Case study: How workations help GOhiring to embrace a remote culture

The Berlin startup GOhiring digitalizes and automates workflows in recruiting. Its mission is to increase productivity and improve collaboration in the recruiting market. GOhiring has been serving as an infrastructure provider for the recruiting market since 2012. The company proudly describes itself as a 100% remote company. Of course, that doesn’t mean that everyone works from a different place every day - it means that every employee can choose where to work from, according to own or family needs. A large part of the team regularly works from Berlin, while others are based in France, Portugal or Ukraine, and some are true digital nomads, changing locations around the globe throughout the year. 
How do you run a remote company? Uta, co-founder of GOhiring explains: “What's important for a remote team is first the tech set up. That everybody has a nice work infrastructure in their location and information is transparent in the team, so everybody knows what the others are doing and can document everything well. Additionally, the team needs sync points to get on the same page about where we are heading and what we're working on.”

“The team needs sync points to get on the same page about where you are heading and what you're working on.”

Uta, Co-founder GOhiring

Communicating effectively online is not the only ingredient for success. Uta continues: “We use a lot of tools to stay connected and informed as team members. For example, we use Slack, Trello, Google hangouts. And then it’s really nice and important as well to meet from time to time in one place - for example go on a workation together.”
GOhiring regularly organizes workations for the whole team. They are planned well in advance, so that all of the team members can attend. About a year ago, GOhiring discovered Out of Office Workations. So far, Out of Office Workations has supported GOhiring in organizing two team workations, and has already started to brainstorm for the next one.
In Uta’s words: “It's really nice to work with Out of Office Workations because as a company you have a lot of things on your schedule and it’s great to have an expert who does all the location scouting, all the preparation of the workation, as well as being there during the workation and helping us in the execution of the event. That's so helpful, because when you go on workation you would like to be with the team and work together and have a good time. So it’s good to have somebody that helps you in organizing and setting up those events, because it frees your mind and you gain time to really be there with the team.”

“It’s great to have an expert who does all the location scouting, all the preparation of the workation, as well as being there during the workation and helping us in the execution of the event.”

Uta, Co-founder GOhiring

So what is it that makes a workation such a special experience? And what effect does it have on the team? Uta summarizes: “The 3 main benefits of doing a workation are that you can bond as a team, you can use the space for atmosphere and culture and you can basically collaborate in another place which gives you a nice drive for the future.”
The workation is always a mix of work and leisure. There are fixed time slots for working - either on joint projects or individually on own tasks in a shared work space. There are strategy meetings, planning sessions, learning and best practice exchange workshops - and pure coworking time. Around those work time slots the team has time to connect, for example playing games or making music together.  Jesko, a GOhiring team member states enthusiastically:  “What I like most about the offsite is especially the time we can spend together in the evening, playing games, getting to know each other better and just have fun together.” Uta confirms: “We already developed team traditions, like playing Mario Kart or playing Dixit. We also like to do at least one local activity to connect with the region we are working from. This last time the workation was in winter so we went for a scavenger hunt which was really nice. In the last location in summer we rented canoes and bikes, so it’s really about what the location provides.”

“Sustainable travel is really important for us when organizing workations.”

Anne-Marie, Co-founder Out of Office Workations

Being conscious about the location is an important design principle for Out of Office Workations. Anne-Marie, the co-founder elaborates: “Sustainable travel is really important for us when organizing workations. First of all we make sure the workation location is not too far from where the team is located or where most of the team members are located, because you can really find nice places not far from home and it also helps to support the local economy. We source local food, local activities. We really like to work with houses that are built in a sustainable manner and that share the same values.”

What else is important when organizing a workation? Anne-Marie explains how Out of Office Workations work: “Every workation we organize is customized for the team. We have different locations on offer but then we really look what does the team want to achieve. Is it teambuilding? Learning something new? Onboarding new employees? Exchange across different company sites or teams? So there are many different reasons for taking some time out of the office and connecting as a team there. If none of our portfolio locations fit for the team, we also scout new ones. And then we look that there is good internet and that the atmosphere is nice and there are good activities available for the team to achieve their goals.”
Uta from GOhiring has some advice for teams who would like to organize a workation: “First of all get help for the whole scouting and planning process. You don’t have to do that alone, which we did before actually. I would recommend as well to go together as an entire team. Don’t be afraid that the whole team is “out of office” then, because you get a lot of things done during this week as well. For example, we onboarded three new team members - it was the best start they could get.”

What I like most about working at GOhiring is the team. Even though we're a remote company we have a really strong team bond together.”

Jesko, Marketing Manager at GOhiring

Indeed, connecting the team and strengthening team culture are very central for GOhiring. When asking Jesko what he likes most about GOhiring, he answers without hesitation: “What I like most about working at GOhiring is the team. Even though we're a remote company we have a really strong team bond together, we are aligned on the same goals and passions and you can see that every one of us is working hard to achieve that.” As Out of Office Workations, we thank GOhiring for their trust, the great collaboration and the inspiration we get from their team. Have a look at the video from GOhiring’s last team offsite at Lake Müritz in Germany to get an impression of what a team workation is all about!
 This article was written by Anne-Marie Jentsch, co-founder of Out of Office Workations and owner of Out of Office Consulting.