How to get the most out of your company retreat

Early last month, all 50 Propeller employees traveled to Sam Roi Yot, Thailand, from seven different countries to spend a week hacking, workshopping, and beaching for our third—and by far most successful—company retreat.

We wanted to share some tips, tools, and learnings to help you organize and get the most out of your own retreat. We don’t claim to have figured out the complete recipe for success, but we’ve made good decisions (and a couple of bad ones) that anyone can learn from.

Why have a retreat in the first place?

Some things are just better in person. For Propeller, it took us finally admitting the truth: we’re a remote company. Our two offices in Sydney, Australia, and Denver, Colorado, form the main hubs, but beyond those, our people work in the Philippines, New York City, Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland, and California.

Seeing our teammates in person is fairly rare, but a reward in itself. This Thailand trip was the first opportunity for some team members to meet in the flesh. Face-to-screen just can’t replace face-to-face connections. When we asked the team what their favourite part of the trip was, the majority said “bonding with remote coworkers and getting closer to my own team.

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