Team Week: How K15t Builds Relationships in the Era of Remote Work
The queue for the espresso machine swells to five times in normal size as colleagues who haven’t met in ages ask each other how they’ve been in muffled tones beneath their masks. Others clamber under desks to locate forgotten cables as usually barren ends of the office become more crowded with visitors. It’s Team Week here at K15t and everyone is keen to catch up before the real meetings and breakout sessions begin.
Welcome to Team Week
Team Week was born from a desire to still have in-person interactions across teams at the company in an era of remote working. The Covid pandemic forced us to learn new ways to work and collaborate, including having more people working from home. For all the positives remote working brings, we did miss those informal conversations and sharing ideas across teams that in-person events allow. The idea was to combine our end-of-quarter retrospectives and planning meetings with cross-team social events. These types of meetings and events naturally attract a wider array of people into larger meetings. So at the end of every quarter, everyone packs their stuff and heads out to the K15t headquarters in Stuttgart.
To help you understand what Team Week is about, we’ll use an example with our Barcamp sessions. Firstly, people come up with ideas for topics, ranging from very practical discussions on how to better share projects across teams, to more informal chats such as how work has changed for you since Covid began. We all break into groups, engage in healthy debates on the topics, then head back to the main conference and a new batch of ideas are brought to the table.
Dining Out and Getting to Know Each Other
The whole idea is to allow people from disparate ends of the company to get to know each other, what they do at the company, and how they can work together better in the future. It’s just one of the ways Team Week helps facilitate more cross-pollination within the teams at K15t. Afterwork social events are organized, with this year the entire team heading to the Mozzarella Bar for late night drinks and fancy Italian snacks. Other teams held Switch gaming evenings to declare once and for all who was the best Smash Bros player at the company, or dining out at a restaurant together to try local cuisine and eating far too many maultasche.
K15t has come a long way from its roots. It now has well over 50 employees with people based out of India, Spain, UK and USA. Team Week lets every member fly in and meet everyone else in person, allowing us to form closer bonds with those in our company and learn more about each other. We only started doing Team Week in 2021 and they have become part of the fabric of how we work at K15t. These quarterly Team Weeks have become a cornerstone of our company culture and how we keep personal connections within the company. Each member is capable of doing great work remotely, but Team Week is what lets them make great better!