The team presents the result of a teambuilding activity during their workation in Germany.

Case study: How workations help GOhiring embrace a remote culture

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.

"Our house is on fire" - How to make business travel more sustainable?

"Our house is on fire" -
How to make business travel more sustainable?

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is just around the corner. From January 21 to 24, 2020, Davos in Switzerland will host its famous conference again to address the most pressing issues on the global agenda.


Sustainability has already been a topic during our workation at WEF 2019. After a year of “Fridays for Future” this subject now has attracted more awareness than ever before. Here’s a throwback to last year’s meeting and a call for action.


“Our house is on fire” - that is what Greta Thunberg said last year at Davos. She was just named TIME’s person of the year 2019. Finally, largely thanks to her, climate change and sustainability are top of the news and there’s more pressure on our whole society to make changes in order to save our planet.

During our workation at Davos during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in January 2019, we had the opportunity to meet and listen to Greta Thunberg. Her words back then: "I would like to see that people realize the emergency of the situation and realize what needs to be done. And that we speak clearly and not try to quiet it down. And then act from there."


Being asked the follow-up question, whether she thinks that business leaders have a specific responsibility, Greta Thunberg replied: "Yes, I mean everyone has a responsibility, more or less, but the bigger your platform is, the bigger your carbon footprint is, the bigger your power is, the more responsibility you have."


Our take on sustainability


Out of Office Workations enables teams to meet at unique locations to both be productive and connect as a team. So we of course care immensely about the question "How to make business travel more sustainable?". We do believe strongly that team workations add value. Team collaboration, company development, innovation and getting to know new places and people are only some of the benefits, where a different impact can be achieved by "getting out of the office".


At the same time, we advocate to really decide consciously, when a physical team meeting or team trip is the right solution, and when there are more environment-friendly ways of connecting as a team. Either by meeting at the office or by meeting virtually, online.

Whenever team travel is the best solution for the team to achieve a certain goal, Out of Office Workations helps to make the workation as sustainable as possible and reduce the carbon footprint. Co-founder Anne-Marie explains: "Sustainable travel is really important for us when organizing workations. First of all, we look that 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."


She continues, elaborating on additional examples of how Out of Office Workations makes workations more sustainable: "We look that we collaborate with local businesses. We source local food, local activities. We really like to work with houses that are built in a sustainable manner and that really have the right values. We choose very special locations for the workations. So it's not your usual conference hotel, but it's really smaller houses, family hotels, whatever fits for your team and the size of your team."

What our clients think


The clients love and support that. Uta is the co-founder of GOhiring, a German startup company that has already booked two workations with Out of Office Workations. Here's what she told us about their recent workation: "We had looked at different options all over Europe where we could go with the team and we found this nice place which is just 2 hours from Berlin, which is not too far. You don't have to go there with an airplane but you can go with the train. It is really amazing, because that also means much less logistics and it is quite sustainable."

What people at Davos think


What do other business leaders do to reduce their carbon footprint? Out of Office Workations organized a meetup during the World Economic Forum to discuss this question. Participants included CEOs and Tech investors as well as Sustainability Managers and Digital Nomads. First of all, it was stated that we still have a long way to go. The topic hasn't been enough on the agenda in the past. Only now, when awareness of the effects of climate change is rising, they start to feel empowered to push for more sustainability in their business travel.


One participant summarized: "At the end, the pressure comes bottom up. Companies now are paying attention". While the group thinks that there is benefit in meeting face-to-face, they agreed that business travel can be organized more effectively and can be enhanced by technology. Another participant added to the conversation: "Maybe it is more sustainable to meet once and get a lot done and then the technology should enhance; I also think we are lucky that we live in such a great environment right now, where we can do so much."

The conversation made us rethink how we can raise even more awareness for sustainable travel and reduce our ecological footprint. Here are some ideas:


1. Think twice which meetings to do face-to-face, and which can be done virtually
2. Plan ahead to bundle several business meetings in one trip
3. Give back or pay forward to the community at the destination
4. Share transportation as much as possible
5. Donate to compensate for your carbon footprint
6. Use environmentally-friendly transport - like the sledge!

What do you think and do?


What are your best practices for sustainable travel? Less face-to-face meetings? More environmentally-friendly transport? Getting the most out of every business trip? Giving back to society? We'd love to continue this conversation! Contact us at


More information about the WEF 2020


This article was written by Anne-Marie Jentsch, co-founder of Out of Office Workations and owner of Out of Office Consulting.

Workations work Out of office - Team surf

The 7 best team building activities for team workations

The 7 best team building activities for team workations

It’s time for your team workation. The accommodation is booked, meals are planned, transportation is organized. What else? Oh yes, teambuilding activities. A crucial element of every team retreat that can really help your team members to connect with each other and learn something new. And that can help you as organizers to set a certain theme or guide the group towards a certain learning or shared experience.


There are thousands of different teambuilding activities – but not all of them are suitable for every group and really have the effect you’d like to achieve. Almost every one who participated in a team event can tell a story about a team activity that didn’t achieve it’s goal. It was too long or too short, too boring or too challenging, too active or not active enough – short: not customized to the group’s needs.


Here are a few ideas for great team events that we made good experiences with, and that can be adjusted to the needs of most kind of groups.


Before you start planning any of them, make sure to ask yourself: What is it that you would like to get out of the event? What special needs and expectations does our group have? Are there any restrictions in terms of location, weather, security, safety or any other circumstances? What are our available resources - do we have enough time and budget to plan and conduct it? Ideally, make sure to have team members involved to make it a “user-centric co-creation”.


And now go ahead and get creative! Without further ado – here’s the Top 7.


#7: Guide for a Day


Fun: 4/5

Learning: 4/5

Teambuilding: 2/5

Preparation needed: 4/5

Duration: 30 minutes – 2 hours


Your team retreat will most probably take place at a location the team hasn’t been before. And even if you’re already returning there for the 10thtime, there’s most likely still something to learn about the place. Time to learn something new!


To get to know the place you’re visiting make a few of your team members your “Guide of the Day”. Ask them about 2-3 weeks ahead of the retreat to prepare fun facts about the place you’re visiting. For example, did you know that Amsterdam has a Bicycle Mayor?


It’s a fun activity to start already on the way to the retreat, for example on the train. The Guides can share some of the fun facts they gathered, which will in turn spark conversations and increase anticipation of visiting the location. Of course you can give your Guides some guidelines to promote a certain theme, for example innovation, technology, sustainability, equal rights, social impact, culture or arts.



#6: Team Charts


Fun: 4/5

Learning: 2/5

Teambuilding: 4/5

Preparation needed: 2/5

Duration: 30 minutes – 1 hour


What would be a team retreat without music? It’s great to have a team playlist on Spotify or other streaming services. One team member is the “keeper of the playlist” and asks every team member to contribute a few songs to the playlist. During the retreat, team members can guess who chose with song. Or you could ask each other why they chose a particular song. You could even add a karaoke evening and give team members the opportunity to perform their song – or any other song they like.



#5: Sports & Social Impact


Fun: 4/5

Learning: 3/5

Teambuilding: 5/5

Preparation needed: 4/5

Duration: 1 hour – 3 hours


Sports activities can be great opportunities for teambuilding. However, not every activity is suitable. Think about that before you start planning an activity.


First of all, make sure that everyone on the team feels comfortable with the activity. Some people can’t or don’t want to engage in very active activities. Some are afraid of heights or can’t swim. Make sure that everyone feels included. Introductory yoga lessons are usually suitable for most team members, as are beach games, mini-golf or bowling. Disc golf is a great one, too. Electric scooter or bicycle tours are fun as length and pace can be adjusted to the group’s preferences. Make sure that everyone feels comfortable riding a bike or scooter though. At the water, Stand Up Paddling (SUP) is a great team activity. Here in the Netherlands, it can even be combined with collecting waste from the channels. You don't believe that? Check out El Kombi Alkmaar!

And at the beach? Surfing with instructors in small waves close to the beach is a fun event – even if it might already be out of the comfort zone of some team members. Flying a so called trainer kite at the beach is also a fun activity, and perfectly safe with a certified instructor. The same holds true for kitesurfing lessons. They may be out of some team members’ comfort zone, so make sure to make participation voluntary and get people’s written consent. Lessons with a certified kite surfing instructor are then a safe and fun challenge. One kitesurfing instructor usually teaches groups of 2-4 students. So make sure to book enough instructors for your group and let them know about your team members level of experience beforehand.


Second, there are activities that might not promote your company’s culture and values. Laser tagging or paint ball for example. Or some boat rides, which have high fuel consumption and may cause water pollution. And what about that personal trainer you invited? Did you brief her or him about the company’s values and code of conduct? Great ideas are events with a social impact, like charity runs, beach clean-up hikes or team sports in collaboration with social institutions. On Airbnb Experiences, you can filter for sports activities and for activities with social impact.


Third, think about the weather. What if it rains? What if it’s very cold or warm on that day? Ask participants to bring the right clothes and equipment needed. On a warm day, don’t forget sunscreen and enough drinking water and snacks. Make sure toilets and showers are available when needed. After all, the event should be fun for everyone.



#4: Art Night


Fun: 4/5

Learning: 3/5

Teambuilding: 4/5

Preparation needed: 2/5

Duration: 1 hour – 3 hours


An Art Night is a great opportunity to get creative together. It involves a relatively low time for preparation, everyone can participate and will take something home from it. Whether it’s a painting workshop, a photography course or a do it yourself workshop, there are many different options for any kind of group. Organizations like organize events and provide all the materials needed.



#3: Who’s in the picture?


Fun: 4/5

Learning: 3/5

Teambuilding: 5/5

Preparation needed: 3/5

Duration: 10 - 20 minutes


This is a cool team activity as it’s quick to prepare and execute, with a high teambuilding factor. It’s best to do at the end of a team event. You only need some memorable pictures you took of your team during the event and a PowerPoint or a similar presentation tool. Combine your best photographs in a presentation, one photo per slide. Choose the ”Dissolve In” or “Checkerboard” animation and set Duration to “very slow”, so that the picture appears only very slowly in presentation mode.


Divide your group into small teams of 2-4 people and let them sit in a half circle with good view at the presentation screen. Present the pictures as a team quiz by asking a question before presenting each new picture. Easiest: “Who’s in the picture?”. A bit more challenging: “What color are the shoes of the team member on the very left of the group picture?” or more goal-oriented:  “What was the key take-away from this activity?”. You get a teambuilding activity, a presentation of the event pictures and a learning effect from it.



#2: Talent Show


Fun: 5/5

Learning: 2/5

Teambuilding: 4/5

Preparation needed: 4/5

Duration: 45 minutes - 60 minutes


Who doesn’t love a talent show? It combines great entertainment with the opportunity for your team members to show hidden talents they might not be able to show every day.


Make sure to announce the talent show at the very beginning of the retreat if it’s for example a 5-day or 7-day retreat. If it’s a shorter offsite event you might want to announce the talent show already a week or two ahead of the event. Set a theme and give your team guidelines on what type of performances are in scope or out of scope. Set a clear time limit for each performance, ideally not more than 4 minutes (plus 1 minute buffer and 2 minutes in between performances). Choose an entertaining presenter and prep her or him sufficiently, for example with some fun facts about the performers (that are suitable to share in this context).


Ideally, conduct the talent show on the 3rdor 4thnight of the retreat – ideally not on the last night. In that way, the performers have a bit of time to prepare during the retreat and there’s still time to talk about the performances after the talent show. Usually, the event has a great bonding and teambuilding effect as you create very unique shared experiences.


There are many many examples of great contributions, including self-composed songs, dance or artistic choreographies, poetry or standup-comedy. If you want to make sure the performances relate to your retreat goal, set a specific theme. You’ll be astonished how the artists will interpret it!



#1: Scavenger Hunt


Fun: 5/5

Learning: 4/5

Teambuilding: 5/5

Preparation needed: 4/5

Duration: 45 minutes – 2 hours


We love scavenger hunts! Why? They are the perfect combination of creativity, activity, learning and teambuilding.


When designing the quiz questions, there’s no limit to your creativity. You can ask questions about the retreat location and thereby include elements of a Guided Tour (see #7). You can include creative questions about the team or the retreat purpose and by such create a learning and teambuilding effect. And of course, you can make them as active as suitable for the group. From a walk around the retreat house to a city walk, a hike or a bike or electric car tour.  Even the number of questions and duration are flexible, and how much competitive elements you’d like to include.


We’ve created great custom scavenger hunts and are happy to create a customized challenge for your team. We also partner with the 100 Point Challenge, a super cool and professional event company that runs those city walk-quizzes with Fujifilm Instax contests in among others Amsterdam, Stockholm and Copenhagen. Are you ready to take the challenge?

So, quite some food for thought. What’s your favorite teambuilding activity during a workation or offsite event? How do you ensure teambuilding during your team retreat? Have you tried any of these? What did you learn? Any additional feedback or tips? Looking forward to learn from you!



This article was written by Anne-Marie Jentsch, co-founder of Out of Office Workations and owner of Out of Office Consulting.

What it's like to go on a weekend workation

What it's like to go on a weekend workation

End of May, we gathered an inspiring group of entrepreneurs and remote workers for a weekend of coworking, learning from each other and fun. And called it: a weekend workation!


Get work done

On Friday, we started with a coworking session at the spacious coworking space Het Nieuwe Warenhuis. Everyone shared their goals for the weekend and co-organizer Eva Krul from Outbound Kitetravel shared her inspiring entrepreneurial story, the concept of Ikigai and why "Focus" is so important as a business owner.


She gave us a great walking tour of her home town Alkmaar and we spent the afternoon exploring the city and trying out longboarding - quite a step out of the comfort zone for some of us. And how cool to try something new and succeed with the encouragement and support of the group!


After typical Dutch Friday Drinks at the coworking space the evening was crowned by a beautiful vegetarian dinner at Restaurant Soepp. We shared interesting conversations and it already felt as if we knew each other for much longer than just a day.


Get the balance

The second day started with a productive workshop around "How to make flexwork work". Although it was Saturday morning, all participants were wide awake, eager to share best practices for productivity, business success and work-life balance.


We discussed how to deal with tasks that drain energy and how to make space for more of the activities that give energy. We explored how to provide great service and high quality to our clients and at the same time manage boundaries and take care of our own needs.


We established why a social support network of co-workers, mentors, accountability buddies, friends and family is so important for remote or solo workers. And we shared best practices around how to set goals, plan our agenda and manage tasks with the help of apps, planners and productivity techniques.



After a yummy vegetarian lunch the group headed back to the beautiful city of Alkmaar. Some decided to join the Gay Pride with SUP boards – again a first for some of us. Others participated in a workshop given by Nanda from El Kombi SUP. She taught us how to reduce waste in our everyday life and use natural products like coconut cream for body care.


It’s simply amazing how many cool and useful things we learned within those two days already. Add to that all the creative conversations that arise when a bunch of graphic designers, accountants, branding experts, service designers, photographers, travel entrepreneurs and business owners comes together and has the space to think out of the box for two days. If you had walked by our final dinner at Alkmaar City Beach you would have definitely felt that vibe of creative excitement.


The real workation experience

The cozy Airbnb we stayed at definitely also contributed to create such a great feeling of community in such a short time. We prepared breakfast together and took the little ferry to the city centre together. After two packed days of new impressions, we celebrated our new friendship with a game of boules and a well deserved bottle of Champagne. Because celebrating personal growth is just another great best practice of "How to make flexwork work".


One of our participants reflected: “Brilliant way to make sure you take some time off, even if it's just to have a nice lunch without the laptop in sight (!!), and co-work with others instead of being in your little bubble all the time. Good for focus and networking! I would actually like it if we had follow-ups.”


And that’s exactly what we’re gonna do. We will continue to support each other and share our tips and tricks. And some have already told us they’d like to be part of the next edition of our Weekend Workation in Alkmaar. We already started planning for 2020!


This article was written by Anne-Marie Jentsch, co-founder of Out of Office Workations and owner of Out of Office Consulting.