CLOUDEON – part of Devoteam is growing. This means expanding organizationally by becoming part of Devoteam and geographically by opening offices in Norway and Sweden. It also means welcoming new people to our existing teams in Vedbæk, Aarhus, Kaunas and Vilnius. And while adding more smart and hardworking people to our teams is unquestionably a good thing, it also means a large part of the employees have never met in person, looked each other in the eyes, or solved a problem together.
Add to that a global pandemic and a work life lived through screens and phones, CLOUDEONs People and Performance department thought that it was high time we all met in person. Lise Olesen, People and Performance Director at CLOUDEON says:
“Thriving and providing great results as an employee largely relies on a solid organizational culture and good, meaningful relations. Seen from the perspective of both People and Performance and management the trip to Vilnius was about getting to know one another, having common experiences, talking to one another, not only formally in meetings - but also informally. Meeting your colleagues in real life and laughing together is essential for all of us. After a trip like this, it becomes far easier to make a call, give feedback, or reach out for help – we now know each other’s names, roles, tasks, a little bit of personal history, and then we’ve also had fun together”.
Monasteries and prisons – Vilnius has it all!
So, in the crisp morning of Friday the 24th of September all the Danish and internationally residing employees boarded planes with destination Vilnius, Lithuania. At the hotel, located directly in the middle of the city center, the travelers were greeted by Neringa Jursyte, Office and People and Performance Coordinator in Lithuania, who led the way to CLOUDEON’s new Vilnius office.
Together with Tatjana Zubkova, who normally works as CLOUDEON’s Process Compliance Manager, Neringa and People and Performance made sure that the REUNEON trip became a mix of educational games, tours, and quizzes, cross cultural bonding, and great fun in the evenings with good food and drinks.
The weekend kicked off with a tour of the Vilnius team’s new office in Bokšto street: an old monastery converted to beautiful modern office spaces while still preserving the grand historic stonework. Friday evening went by at a dinner where everyone mingled and greeted their colleagues from different countries and from Devoteam, and on Saturday morning all REUNEON participants got very engaging guided tours at the historic Lukiškės Prison, just recently closed in 2019. The tour made a significant impression on Andrea Coifman, Senior Data Scientist at CLOUDEON, and it gave her a brand new perspective on the city she lives in:
“What shocked me the most when visiting the prison is that it actually felt very real. Knowing that it was closed just two years ago almost gave me chills. Now that I am living in Vilnius, it is nice to get some knowledge of the history of the city. It really helped me understand the Vilnius more - and to some extend the people that live here. It also surprised me to hear that it was built in the ‘outsides’ of the city - imagine how small Vilnius actually was!”
New games, new friends, and new insights
Andrea also enjoyed getting to know her colleagues better at the orientation activities on Saturday afternoon. The REUNEON planners had sent out participants in small teams to explore Vilnius and solve riddles, and for Andrea:
“The games were the perfect way to get to know people with all backgrounds from the company. I loved how we were matched in the teams, and how we all contributed with our different ideas and actually managed to complete the game in the end! It gave me so many insights on how I should work in a better way with other team members – in that way, it was very educational. And the very best part is that I made couple of new friends, who now I get to have contact with on a regular basis!”
‘The Best Networker of the REUNEON’
Another person who really made friends on the trip is Steen Dragsbæk Kristensen, Customer Engagement Architect at CLOUDEON. Armed with a genuine curiosity for his new colleagues and a big bag of ‘Marianne’-bonbons (“You can only get them at the airport!”), Steen won the REUNEON ‘Best Networker Award’ for meeting everyone with friendliness and interest. He started working at CLOUDEON only three months ago and for him that made the REUNEON even more significant:
“As the new guy on the block, it was amazing to finally meet all of my great, nice, friendly, and fantastic colleagues face to face with no “AI filter” such as seeing each other through Teams. And after this trip I’ll encourage everyone to continue to network, share information, and eat ‘Marianne’!”
All in all, the trip has demonstrated to employees and management alike that even in this new ‘work-from-home’, post pandemic digital work life there is significant value in solving problems together, looking each other in the eyes, and feeling like one team doing the job together.