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Earlier this year, we celebrated 10 years of [e-spres-oh] and the people that made it all possible. Stepping into a new decade of tech, our 10th anniversary felt like a new beginning. To rise to the occasion, and make it even more memorable, we planned a surprise trip for the whole team: a Work & Travel adventure in Florence, Italy.
Read on to discover why and how we chose to spend a few days living la dolce vita in the city of the renaissance – an iconic place to celebrate a fresh start.
A work & travel experience can help you step out of your comfort zone, get adventurous, and refresh your perspective on work itself. But, apart from the more obvious reasons, here’s why we chose to do it (again).
Ever since the beginning, our remote work policy has allowed us to work from anywhere, so we’ve grown to appreciate a change of scenery from time to time. After more than two ‘socially distant’ years, we’re free to travel again, work from the office, or continue working from home – wherever we feel we can be most productive.
To be honest, the last two years have been particularly challenging for the vibrant social dynamic that’s always defined life at [e-spres-oh]. Though we’ve learned to adapt and devised new ways of interacting, there were times we felt disconnected. Meanwhile, things have gradually switched back to normal, and we’re glad to be able to resume in-person meetings, morning coffees, FIFA breaks, or – this one’s new – ping pong tournaments at the office. We missed engaging with each other and wish to keep the ball rolling. Not by pushing things but by supporting them and making them fun. Cause for us, that’s the only way it can happen.
We see flexibility as essential when it comes to working and socializing too. We’re not big fans of formal gatherings, as they wouldn’t suit us in the first place. Instead, we follow up on what feels natural to us, and it serves as a basis for everything we do together.
Thus, drawing inspiration from our past work & travel experiences (#ohlisbon, how could we forget?), we figured a new adventure would be welcomed. Especially since it allows us to combine working with the joy of exploring and bonding with the team in a relaxed setting.
At the end of September, we packed our luggage and unpacked our surprise, embarking on a four-day Work & Travel trip to the heart of beautiful Tuscany.
We won’t talk too much about the charming streets of Florence, the sunny vineyards in the Tuscan countryside, or the leaning angle of the tower of Pisa… because each word deserves a thousand pictures, and we happen to have them! In case you’ve missed it (and sorry-not-sorry for the spam if you didn’t), here are some of our #ciaohflorence pics, an Instagram reel, and a youtube video of our experience.
Instead, we’ll let some of us tell you what it was like to work & travel, and do everything in between, together with the team:
Florence is amazing, but what mattered most was that I explored it in such good company. I’m new at [e-spres-oh] and this was the perfect opportunity for me to meet my colleagues right away. I think any activity we do together helps in building a strong team. Can’t wait for the next one!
Diana, Ruby on Rails Developer
After a long period of social distancing, I was excited to go on this work & travel, get to know the team better, break the routine, and just have fun. I find it interesting to code from coffee shops or coworking spaces around the world and wanted to do it from Florence too. Wish we could’ve stayed a bit longer. Maybe next time?
David, Front-end Developer
A cool experience that reunited us. We got to do everything from sightseeing and Chianti tasting to racing with electric scooters and scouting for porchetta sandwiches at 2 AM. Great people, good food, and even better wine. As we like to say – work hard, party hard(er)!
Lucas, Mobile Developer
I enjoyed working from Florence, together with everyone else that remained at the hotel. The vibe was chill, and things went smoothly. It was refreshing to change the scenery, work remotely from an entirely new place, and spend quality time with my colleagues.
Werner, Technical Lead
A joyful, spontaneous yet well-planned trip, our work & travel was a one-of-a-kind opportunity to reconnect with each other. It inspired me to experiment with new ideas. I like to see how life is in different parts of the world and to share the journey with nice people is more than I could ask for. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you!
Ana, Agile Coach
Work & travel might not be suitable for everyone, and we feel lucky that, through the nature of our work, we have the flexibility to turn into a full-on team experience. Nevertheless, it’s through experimenting we’ve learned it ticks every item on our wish list: have a good time together, learn something new every day, and do things differently.
As a bonus, Florence has also cast its proverbial spell of renewal on us and brought us closer than we’ve been in recent times. Oh, and we’ve also learned to correctly pronounce ‘espresso’, or [e-spres-oh] for that matter. Still working on our Italian accent…
Until next time, ciaoh!