Relocating a company for a month, every year might sound eccentric. Yet, such is what Mentimeter, a Stockholm-based startup, does.
It’s common for businesses to organize staff retreats. Typical programs, lasting a few days, where employees hang out together. Such may foster teamwork, and improve communication. Some companies, nevertheless, take this idea one step further. Such is the case of Mentimeter and its founder/CEO, Johnny Warström.
Metimeter is a startup based in Stockholm, and founded in 2014. It focuses on developing, and selling, interactive presentation software. Interactions with audiences are done through live quizzes, and polls.
Some years ago, Warström started an out of the box initiative. He decided to completely relocate the company for one month, once a year. Chosen locations are usually in southern Europe, to enjoy the local life and weather. They have included Lisbon (2017), Palermo (2019), and Madrid (2020). This year, staff stayed at a modern apartment complex. It included a gym, and a rooftop pool with an amazing view of the Spanish capital.
The strategy behind relocations
What motivated Warström to do so? Interestingly, the incentives go beyond of promoting wellbeing at the workplace. It’s not an elaborate marketing stunt, either. The CEO believes the practice is key to build a successful company, nowadays. It also fosters innovation. This is why he’s keen on relocating a company for a month, every year. He mentions collective intelligence, and how it increases team performance. This regards a characteristic of high-performing teams. To build it, it’s crucial to develop a climate of trust and communication in organizations.
Warström defends that the international experiences develop the skills above. As he notes, such could be done by workshops too. Yet, the latter’s impact is remarkably small. By living with colleagues abroad, three capacities are developed. These regard a team’s cross-functional cooperation, creativity, and lessons from other cultures.
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