Team building and planning for the near future

How does the team function where you work? Is the team atmosphere “official only”, or does team members share both good and bad from their life? And is there a genuine care for each others?

Although dark clouds ahead, no rain was to be experienced during the trip.

Where I work these days, we started up as a setup of team manager + 2 persons. This was back when the new team was created in June of 2018. The team manager (let’s call him “R”) and my colleague (let’s call him “S”) had worked for many years together before I joined the team. It was an interesting time when they had to get used to me as a new team member, and for me to step into a duo who knew each other well. Luckily no problems occurred and the team dynamic worked very well from the get go.

Later on due to need of more hands to manage the workload, there was a recruitment set up in 2020, and after a while, a new person joined the team in November 2020. Let’s call him “J”.

Well it wasn’t any tropical heatwave during this trip, so warm clothes were used by all.

As we were a tightly knitted group before the recruitment, the personality of the new member was very important and had to fit in. Specially important due to the small size of our IT&DevOps team. Luckily no friction appeared at any point. On the contrary, J made a perfect fit. As J started during the pandemic, there has been a lot Google Meets meetings, and very little face-to-face situations. So when it was time for the yearly team building and strategy planning day, we decided to go for the much liked and functioning program, which was sailing on R’s sailboat.

As mentioned, this has been experienced all previous years, with the setup of either R, S and me, or added by a director of the whole business unit (called “JK”). So this year we were 5 young men sailing out into the beautiful Finnish archipelago.

Some might think the trip is only a get-away from work, and only meaning is to drink beer between friends, but these people are sorely mistaken. Every trip has an agenda, with topics of discussions, decisions to be taken, and planning off development roadmap.

This year had talking points like going thru the internal IT&DevOps NPS results, find possible issues that need to be dealt with during upcoming business year, read thru of the company strategy for the upcoming year, check both ongoing and future development projects and much much more.

During our meeting upon arrival, we got to see a white-tailed eagle fly above us. They truly are majestic birds.

On Thursday at 11pm we set sail and the weather forecast was saying winds of 6-7 m/seconds was to be enjoyed, and during previous sailings we always have had very light winds. So this time we actually got up to speed, and even reached over 6 knots without engine. So a record year by itself.

Missed when the speed crept up on 7knots, but I think the fastest we “flew” thru the water was 6.7kt.

After a little over an hour we reached the destination, and the official agenda was presented, and talking points were handled. A lot of good views and suggestions where talked thru and some clear future tracks were written down for execution when we return to the office.

JJ’s BBQ brisket, coleslaw, garlic potatoes and cucumber.

After that it was time for dinner, and R had arranged very good food. Meat had been ordered from a place called JJ’s bbq which has become pretty famous, and the place is from the city of Salo, where my employer is from too. The evening was ended with sauna. As R’s boat is big enough for all to sleep in, it’s easy and very convenient, and nobody needs to drag with them a tent. The gentle rocking of the boat, and the long day took its toll on me, and as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was off to dreamland.

I woke up a couple of times during the night, but fell asleep shortly again, so for me it was a very good night.

Morning was started with a good breakfast, and then we set sail back to the starting point. The winds were forecasted to be even harder on fridays leg, and although the winds went up to 10~12 m/s in the gust’s, no new record was set in speed. At around 12pm we reached the homedocks, and the drive back to Helsinki area started for me, S, J and JK. R who lives in Salo had a much shorter drive. We stopped in Perniö for some kebab, as there’s a really good place there. We’ve stopped there before, so no surprise there.

Beatiful sunrise on friday.

Although our team has worked really well before this trip, I feel this trip was a great way to get to deeper know our newest member, J, and now we know each other even better.
As all previous years, we were blessed with good weather this year as well, and it was fun to sit on the deck all together and have both deep meaningful discussions, as and as always in our group, cultivate really bad humour. 😉 😀

For those curious of the skipper, you can find him on Instagram and he has a blog (in Finnish) as well.

Skipper in yellow, as we set off back on friday.

Previous team building trips can be found here on my blog. In 2019 we sailed to the same location, and in 2020 we sailed to Örö.

I would like to greatly thank our whole group, and specially skipper and host, Riku! Great trip once again.

Now let’s get to twerk, and rock the business year like before. 😉

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