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We sent the entire company to Rome: Here’s why it was good for business

It’s not every day your employer tells you to pack your bags and head to Rome. But that’s exactly what we at Oneflow have just done. We sent the entire company to Italy for 4 days, to sightsee, eat kilo after kilo of pasta, and work on our core values. We also celebrated Oneflow’s 10th anniversary! 

Yes, it was expensive. But here’s why it was invaluable for our business:

  1. Hybrid teams brought together 
  2. Stronger teams are good for business
  3. Teams seeing different sides to each other
  4. Increased employee satisfaction
  5. Valuable exposure on social media

1. Hybrid teams brought together

Like a lot of companies nowadays, we have offices in different countries: Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, the Netherlands and France, to be exact. There are even people who work remotely in other countries, like Turkey and Sri Lanka.

This means that people who work on the same teams sometimes rarely get to see one another. For newbies, it can mean that they’ve never actually met some people they work with closely.

Enter: Rome. By flying everyone to a villa just outside of the Italian capital, hybrid teams were brought together. For some, it was the first time. By bringing together normally hybrid teams, we’ve been able to make sure that everyone has gotten to know one another that little bit better. 

By finding quirks, humor or stories that would normally get no airtime in a meeting or on Slack, our hybrid teams have been able to forge stronger working relationships. But it isn’t only hybrid teams who’ve benefited from our time in Rome.

2. Stronger teams are good for business

When teams are working toward one goal, rather than toward different parts of a common goal, magic happens. That’s why one of our core values is ‘In It Together’. And that’s why our trip to Rome also aimed to put us all in it together. Quite literally, when it came to casting coins into the Trevi Fountain. 

But it also helped create stronger teams within Oneflow. When you hear the words ‘team building’, you probably look back with dread on having to construct “bridges” using paper and sellotape. That’s why our team building consisted of a guided tour around Rome’s most famous sights, and of traditional Italian dinners in picturesque venues. 

We developed our teams in a truly Oneflow way, without making eyes roll after an hour of using paper as Lego. After all, stronger teams not only make for a better working environment, they also make for better business.

Read also: Why company culture is your best weapon in the fight for talent

3. Teams seeing different sides to each other

When it comes to hybrid teams, we can all agree that it’s sometimes difficult to build personal relationships between different members who might be working in different parts of the world. Rome changed that.

By spending four days, and celebrating a decade of Oneflow, together, people were able to see different sides to one another – and discover skills and talents in each other that they might not have otherwise spotted. 

Not only can this increase personal productivity, but it can also lead to more collaboration. For example; a salesperson from our UK team could end up working with a member of our French marketing team on a multimarket project. Had they not clicked in Rome, this might never have happened. 

This is just hypothetical, but it’s a great example of what could happen through the working relationships developed in Rome.

4. Increased employee satisfaction

Anyone would be pretty thrilled about being sent to Rome for free. And that’s one of the many reasons why we’ve made this investment in our people. After all, higher employee satisfaction leads to better work and less churn, both important metrics in a scaleup business like Oneflow.

With less churn, the working relationships developed in Rome are more likely to stay and develop further. Better working relationships lead to better business.

Our trip to Rome also celebrated something more than our 10th anniversary: it celebrated our people. Our CEO Anders Hamnes made that clear when he delivered a speech on our final night there to that effect. 

During their first 90 days on the job, almost a third of employees don’t get any feedback – be that positive or negative. So to have the CEO stand there and praise our people certainly made sure that that isn’t the case here at Oneflow.

Read also: In their own words: Sales professionals on Sales Tech Stacks

5. Valuable exposure on social media

We all know that social media matters for brands, be they B2B or B2C. It’s why $774 million has been spent on TikTok ads alone this year. Those ads were generally created for and targeted to a specific audience. So imagine the overall passive exposure that is continuing to come from our trip to Rome.

The best part is that this exposure is organic, unpaid and entirely driven by our very own people. 

Not only does this exposure boost our brand, it also helps promote Oneflow as a great place to work. After all, a whopping 48% of both Millennials and Gen Zers have applied to jobs they found through social media. 

Through our trip to Rome, we’ve potentially opened the door to a whole pool of talent that might not otherwise have found us. 

As our Rome trip ended up being posted on all sorts of platforms, from Instagram to LinkedIn, it could also create more leads through our people’s networks. Not bad for 4 days in Italy, right?

Our trip was many things. But above all, it was a solid business choice.

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