We recently embarked on our first ever team retreat, to Barcelona nonetheless! After two long years of Covid-19 limiting in person collaboration and bonding, we were keen to get together to celebrate company wins so far this year and co-develop our strategy for the future.
Every 13 weeks at Archangel, we run a creatively named ‘Week 13’, where we bring everyone together for high level company discussions and team discussions on those important topics you never quite get around to in the busy day-to-day. This time, we thought we would take Week 13 to Spain, combine it with a bunch of fun team-building activities and some brightly coloured t-shirts.
We broke the ice (literally!) with a dip in the pool (for the one person who braved it) and a welcome dinner. It was amazing to have everyone sat around the same table, and for some of our newer team mates, a chance to meet some of their colleagues in person for the first time!
On our first full day, fuelled by the excitement of all being together and caffeine, we headed to our co-working space to set the intentions for the week, launched with a session on company vision and strategy by Dan.
After this, we headed to the most famous market in Barcelona, La Boqueria, for a spot of lunch.
In the afternoon we headed to Mosaiccos Studio for a team-building activity of mosaic making where we learned the end to end process, from sketching the design to rendering the final product. We all chipped in and ended up with an Archangel mosaic!
In the evening, we enjoyed a traditional Basque tapas selection.
The next day, our coworking session was focused on lightning talks from the team. The only rule was that the topics could not be work related! This was a brilliant way to find out more about each other and uncover some hidden talents.
We were treated to presentations on a wide range of topics, from a foundation called ‘VenezuelArriba’ set up by our computer vision engineer, Alix, to provide humanitarian relief in Venezuela, to intern Victor’s video game built from scratch, to electrical engineer Liam’s satellite ground station set up in his back garden to retrieve weather data from orbit.
We had lunch at El Nacional food hall before getting the bad news that our afternoon plans of a sailing trip and banana boat ride had been cancelled due to bad weather (though I think some were secretly pleased about the latter). Paul, our licensed drone pilot, was missing his work so much that he brought out a drone flight simulator training program to entertain the team.
Thankfully, the stormy weather did not affect the sangria supply chain and we headed to the beach restaurants for paella and drinks.
On our final day, we broke into smaller teams to discuss those top-level questions we never quite get the chance to dig into and soaked up the last few hours in the beautiful coworking space with an unlimited coffee supply.
For lunch, we had a traditional paella cooking class on a rooftop! Suffice to say, some were more interested in the sangria making part..
We spent our final afternoon on the beach before heading back with full bellies, strengthened friendships and renewed energy.