
Visit a local museum
Escape room and games
Knowledge sharing is a key part of our journey at MailerLite and one of the main reasons we started organizing Work-together events. We plan learning sessions, hackathons, and other knowledge-sharing activities to help our team develop new skills.
Additionally, as a multicultural team, in-person meetups allow us to share more about our different cultures, and widen our understanding of the world, helping us develop new interpersonal skills while having deeper and more thoughtful conversations.
We love working remotely, it allows us all to live our best lives and stay close to what brings us joy! Our virtual culture is strong, and real friendships can be built on Slack, so when you spend a week living and working together the “goodbyes” can be pretty tough. Our trick to make things easier? We just say “See you at the next one”, and start planning our next event.