&us Retreat 2021

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We had our company retreat at Birch over the summer, which was huge fun, but also more than just a jolly because team spirit has been especially important this year. That companies and teams have coped with remote working is in part that they’ve been able to draw from the well of cultural equity that’s been built up over time.

But at some point, you need to replenish the supply.

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“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.”

Albert Camus, The Minotaur

We had our company retreat at Birch over the summer, which was huge fun, but also more than just a jolly because team spirit has been especially important this year. That companies and teams have coped with remote working is in part that they’ve been able to draw from the well of cultural equity that’s been built up over time. 

But at some point, you need to replenish the supply. 

Our theme was connect: 

  • Connecting with old friends and new team mates. Faces IRL and not through a screen
  • Reconnecting with the world again
  • Disconnecting from work and tech 

This year we purposefully kept it low key. No workshops, no presentations or big talks. For many of us, it was our first time meeting each other;  for some, their first time out in public in nearly a year and a half. We had some light touch rules in place to ensure that everyone felt comfortable with our interactions, like coloured wristbands to indicate whether you were open to hugs, handshakes or a more socially distanced elbow-bump.

We pre-arranged some activities – life drawing, pottery and a slightly bonkers treasure hunt – to provide some loose structure, and some fun ways for us to flex our creative and making muscles.

And then we just hung out with each other over drinks, meals and with some unstructured time (and the world’s slowest ever game of pool). 

It allowed us to make and build connections around a shared experience, topped up our buckets of togetherness and sense of shared purpose to ensure we feel united as a team, and connected as humans.

And whilst a late-night may have left us feeling a tad jaded, we all came away with our batteries mentally recharged.

If you’d like to be at our next retreat, check out our careers page.