A Special Team Retreat.
This end-of-year retreat was different from past ones. We did the usual full week of intense work, but the weekend gave way to a relaxing, cheerful time with everyone's family under one roof.
It all started in mid-October, when Philippe, our CEO, decided it was time for a retreat. He booked a fantastic cabin, barely big enough for the five of us 😗, overlooking the Saint Lawrence River. It was suggested to us by one of our customers: MonsieurChalets.
After doing a quick Doodle to agree on a date, we decided to go during the last week of November. We also decided to hold the company's Christmas party on-site during the weekend. Great idea!
Before we knew it, we were packing suitcases, computer screens, and laptops in two small cars. Did I mention that we bought one week worth of food for five guys? That sort of looks like this:
By 6 pm we were on full retreat mode, our defacto workstation was a big dining table situated on the eastern side of the cabin facing the grandness of the river.
Days passed by very quickly. A typical one went out like this:
6.30-8.30 am - At different times and in no particular order, people would start showing up at the work (dining) table. Some in a grumpy not-a-morning-person kind of way, others with a 5k already under their belt.
8.30-9 am - Self-serve breakfast, which included an array of fruits, eggs, bread, and all-you-can-drink coffee too.
9.30 am - 1 pm - First uninterrupted sprint of work.
1 pm - 1.30 pm - Lunchtime. Delicious and copious lunch prepared by our in-house master chef Philippe.
1:30 pm - 6 pm - Second sprint of work. With a few breaks here and there to refill your coffee mug, take a quick dip in the jacuzzi, go for a jog, or simply to admire the breathtaking view.
6 pm - 7 pm - Dinner time. Another large shared meal and time to open a couple of Coronas.
7 pm - As late as you wish - Third work sprint. For some, the most productive time of day, for others time to slow down and work by the fireplace. For all, a moment to have a ping pong match, a stroll near the cabin or another dip in the jacuzzi.
Tens of commits, five beautiful sunsets and many accidentally broken eggs later, here are a few of the most notable things that we accomplished during this retreat:
- Modern authentification for Office 365 accounts.
- Image resize in the composer.
- Multiple bug fixes.
- Feature fine-tuning.
- New FAQ content and landing pages.
- Missive Live Chat. Wait. What!? Yes, we will be releasing it soon, here's a quick preview:
By Friday evening, our families started to arrive, and our focus shifted to them. It was time to convert the work table back to a dining table.
Unlike the rest of the week, Saturday started as a sunny bright day; the cabin felt warmer and full of life with children playing and parents preparing breakfast. The day had a holiday feel to it, with people playing card games and kids sledding out in the snow.
By 6 pm, Christmas music started playing from the surround system in the living area, and everyone started chopping food in preparation for the Christmas dinner. We had raclette, some good wine, and a great conversation.
It's safe to say we all enjoyed the time working and the time off with our families. It's the first time we've done it this way and could very well be the last time.
We're at a point where we are small enough to do this, but this will undoubtedly change in a year from now — a good problem some might say. So yes, this was a special retreat.
From all the Missive team, we wish you a happy holiday season!