Remote work is a permanent fixture, says Forbes. And we agree - the Future of Work is hybrid.
We took this statement as a challenge and decided to change the way we experience remote work, authentically together.
Little did we know that in May 2022 Linnify will have turned into a mini 'tech-neighborhood' in Greece, working together by the pool.
All pointing fingers turn to Raluca Gheorghes, our Head of People and Culture, or fairy of People and Culture, as she prefers to be referred to. She made it a reality for Linnify to embark on our first group experience of abroad remote working while conducting an experiment to measure how an overall good mood can reduce the feeling of stress and increase motivation.
‘We are probably one of the first Romanian tech companies to conduct such an engaging and insightful experiment abroad’, we laughed about it on our road to Greece.
The reasoning behind this pilot experiment was to check how a better mood can improve the feeling of productivity and reduce the overall stress of a working week.
In an era of constant change and interpretation, Linnify wanted to bring diversity and nurture creativity through a unique experience. We took into account the feelings of motivation and productivity, and how Linnifians felt connected to one another and with the company. Throughout the entire time spent in Greece, we paid close attention to productivity, as one of our main concerns has had to do with how well can we perform while working together abroad. Especially considering the entire change of scenery and the multitude of distractions that come with it.
Being a Linnifian implies genuinely matching the company values, the vibes, and most importantly the way of co-existing with the others. And Greece 1.0 was the best scenario to see how strong these aspects really are. We wanted to see how can we create organic team bonding without granularly planned team-building activities.
We aimed to create a one-of-a-kind experience that intertwined meeting new cultures and seeing beautiful places while maintaining consistency in the workflow - meeting the relaxation of a vacation with an efficient workday.
After a full-on Linnifian week, 95% of the Linnifians felt the bond with the teammates became stronger, while the remaining 5% said it stayed the same.
‘I really enjoyed having the chance to work closely with people that are not on my team. It was actually really insightful since I got to observe how developers work with our designs. I was able to identify some improvements for our team.’
There are a lot of things going on here at Linnify. From developing better and better both internal and external products to all sorts of bettering-ourselves exercises and reviews.
But in everything we do, data is at the strong foundation of it all. So, here is what #LinnifyGoesToGreece looked like in analytics.
We measured the feelings of productivity and stress, and general mood twice a day - at the beginning and at the end of the working day.
For some, this might be just a graph, but for us, this is success in the form of a graph. Why? Because it’s part of who we are, both individually and as a company to care for the wellbeing of our people.
At the end of the entire pilot, we had each participant, but also their team leads, filled in a survey covering the successful areas and what can be improved. Correlating this with the measurements taken during the program helped us in having a better overview of the experiment and reducing the subjective bias of the individual responses.
I managed to disconnect very nicely before & after work by staying outside, getting enough sun, going to the sea, and riding the bike. I feel like I really relaxed and I refreshed my daily routine.
‘The bonding time created with people with whom I didn't get the chance to communicate as much before. The breaks were truly boosting the energy levels and the mood right up. The fact that we gathered for lunch and dinners altogether was another aspect I truly enjoyed - sharing meals, drinks, and recommendations.’
‘I liked that it felt like we were all living together in a small village, there was a feeling of community more powerful than it is at the office (kind of like it is in teambuilding, but stronger). It was also an environment that made me shake up my routine, I was up at sunrise most of the days, and started work earlier than I would at the office.’
1. To maintain the focus you need a better internet connection
Essentially, anywhere you’d go a strong internet connection makes everything flow smoother.
Even though we prepared multiple approaches to ensure a secure and fast internet connection, this is an area that can surely be improved. Our satisfaction levels resulted in 35% considering it Proper, while 60% said it was Decent and 5% encountered issues with it. Although, this is a challenging task as it's hard to beat the internet speeds we have access to in Romania.
Tip: If you opt for villas accommodating multiple persons (we chose 4-people villas), try mix-matching departments according to their internet use. For example, QA engineers who need to download builds, with Marketing Specialists who don't download as much.
2. Working with partial tech equipment can create frustration
If you’re used to working with two displays and you only brought one - you might get a bit frustrated. This challenge has a lot to do with your means of transportation.
We decided to go by car, thus, we had a bit more liberty when it came to what we could bring with us. The downside to the luggage space by car was the travel time.
We tried to replicate our office working stations as much as possible for this experiment. And as results have shown - full equipment is something to never be very economical with.
Tip: Find the most suitable way to transport the equipment you’re accustomed to in order to maintain the workflow you’re most comfortable with.
3. Allow the body and mind to fully adapt to the environment with a longer period abroad
For a first experiment to see how this method of working goes for our specific team, one week felt like enough.
Depending on the dynamics of your own team, the ideal period spent abroad might vary. Our challenge seemed to be a matter of finding the sweet spot between delivering quality at our standard levels and making the most out of our time there.
Linnifians are very adaptable individuals, nonetheless, they are also very social people who enjoy spending quality time with people who meet their type of activities and relaxation.
This is why, even if the scale has inclined to ‘enough time’, we are currently analyzing different approaches to make Linnify Abroad an even more enjoyable event.
Tip: Before setting up a lengthier remote experience for your team, conduct a shorter experiment to see how team spirits are in such an environment: both regarding the mood and efficiency.
#LinnifyGoesToGreece was definitely a success.
The survey results exceeded our expectations. 100% of the participants have said they would enjoy a similar experience.
This journey tested our efficiency in a different environment. We measured the results from each of the participants' points of view and 70% of them felt efficient and 30% highly efficient. As a secondary check, we analyzed these with the team leads who had members involved in this pilot. They identified small fluctuations, but nothing out of the ordinary.
‘It wasn’t a drastic change compared to the work-performance on-site. The small fluctuation could’ve happened even in the office if the Linnifians had a more challenging week.’
We took into account all the information that we gathered and concluded our first pilot was a success. Thus, Linnify Abroad 2.0 will take place later this year, so stay tuned for the upcoming Linnifian remote work experience with more data and improved conditions for productivity.
If you are looking for an environment to enable strong connections between colleagues and boost their motivation a similar experience might be the right choice for you. If you feel Linnify is your type of environment and you'd like to embark on shaping the future together with us, send us an email at: email@example.com