Why a workation is the best way to motivate your team

Looking for the best way to motivate your team? Organize a workation (we tell you all about it in this blog)!

Looking for the best way to motivate your team? One word: workation.

Okay, technically it’s a combination of two words, “work” + “vacation”. It’s a paid work trip that can be combined with aspects of taking a vacation.

Since part of our team works remotely, it’s super important for us to meet up. So we decided to host two weeks of workation every year. Last winter, the entire team went to Bali (you can read about our experience in Bali here). This summer we all met in Lithuania—the country where most of our team is based.

Here is what my colleagues wrote on Facebook after the workation:

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I guess we did something right! Today I'm sharing why organizing a workation was a big success, and why.

#1. Invest in new experiences

I believe that shared experiences connect us to each other much more than any shared consumption does. This is why we prepared dinner together.

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Tried SUP boarding and meditation...

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And traveled together around Lithuania.

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All these things are now stories that connect us. Shared experiences are what bond people together and create long-lasting, trustworthy relationships. This is why our employees feel more like a team versus just a group of colleagues.

A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other.

Simon Sinek

Moreover, researchers show that completely new experiences or a change of environment cause strong activity in the midbrain area. That means our brain is more eager to learn and be creative after taking in novel stimuli.

After you get creative together, it's time to work.

#2. Connect people through a shared dream

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The most important trait in deciding to hire someone at The Remote Company is the strong desire to work at our company. We are all connected by the same goal: To make our company and products better.

This is why we asked all the team members to make presentations on the same topic: “How to improve our products”. I was amazed by the ideas that people had. From bug fixing to organizing and documentation, suggestions for events and improvements for our About page on the website.

The best part? One week after our workation ended, some of the ideas have already been implemented. This week we will have board game night. Next month we will start volunteering at a local non-profit shop. And we are already working on implementing new pricing.

The opportunity to offer changes in the company keeps the team interested in the business. Especially when they can and will implement those changes.

We are social beings from the beginning. And even studies of cooperation show that cooperation between individuals lights up reward centers of the brain. Because when you think about it, people are happiest when in flow, when they’re absorbed in something out in the world, when they’re with other people, when they’re active. There is a profound need to belong.

Nancy Etcoff, Cognitive researcher

#3. Have a talk

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Can you guess what part of workation our team enjoyed the most?

The Q&A session.

This was a time when everyone could discuss how The Remote Company works and what was needed. With a room full of questions, a laptop, and a projector screen, we went to work. 

The session was super useful for the support team to deepen their knowledge about the product and understand the reasoning behind the decisions. I am sure we will repeat the session online.

It’s essential to share our own knowledge with our colleagues.

Developers and designers digging in on how things work behind the scenes, customer support giving feedback on what things confuse most users…

This is how the whole team gets on the same page.

Have you ever sat down and done this with your team? If so, how did it go?

#4. Meet new people

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Having guests over is one more opportunity to have new experiences and see the world from a different point of view. Throughout the week we invited guests in our field of work to come into our office. We learned tons of new things about how others are working, their perspective on the market, and other cool stories.

Will we continue to do this? Yes!

We have already created a board on Trello where we share topics that we’d love to learn more about. We've also compiled a list of guests that we’d like to meet at the office.

Who would be your dream guest in your office?

#5. Hire the right people

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The most important component of a workation is the people. You may bring the whole company to a beautiful place like the Maldives and hate every single minute of the trip.

Want to have a great workation? Hire the right people. People that share the same values and have a strong desire to work at your company. People that will bring you up when you feel down.

Be a human resource-driven organization. If you truly care about your employees, they will take care of the customers, and each other.

Hiring and managing people for business is just like sports. The team that stays together usually beats the team with superstars that were put together for one season.

Gary Vaynerchuk

I am super happy and proud to work with the dream team. Thank you, guys!

Now, we’re wondering… have we got you thinking about investing in a workation for your team?

What does your dream workation look like?

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