For two weeks, 13 Support superheroes were working from Valencia, Spain.
It was a great experience and all the team made the effort to make it happen! Particularly we had set two goals for ourselves: HAPPY CLIENTS and WORK EFFICIENCY.
To evaluate whether our clients are happy, we gathered feedback throughout May and received over 200 GREAT WORK comments. As for our efficiency, we polished our Support flow and practices, which had remained unchanged for years, for extra 9% productivity within a month!
Walking to the charming villa everyone called home for 2 weeks.
The charming villa
We stayed in the charming villa where we learned a lot about each other since we had to share bedrooms, kitchen, living room with others and we had only 2(!!) bathrooms for 13 people. We were smart and disciplined enough and created a handwritten schedule for the bathroom usage which worked just perfect.
Our charming villa had an amazing pool where we could cool ourselves off after a hot and exciting day in the city. Most of the evenings were spent chilling on the comfy terrace, talking and having a glass of beer or sangria (or both). Yet, we did not waste too much time at the villa as we were going to the city every day to work from the office and explore the great Valencia.
Our charming villa.
For the whole two weeks, we were working from a brand new coworking space in the ‘hippest’ area of Valencia called Ruzafa. We had rented out a separate room in the coworking space but many of us tried the flexibility of the space and changed the working station quite often, as it offered also standing desks and a really nice terrace.
The office looked really good and had some nice features but we really missed the good and free coffee or hot chocolate which we have back in our Scandiweb office. For desperate coffee lovers, the office facility offered a mini-shop with a barista who taught us Spanish since she did not understand English at all. Still, she did not even come close to replacing Eduards for us…
To have free-time together with the team after work we had also aligned to a 9–18 schedule which was an interesting change taking into account our usual flexible hours in Riga. It was a bit of challenge for our sleep-lovers but a great feeling of family-like experience when we need to take showers and lock the house all together =)
Wayco coworking space in Valencia.
The time out of the office
After work we tried to capture as many experiences as possible and live the life of Valencians — having long conversations and a lot of food together with friends as the evening goes by. We often divided into smaller interest groups and went for a paella, vegan burger, and other local goodies or a drink or a sightseeing walk. After the city life it was always nice to return home and chill together for a bit more. Two weeks are just enough to get to know the city and we did manage to see and experience quite a lot in Valencia. Some highlights of the trip were:
1.Oceanographic- the largest complex of its type in Europe. We all visited it one day after work. It was amazing! So many jellyfish, dolphins, crocodiles, flamingo etc.
2. Flamenco show. Art lovers went to see and experience a flamenco show on Friday night. It was truly passionate and beautiful.
- Grape harvesting and stomping tour. We were so lucky it was grape harvesting season and we managed to find a tour and experience wine picking, stomping, tasting + we learned a lot about the winemaking process and had a beautiful 4–5 course lunch with wine pairing. That was a very relaxing and nice Saturday.
- Wandering in Serra Calderona National Park. We were taken by the Spanish land beauty outside of the city. We rented a car and went to a national park in the mountains — it was so so beautiful and green and fresh. The whole day our little mini cooper was taking us off road in the mountains, maybe not the most appropriate car for those roads, but we looked stylish on the road and really enjoyed the ride.
Our great Cooper team.
5. Food tasting. Spain has a nice and interesting kitchen which we were happy to discover. Our vegans tried 3D printed cartoon bacon (literally it looked like that), others tried seafood paella which is a Valencian speciality, we ate a lot of bocadillos (local sandwiches) and of course olives. Usually eating in a cafe in Spain takes around 2 hours, because well, it is Spain and everyone is pretty much relaxed about time.
Valencian paella and sangria for lunch.
6. Katrina Kizenbaha prepared a nice seafood dinner for all of us in our charming villa. And I prepared a sangria for everyone. Food and sangria meant that it was a good evening spent together with the colleagues.
Team dinner at our charming villa.
And of course, we saw some bits and bobs from the city such as the Central Market, central cathedral and other touristy stuff!
It was a great team building trip where we learned a lot about each other, worked a lot, walked a lot, ate a lot and slept not a lot. I believe that each team member received its own portion of personal experience from the trip and altogether it was definitely worth it.
Thank you Vladislavs Pone for the idea and for initiating the Spain Support trip in the first place!
Muchas gracias Valencia!