Earlier this month, Zuddl concluded the second edition of its annual company offsite event, Bonfire, and this time around, the team was much bigger, and so were the festivities!
For a remote workforce like ours, the annual offsite is a rare chance for each of us to get to know the people we’ve otherwise only interacted with virtually.
A four-day event, Bonfire 2022 had all the ingredients of a power-packed event, starting from leadership and strategy sessions to cultural activities, sports and a whole lot of surprises! Now, for someone like me who has been at Zuddl for about six months now, meeting my remote team (and the extended Zuddl family) in person was a very unique experience.
Initially, I didn’t know how it would be; there was this slight anxiety, or curiosity rather, as to whether our smooth virtual relationship with each other would translate seamlessly when we all shared the same physical space and picked up on each other’s non-verbal cues. To my surprise, we seemed to hit it off as if we’ve known each other for years.
Once the event concluded,I thought about how that happened. What have we been doing right to see this beautiful outcome? And, what has been the company’s role in helping us achieve this.
Here's why I feel Bonfire 2022 was proof of a company that has managed to establish a healthy culture in this remote reality!
A sense of belonging
The first sign that you organically fit into a community is the fact that you don’t have to make a visible effort to fit in. This seemed to be the general vibe at Bonfire; a genuine ‘coming together’ of people rather than a forced one.
A self-driven team
Whatever session or activity that was handled by a particular team was done with a very authentic flair; there wasn’t an instance where it felt someone was compelled to take up a chunk of responsibility. That speaks volumes of how Zuddl, as a company, has built an environment that doesn’t introduce a sense of distance between different working elements of the company, or the classic ‘hierarchy’ if you will.
Let’s admit it, we’ve all been to many professional events or gatherings because we were told to be present - almost like the company in question was ‘taking attendance’. In this aspect, Bonfire 2022 was a breath of fresh air because at no point did anyone ever compel any of us to be present for a session or event; they trusted that we would show up on our own. It’s this element of trust that automatically builds a sense of ownership in an employee. I’ve always felt that when there’s a sense of freedom in the environment, it actually induces employees to respect and uphold the liberty harbored.
A joyful environment
Just like every place has a mood, every community does too. The one thing that struck me overall was that there was a shared experience of happiness when awards were announced and a collective sense of celebration when party time set in. Now, I may be more introverted than the normal individual, but I think even the most extroverted butterfly would agree that there are some crowds you click with, and some you don’t.
Thankfully for us, we just clicked - and that’s what made Bonfire 2022 a memorable one!