Building a startup culture, one scavenger hunt at a time
Startup life has been moving fast at TrekkSoft. Earlier this month we packed our office into a van, headed a few minutes along the River Aare to our new HQ, and set-up base in a brand new building by Interlaken Ost train station. The main perk of TrekkSoft office 2.0? All the space. It's glorious.
The move marked the start of our team week, a few days packed with time together and crazy adventurous stuff. Like, only-in-adrenaline-fuelled-Swiss-cantons crazy stuff.
A big part of this? Working on our team culture. The aim was to bring everyone together, get a few conversations going, and do cool stuff with the team (including the dev guys who we invited over from Belarus).
A lot of of us are pretty new to the company, so this week together made a lot of sense. I started working for TrekkSoft in August 2015, and since then we've grown our team by about 50% (I think this makes getting-to-know-each-other time still very much essential).
Team week was intense. We (ok, some of us) got up at a ridiculous hour for a freezing cold swim in Lake Brienz, and a sunrise hike up Harder Kulm, our local mountain in Interlaken, on another morning. There was also bowling, pub visits for a Hoegaarden (sorry, Rugenbrau) almost every night, and pizza and/or Moroccan-themed snacking in the new office (being very careful of the carpet).
This culminated in team day on the Friday, which must put every other team building event that has ever taken place in Interlaken to shame (I wonder how many that actually is?) As a speedy synopsis, it was a scavenger hunt featuring... a train trip, a winterwanderweg through the Alps, a gondola trip up to the 007 restaurant at Schilthorn, a gondola down, and a two-hour bike ride through Lauterbrunnen (inspiration for Tolkien's Rivendell) and back to the local bierhaus. Phew. Here are a few more details for curious travel planners.
What about the introverts? A week of full-on social activity is tiring. Very tiring. I skipped more than I perhaps should have, simply because I couldn't keep up. Regardless, I'd be one of the first to say it was a brilliant week. Just think of all the great photos it gave us for social media! I'll also maintain that my occasional opting-out meant I could go all-in for the most important fun. Especially the scavenger hunt. There was no way I was missing that.
Startup lesson: Do crazy shit together. Get out in the mountains (city, whatever). It's a chance to chat to the newbies AND get photos you can pop on your company Instagram.