Here at 90, we are a fully remote team spread out across several continents so we like to maximise the full benefits of a workcamp. This way of working brings more benefits for us than challenges (read more about the way we work), but at the same time, we understand the importance of getting to know each other in person. Earlier this month, part of the team met up in Leeds for an enjoyable week of working together from the same office.
Why we have workcamps
We try to have at least one company meetup per year, in which we bring together the whole team for a week, in different locations. We call them workcamps. Last year we went to Malaga, Spain and the year before that we went to Puglia, Italy. We chose the locations based on weather and how easy it was to fly people in from different countries. The majority of the team is based somewhere in Europe, but we also have colleagues in Argentina, so Spain seemed like the best idea for last year’s meetup. We usually rent a big house that acts as a co-living and co-working space for the week.
Spending a week together helps us to strengthen our collaboration, get to know each other and our personalities outside a work environment and generally just have some fun. When you work remotely there are no water cooler chats, so we use this time to catch up on our hobbies and interests. We also use the opportunity to meet any new people that have joined the team and do a variety of activities that help us learn and grow together.
Our Leeds Workcamp
The meetup we had in Leeds was a bit different from any other workcamp we have had so far, as this time only part of the team could join and we stayed in a hotel and went to an office from 9 to 5 (often later – 6 or 7). It was the first time we tested working together from the same formal space and the experiment was a success. As we wanted to get as much as possible done that week, our calendar was packed with meetings, discussions, client work and more.
We chose Leeds because our sister company, ICS-digital, just moved offices and invited us to see the new space and meet their growing team. We used the opportunity to facilitate some workshops on SEO, content, outreach and project management for the ICS-digital team. The two agencies have complementary services, so one of the main goals for the week was to understand the offering of each party better and find ways of working closely together.
Having everyone in the same room also helped us to have more strategic conversions about our agency, what direction we want to move in as a business and how we want to grow. This year we decided to make our own marketing and sales strategies and processes a priority. We’ve invested a lot of time in taking our brand to the next level, communicating more about the work we do for our clients and improving our overall pitch.
I asked all the 90ers that attended the meetup in Leeds what their main takeaways from the week were. You can find their answers below.
Sharing knowledge and discussing how we can work closer together is definitely something that will help us grow faster, support our clients better and identify new business opportunities.
“When working remotely, it’s very important to have face to face meetings from time to time. Spending a week in Leeds was really useful for us as a team because we got to work together from the same space and discuss some of our projects in more detail. On top of that, we worked and had workshops together with our sister company, ICS-digital, in their new offices. Sharing knowledge and discussing how we can work closer together is definitely something that will help us grow faster, support our clients better and identify new business opportunities.”
Catalina, People Operations Strategist
“Being able to present our combined knowledge through workshops helped demonstrate the technical knowledge 90 Digital has and the expertise of each member of our team. I was able to gain a better understanding of what ICS-digital are doing and how they do it. It enabled me to present ideas to them to improve their services, as well as ICS-digital reciprocating the gesture through sharing their advice for our processes. Personally, it was exciting seeing the opportunities available where our technical content specialism can impact client campaigns from start to finish, while allowing us to work closer and share knowledge and resources to improve both our businesses.”
Blair, Digital PR Specialist
“This week was mainly about two things, for me. Firstly, making sure that we understand how we fit under the bigger umbrella of our group of companies. I understood what the qualities and skills are that we, as 90 Digital, bring to the table and what things we can benefit from by working closer with ICS-digital. Secondly, working together as a team – this is something I always enjoy. Being able to work with my colleagues from the same room and being able to interact with them for more than the time slot in our calendar, gives me a better perspective of the people behind the roles and the projects. After work drinks are sometimes just the way to go.”
Lefteris, Content Strategist
“During our work camp in Leeds, I got to know some of the team and understand our business model and way of working much better. Being the newest member of 90 Digital, it was amazing to finally meet people I’ve been working with over Slack, Asana and Hangouts in person! We had really good discussions about our business growth in the first half of 2019, as well as our plans for the rest of the year. Most excitingly, we have kicked off some discussions around expanding our range of services – so watch this space for updates.”
Khaleelah, Growth Marketing Strategist