What this post is about
- In person and in living color
- "We've always done it that way" - not in our Zammad vocabulary
- Celebrating small Wins to achieve Big Goals
- Quality over Quantity
- Until we meet again in 2024
One of our core values at Zammad is 'getting things done together.' Our software is the result of dedicated teamwork, enriched by the valuable contributions of our customers and users. This team spirit is so fundamental to our identity that it is expressed in the name 'Zammad,' which means 'together.'
We take pride in being a 'remote-first' company that successfully fosters collaboration beyond the confines of a shared physical space. However, we are aware that certain aspects of team camaraderie are best nurtured through shared offline moments. This is a significant reason why we come together once a year to learn from each other, enjoy each other's company, and engage in interesting conversations over delicious food—a tradition that has been ongoing for seven years.
This year's offsite held special significance as it provided the opportunity to finally welcome new colleagues in person who had joined Zammad in recent months. It not only served as a perfect occasion for a reunion but also to get to know each other personally. Unfortunately, not everyone from the team could attend. Nevertheless, 22 Zammadians from Lithuania, Croatia, Poland, England, and various parts of Germany gathered for a five-day workation at Schloss Hohenroda. Surrounded by the tranquility of nature, the setting created a unique blend of learning, team-building, and inspiration.
Offsites often tend to be dominated by presentations, speakers and note-taking. We chose an active and creative approach to promote communication and sharpen understanding of our strategy and vision. Above all, we wanted to take the chance to come back together live as a team.
Consequently, we made a conscious effort not to overload our agenda in order to leave enough space for exchange and discussions on important and unimportant topics. Of course, entertainment was not neglected either—whether it was bowling, Wizard Wednesday on Thursday, or a 10 km run at 6:30 in the morning. Once again, it reaffirmed for us how crucial fun at work and the ability to embrace self-irony are.
As our team has grown in recent years, it was time for us to collectively redefine what constitutes good collaboration. We kicked off the week by addressing the following questions: What should a good meeting culture look like, especially in a remote setup? What does agile working mean to us? How do we provide feedback to each other? And how can we further strengthen trust, both internally and in our interactions with customers and users?
As uncomfortable as it may be, challenging the status quo and engaging in self-reflection are essential for progress. The open dialogue created an atmosphere of transparency and trust, fostering a sense of individual responsibility and commitment within the team. Exploring new ways of collaboration and gaining a better understanding of each other's skills and unique strengths were crucial aspects for the growth of our team.
Even though the focus was on strengthening the sense of togetherness, we couldn't help but be productive too. Because, quite honestly, bringing makers and creators together and then not letting them tinker is a cruel idea.
The beauty of a workation is that new impulses arise in different places, and when the soul is in a good place, the brain has more creativity. The truly pleasant atmosphere at Schloss Hohenroda clearly contributed to this and provided a welcome change from the daily grind. This was the perfect setting to celebrate successes, acknowledge individual contributions, and collectively set the course for Zammad's future.
Our commitment to continued growth is firmly anchored in our vision. The future of Zammad and how we shape the path there is influenced by seemingly inconspicuous milestones that are building blocks for bigger things. Whether it's new features, improvements, or enhancements – we will build on what we have achieved this year.
During brainstorming sessions and a full-day hackathon, we put our heads together to figure out how to further improve our software, meeting the ever-changing needs of our customers. What we can reveal so far is that with the release of version 7.0, Zammad will shine in a new light.
The value of an offsite doesn't just stem from the work done on-site but also from the work it enables afterward. Nevertheless, for an event intended to strengthen team cohesion, we accomplished an impressive amount of actual work, including some crucial decisions about Zammad's training offerings and user interface. With clear goals and a strengthened sense of community, we are ready to face upcoming challenges with ease and determination.
Overall, this week has shown us the importance of in-person interaction and how good it feels to see each other live. At the same time, we realize how well we actually know each other and how much we've grown together, even remotely. No matter where we are or how long we "only" see each other through our screens, our team spirit is unparalleled.
We hope to continue the tradition of our annual company offsite. If you're interested in joining us for our next one, we are currently hiring for various positions. Check out our careers page!