A team retreat to the Italian Dolomites

As a remote team, we feel that it’s important to spend some time together in the same location every now and again. A few times a year we book somewhere to have what we call a ‘retreat’ – to get together socially and for some work. This time we decided that we would visit the Italian Dolomites!

Travelling

As we all had to get to Italy it did mean quite a lot of travelling. We all headed down to London as we got on the same flight from Gatwick Airport. We were actually travelling to Innsbruck in Austria as, although it was over the border, it was the closest airport to our destination – the small village on Longiarù in the South Tyrol region of the Dolomites.

The journey there was brilliant and like clockwork, much different from the journey back! We hired a small car to do the 120km journey from the airport to the apartment in Longiarù where we were staying and the drive through the snowy forests was beautiful.

Getting stuck into some work

Although it is important that we socialise with each other on these trips, catching up for the office time we miss being remote workers, it is also a good time to get stuck into some work with everybody present.

We tend not to work on client projects on our retreats, but more on business related things such as marketing, sales and products. This is what we did whilst in Italy. Our focus was on 2 main areas on this trip.

Marketing

We spent some time brainstorming ideas for how we could better market some of the services and the value that we offer to clients and the team came up with some really good ideas. We will be implementing some of these in the near future, so we will keep you informed as to how successful they are.

Products

We have a couple of products that we sell as Highrise Digital and the focus here was on both our WP Broadbean plugins and the service we offer of integrating Broadbean with a WordPress website. There were lots of good ideas raised and we now have a clear plan of action on how to take these products and services forward.

Watch out in the near future for lots of announcements and changes to these products and services. I am really excited about the direction we are going with these now.

Photo of a holiday apartment in Longiarù, Italy
This was our accommodation for the week. We were in the top floor on the right as you look at the photo.

Some downtime with colleagues

As I already mentioned it was great to spend time with the team away from the computer and actually in person. We made the most of being together with lots of fun activities and meal times.

We even managed a few games of the very funny (if not hard to learn – for me at least!) card game called Exploding Kittens. If you have never played it I can highly recommend you give it a go sometime.

Next trip?

We haven’t started planning our next team retreat yet. We’ll probably all see each other at WordCamp London and then try to do another ‘proper’ retreat in the second half of 2019.

It might not be quite exotic this time – but who knows?!


  • Retreating to the Italian Dolomites

    A short video of our retreat to the Italian Dolomites.

About the author

Mark is the lead WordPress developer at Highrise Digital. He has been working with WordPress for over 13 years, way back to 2005. He focuses on back-end development, integrating the website build with WordPress so it can be editable.