Working remotely definitely has its advantages. Not only can you roll out of bed straight into your office each day, cutting out the stress of a long commute, but it also allows you to work with a diverse group of colleagues all over the world every day (at the same time - virtually!).
And while the remote world is pretty awesome, there’s something about being together as a group face-to-face in one common place that is pretty magical too.
Recently, the Crosschq marketing and partnerships teams had the opportunity to all meet up at VP of Marketing, Brandon Redlinger’s hometown, Colorado Springs, to experience a bit of that mountain-air magic at an Airbnb and do some good ole’ fashioned team bonding.
My colleague Jax and I were the first to arrive on the scene and we wasted no time putting “Operation Bonding” into high gear.
Jax was kind enough to invite me with her college friends to the Noah Cyrus concert in Denver. Mini road trip, costumes, and music - what was there not to love?
It was a blast and when we came back home late, we were greeted by another teammate, Ari, aka “Chef Ari”. Who needs Taco Bell when you can have a great catch-up conversation over gourmet Omelets cooked for you by a real MasterChef?
The next day and throughout our trip it was so fun to hang out with the rest of the team — see familiar faces, meet new ones, see people greet others whom they haven’t already met before in person, and welcome virtually our teammates who unfortunately couldn't travel to the offsite.
Throughout our stay, we invested lots of time into team building, learning about who we are as people and marketers, who we are as a team, how we can work better together, where we are as a business, and how we can be more impactful together moving forward.
It was nice just getting off screens for what sometimes seems like a continuous Zoom call and just being together.
They say breaking bread is a symbol of familiarity, a gesture signifying peace and friendship. On our trip, we broke lots of bread together. Each piece deepening and solidifying our bond as a team.
Big shoutouts to Chef Ari for the gift of preparing such delicious meals throughout our stay! From the omelets to the Southern Boil to the soup to the Filet and more. I definitely want those recipes. :)
Brandon also planned a special night out for the team when we went from MasterChef to Top Chef by visiting the famous Four by Brother Luck in Colorado Springs.
Our four-course meal was as beautiful as it was delicious.
What’s better than team bonding than hitting an Escape Room? I’ve personally never done one but after my experience, I’m sure this won’t be my last time. Half our team was split into a “Birds Don’t Exist” trying to get out of a conspiracy theory room, while the other half was trapped in a little girl’s nightmare. My teammate Emily was a trooper! Our room faced all of her fears — and while the room was dark and super creepy, she handled it with elegance and grace under pressure, just as she does in her daily job. Even though we didn’t escape, we had a blast trying and working as a team, so isn’t that the point?
One of my favorite offsite moments, and there were a lot, came on our last night. Stealing from the Burning Man playbook and slightly altering it, we brought swaps to give to one another. Some were homemade, others were symbolic, others were playful that lowered barriers (face masks!), and all were extremely thoughtful.
It’s easy to get trapped into the mentality of being on the go-go-go 24/7 or losing yourself in the “I’m too busy” mindset - I’m a card-holding carrier! — but it’s so important to step away from the computer sometimes and take the time to invest in building relationships which are also really important for the growth of a company.
Thanks to Brandon and Crosschq for a great trip allowing the team this precious time together.