How the Best Remote COs Get Their Employees Together w/ Chase Warrington
Getting teams together for #irls doesn't mean traveling far to work together. Learn how the best COs craft game-changing experiences
Here's the recap...Why does Doist have probably the best remote culture around? Because they are thoughtful and intentional about every experience. And it doesn't hurt to have Chase Warrington helping lead this experience. In this episode, I finally got to sit down with Chase to geek out about getting the team together. This has been a passion topic of mine recently and he's been quite transparent about the experiences creating and running #irl experiences for his team. This is the 1st of 3 episodes about the topic. We did a real deep dive into what IRLs are, their impact, how often, what to do with them, and so much more. If you or your team are thinking about or planning a company irl, subscribe so you don't miss any of these game-changing posts.
Different IRLs have different purposes 💡
IRLs don't equal company retreats. Yes, getting the entire company together is part of the equation. But it's also about getting teams together. Getting regions together. And getting individual employees together. The company retreat is all about having fun and building relationships. They don't travel around the country/world to do work. Doist uses a 20-30-50 method. 20% work (all hands, team workshops, etc). 80% is play (30% structured events and 50% unstructured. Just do what you want). InVision used this method in 2019 at the IRL I attended and it was fantastic.
Team meetups are a more balanced mix of work & play. Strategy sessions, hackathons, and actual work should make up half or so of the day. Individual meetups are about working together. With the added bonus of doing something fun together. That could be lunch, beers after work, or something similar. Your company should have a policy to encourage the latter.
3 is the magic number 🪄
Not just a lesson we learned as kids but the right number of structured opportunities for your team to meet. One company retreat. One team meetup about 6 months later. And then encouraged and financially backed 1:1 or 1:group meetups around out the third.
Location, location, location 🗺️
The data and feedback have it. Company IRLs should be out in nature and away from the city (but close enough for getting to/from). It ensures groups or individuals don't slip away and do what they want. Because you're getting everyone together for building relationships. Plus nature lets you relax and focus on people. Not which museum to see or club to hit up that night. You want people that have never met and likely never spoken to each other to connect and foster relationships.
For team meetups, cities are the way to go. Your team works together daily. They already know each other and have pre-existing relationships. So it's quite likely the group will not splinter off too much. Most of the team will do activities as a group. Plus these are the opportunities for more active fun.
cott - [03:36 - 03:42]
Good morning Chase. A few years into the making, but happy to finally have you on this half of the screen.
Chase - [03:42 - 03:49]
How's everything going this morning, It does feel like it was, a long time coming, Scott. Good to, good to be here and, excited to chat today.
Scott - [03:49 - 04:23]
Very happy to have you on board today. We've overlapped many times on social media and crossed-posted things, but for me, I think the real interest I had was doing a deep dive into something that you're very passionate about. And I'm, I've been extremely passionate about, especially towards the latter half of the pandemic and IRLs and getting people together. It's something that I think about constantly. To force me out of the house. I went to Berlin for a couple of days a few months ago just to get out and I've been doing that again. So excited to really kind of do a deep dive into that. that's, cool with you.
Chase - [04:23 - 04:49]
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, you mentioned it. This is like, a piece of the whole remote work pie that I'm, I'm most excited about. And, and I think it's crucial, you know, for us, if we're gonna continue to thrive as, as distributed teams, then we've gotta figure out a good IRL strategy, to make it sustainable over the long term. So yeah, man I know it's something that you're really into as well, and, absolutely. I'm sure we'll have plenty to jam on here today.
Scott - [04:49 - 05:26]
Yeah, yeah. So we'll, we'll geek out and do lots of deep dives and all different types of and all that good stuff. The best way to start, I mean, you obviously don't need any introduction, but maybe to give a sense to everyone who's listening, your specific involvement within Doist around IRLs, and I know when we kind of spoke before and before we start recording, the team or the various teams are actually having ILS within like the teams next week. So maybe give us a little of a hint of where people are meeting up and maybe a little, a little pr sneak preview Yeah, you guys can, travel, you know, vicariously through us for the next couple of weeks.
Chase - [05:26 - 06:53]
It's an exciting time. We're, we are just getting ready to jump off into what we call mini-retreats. And I'll, I'll go a little deeper on, the different types of IRLs that we have, but this is one, one form of them that's getting ready to hop off, over the next couple weeks, starting next week. So, very excited about that. We've got teams going all over the place from Turkey to Greece to Paris and, Prague and a handful of other places. So, just, just a lot to, you know, look forward to getting people together. My, my job at Doist, is the head of remote, and so it's kind of interesting because my job is to like, make sure our whole remote work infrastructure works really well, because we're a fully distributed team of like a hundred people in 35 different countries, and that, and that team spans all time zones. So we're, we're very, very distributed. and also hyper asynchronous, which is kind of weird, like we're, we're very far on one side of the asynchronous spectrum, so we meet very rarely, even in the virtual world. we don't do a lot of zoom calls. I just ran a survey recently, 65% of our team is doing less than two hours of meetings per week, and a hundred percent are doing less than eight hours of meetings per week. So like, nobody's doing more than eight hours per week, and more than half the team is, is probably around one hour per week. So we don't do a lot of meetings but we do really think that it's important to come together a couple of times per year and collaborate in person and, and spend time connecting. So it's my job to make sure that all of that works and that the IRL strategy. the in real-life strategy is a core component of the overall remote strategy.
Scott - [07:04 - 07:17]
That, that's awesome. So a quick question is a good chunk of your team, Europe based? Cause it seems like a lot of the IRLs are European located So is there a whole chunk of, folks there?
Chase - [07:17 - 07:34]
Yeah, yeah. You hit the nail on the head. Like about 50% of the team is located within, one or two time zones of each other, centralized around Europe. So, and then we have the rest scattered around the other, time zones around the world.
Scott - [07:34 - 07:57]
That's awesome. I love the idea of also very few meetings. I think the first time I met Amir I know he very much loved to always have, but it super impressed me. like a CEO of a hundred-plus-person company and however much in revenue you guys have. He would show me his calendar and there's one meeting. I'm like, that's awesome, He goes to the next week to be like two meetings. I'm like, that's how you do it. Like, that's, that's super duper impressive.
Chase - [07:57 - 08:59]
Yeah, he sets the tone for us. I mean, it's, it's kind of like baked into our DNA to be very confrontational almost around meetings. Like, does it really have to be a meeting? You know, like e everything should be challenged once or twice before it gets to the meeting stage. and, and that's, I mean, we just kind of all know like they're not that efficient generally. there are a lot of people involved that don't get a lot done during them. I think I read something recently like a statistic from McKinsey that on average if we could, we would opt out of 50% of the meetings we're invited to because we do not think that we should have to be there. Like, we don't see the point in being there. So that's just the tip of the iceberg that 50%. so, you know, it seems, so it's, it kind of seems strange to me sometimes looking outwards and seeing, I hear everybody talking about how brutal meetings are and how much time they're spending in them, yet they continue to do it and, so it's just funny to, to kind of like flip that around and look outside sometimes, but, but yeah, that's, that's a core part of how we work.
Scott - [08:59 - 09:47]
That's awesome. So I guess starting to dive right into the conversation, I think when, if you asked most people what, what is an IRL experience, I think probably most people would say it's a company retreat. And I think there's a lot of holdover and I think we'll get into that. A further question of a company to treat historically was, right, you got everyone to go work from a location that wasn't the office, right? We'll dive into that. But in essence, there are different types of IRLs, and again, it doesn't necessarily have to be the entire company. Maybe give a little bit of insight. What types of opportunities do companies have to get people together, know what are things that you're working on within Doist, whether it's a company level, team level, individual level, or you know, group of people. I would love to hear it and kind of maybe start off with that.
Chase - [09:47 - 10:11]
Definitely. so I mentioned this before, like we, we see this as a very key component of making distributed work, work. Like we, we want everybody to almost always have the opportunity to live where they wanna live, to work from where they wanna work, to design their workday, how they wanna do it, and, and, you know, not follow the traditional, methods of, of going into an office and all the things that come with those, those confines.
Scott - [10:11 - 10:12]
Chase - [10:12 - 11:50]
But A couple, yeah, preaching to the choir. but you know, there's a, there's a couple, there's a space there to bring people together a couple of times per year. And, and, and so we feel like doing that really, really well is worth investing in. like it's, it's not just creating the space and then sending people to go work from the Holiday Inn off of I 95 and, you know, just going to Outback Steakhouse for dinner, it's, let's do this really good. Let's make these impactful. Let's make these things that people look forward to. Let's get really strategic about what they mean for us and, and how they're gonna serve us in the long run. And not just do them just to do them because it's what everybody else is doing. and so that gets into some of the nitty-gritty of like, how do we want to use this time? what emphasis do we want to put on work versus connection versus free time versus, you know, very constructed, curated time? where do we want the locations to be and what do we want those, the reasons for choosing those locations, you know, convenience versus, en enthusiasm and excitement and being a new place, and being a, a place that we've been before and we're familiar with. So we're balancing and, and balancing all these things and thinking critically about all of them. And then we slot those different types of ILS into basically five different buckets, starting with like the most individual, least constructed, constructed times. We have some perks that we provide to reimburse people if they want to go meet up with other teammates. so we wanna encourage in-person interaction, so we'll, we'll subsidize the cost of your trip if you want to go hang out with another teammate and or rent a place to stay and go do a location together or whatever.
Chase - [11:50 - 13:17]
We wanna encourage that. we have mentorship trips, so new hires, I mean, this is critical when people get, when they join a new team, a distributed team, it may be several months before they ever meet one of their teammates face-to-face. And considering we work in a very asynchronous environment day-to-day. I mean, you might not even see somebody on a screen for some time. So, we do mentorship trips. As soon as you're hired, you get sent to spend a week with your mentor and, and get to work and collaborate with them in a co-located setting for a week. We then do, a leadership retreat every year. We bring our whole leadership team together. We just started doing that last year actually for the first time and felt it was a rousing success. Like we're, we'll never go back on that. We should have done it a long time ago. and then we do many retreats, which are the individual teams all going off to their various locations starting next week. And then we have the company retreat, which is, we've rebranded to Doist Connect, which is bringing all 100 people to a central location. each of those has different goals and, and itineraries attached to those goals, but all in all, they're based on, you know, we, we kind of connect everything back to connection. We want it, we want it to be mainly focused on giving people time to connect on a more human level and build that trust and psychological safety that they might lack getting in the distributed world where we typically work.
Scott - [13:17 - 14:18]
There's so much, so much good to there. And there is probably a list of now 15 questions, but I'll go one by one. I think you created an idea for the next time I have you back on the podcast about this. which is actually very fascinating to me. I would love, again, not for today, the mentorship trip, right? Because there was so many, so much talk about the lack of onboarding in remote environments. And again, I had Andrew, I think maybe in the second episode ever of the show talking about the onboarding that you do and, you know, learning development, it's lacking and because, you know, people missing the office and looking over your shoulder. Cause I don't know how through osmosis you were supposed to be able to learn by looking over someone's shoulder, but again, not for today. but there are so many, again, different things for, for, again, for another time, but maybe focusing on today. You mentioned there are different types and leadership and things like that. We'll start off maybe with a simple question, right? If there is a simple question, maybe yes, maybe no, but what do you think is the right number of opportunities for a team to get together or for people to get together each year?
Chase - [14:18 - 15:53]
I, I do think it depends, and that's an easy cop-out, but, I think it depends on a couple of things. One is obviously the desire to bring people together. We actually surveyed our team and they're very firm. It was overwhelmingly obvious. Two per year is the right number. so six, six every six months essentially we have a get-together. That's the right balance between getting people together, giving them that time as a team, but also giving everybody their space to manage their life, how they wanna manage it. And that's, that's part of one of the big perks of remote work that we don't want to deteriorate by throwing a bunch of obligations to travel around the world. Another is like dis distribution, right? Like we're very distributed with, you know, I mean, a hundred people might sound like a lot of people to some, but, but to many, it's, it's not, you know, it's a relatively small team, yet we're distributed across every single time zone in 35 countries. You know, we don't have, although we do have a core in the European time zones, it's still, it's still pretty distributed. So bringing people from Australia up to Europe three or four times a year is quite a tax on them. and to leave them out of those experiences because it's too much travel is, is also unfair. and then I think the third one is like to what degree is being together, serving your business needs? we're, we're set up to run as an asynchronous team. Like we actually struggle, and it's something I would love to pick your brain on, is like, we actually struggle to make these events super, super productive in terms of like, work, in terms of like actually getting stuff done that we feel drives the bottom line.
Chase - [15:53 - 16:17]
So that's why we see them as more about building time to connect. And we don't feel that we need to do that 3, 4, 5 times a year. And it doesn't make business sense. They're quite hefty investments financially. so we don't think it makes a lot of business sense to invest in them multiple times per year when we're set up to run as such an asynchronous organization. That may not be the case for everybody. Like again, we're pretty far on one end of the spectrum in that regard.
Scott - [16:17 - 16:36]
I completely agree. two questions I wanted to pull out there. Number one, for the idea that the team has given you two, so I just wanted to clarify for people listening, that's a total of two. That could be one company retreat and one team get-together, or that's too company retreats, then maybe the team gets together. So just wanted to clarify that point first.
Chase - [16:36 - 16:53]
Yeah, good point. so we do, we do one company retreat, which we call DOIs Connect, which is the whole company coming to one location. And then about six months later, we do the team mini-retreats, where like, you know, so the marketing team will go to one place and the Apple team will go to another and et cetera.
Scott - [16:53 - 18:03]
Okay. Yeah, I just wanted to clarify the point. So thank you so much. Second, I don't know how much you've dealt with this. At Invision we saw the same thing where certain people either weren't able to come to an IRL or again had some kind of limitations that they, for whatever reason they weren't able to attend. But in sense it's like, hey, they're kind of missing out on something, you know, so isn't there this thought of, you know, people again who can't travel or whatever the reason is of kind of giving them some kind of compensation in return for, again, maybe it would've cost you from Australia would've cost you, I don't know, 15 grand or 10 grand to bring you and, and do all those things. Hey, no, we'll give you $2,500 to go travel no somewhere close to you and kind of do something. Or again, maybe invest more in, hey, maybe go meet if there's somebody in Singapore and you haven't been to Singapore and you want to go know travel to, to be with that person. it's, cause are you thinking about this or whats, what do you guys do when it comes to maybe those times where people can't come because they specifically can't come or maybe they choose not to travel from Australia all the way to Europe cuz they can't sit on a plane flight that long like me.
Chase - [18:03 - 19:22]
This, this especially came became true with, with Covid, even as the more intense days of, of Covid were waning, you still had people that were, you know, they're hesitant to travel or their, the restrictions in their country made it, just pretty cumbersome and they didn't really want to deal with it. some people got cold feet at the last moment. The idea of suddenly being in a group of a hundred people and they've been isolated for a long time, got scary. So we really wanted to think hard about this because then on top of that, you have all the other stuff that you just mentioned and family obligations and, and things that just come up. We have definitely thought about this a couple of points. I guess. One is that we created a, I don't know if to call it a perk is the right thing, but a guideline basically where if you couldn't come to the retreat for something out of your hands like covid would be a good thing. Or if you broke your leg and didn't want to travel or whatever it might be. but something happened where you weren't, you weren't able to come. like you truly just were not gonna be able to come. It wasn't a decision you made. Then we divert the funds that we had set aside for you to come to the retreat so that you can go visit another Doister at some point throughout the following six months. So between that retreat and the next, basically we have retreats happening every six months, between those two, if you want to go visit another teammate. You have the funds set aside to go do that.
Chase - [19:22 - 20:32]
So we'll fund that. The other thing is like we, we thought a lot about, people with young children, it's particularly hard for families with, with children and you know, especially the younger ones, to leave your partner behind or something like that. So we set aside a perk for you, a daily stipend to cover additional, family expenses. So you could, your, your partner could, you know, order food in or hire a nanny or something like that while you're away. and then we also wanted to think about the people who just chose not to come. and we try to do a little something for them. So like for example, we have, a team that's gonna be all getting together. One of their teammates just, it was too far for them. They had some other family things kind of going on, they could have made it, but they decided not to. we're diverting a small percentage of the funds for the retreat to them so they can, you know, go out for dinner with their family or a couple of friends and enjoy a social evening together on the company. it's, it actually is cost the company less than it would have to bring them there obviously. And just shows them that, you know, we're still thinking about them and caring about them and hoping that they have a slightly better week than normal as well.
Scott - [20:32 - 21:58]
I think there's, there's a few points here that you brought out, which I think are super critical for people listening. It's when planning these things of right, thinking outside the box when normally we think about expenses, it's okay, no travel to the airport, travel from the airport, no things like that. But as you said, like people with kids, right? I have, I have four, four young kids at home and yes, so then the extra burden when I went to the Invision IRL fell on my wife. So having that opportunity of saying, yes, no, we understand that we understand the extra burden of, of not having the extra hands at home and we wanna support you and support your family and thinking about yes, no stipend for food taken or for, for babysitters or something to again, help and, and make that both pack hole. But certainly, the person who's coming right can be impacted that okay, they know they left behind and like the spouse is struggling a little bit more and to kind of even ease both sides, right, of the relationship's mind, is I think is a beautiful idea. And also the people who choose not to come, it's say, sorry, you chose not to come, okay, no your loss. But even thinking, hey again, we want to at least sweeten some experience for you in having the opportunity to get together. I love again that idea of maybe people who couldn't come, maybe cuz of Covid. I had Jacob Knuten from Butter, I think last season. And we started off I think talking about IRLs cause he had just finished one and he had mentioned it was something very interesting. He had a group of people on his team, I think from the Gulf region. and I think where they went, I think might have been Amsterdam or wherever it was in Europe. I think there was some visa trouble.
Scott - [21:58 - 22:40]
So a number of the people c couldn't get there. So he, the organization hosted a kind of gulf region IRL just for those group of people. And again, trying to reiterate that point of, hey, you couldn't make it right. It's not, sorry, not tough luck, but we care about you and we want you to have the opportunity to spend time with colleagues and build those relationships. So hey, we're gonna kind of think outside the box and still trying to figure out a way to again get you that, that in real life experience, which again, for people who are listening, just kinda like hit that nail again like over and over. Like that point of again, thinking outside the box and giving everyone the opportunity for the experience, people who can, who can't and, and all those things like that I think is, extremely, extremely important.
Chase - [22:40 - 24:01]
Yeah, I mean, inclusivity is so vital in these situations. You, you have to think about it from the standpoint of like, if you were working in a co-located office every day, like the traditional business would be and you miss the company happy hour or even like the once-a-year Christmas party or something like that. Like, you're gonna go back to work the next week and see those people again. And so you've got 300 days a year to build that social capital. Not that we're not building social capital virtually anyway. We are, it's, it's just that this is a key piece of that pie. And if you miss it and you only have two opportunities, like we're talking 10 days per year to be with your team, that, that matters more. And so you have to really think about inclusivity and, and making sure that everyone feels like they had a real chance to, to get there. And then I think on the flip side of that, you have to make all of these optional, like completely guilt-free, optional. Your career is not gonna be impacted if you decide not to come. You have to truly want to come, and be willing to make the effort. If you don't, that's totally fine. Like we, we generally, we genuinely don't care if you decide it's, this just isn't for me, we have, we have several people that they're just like, look, I'm, I'm an introvert. It's, I got young kids, whatever the reason is, it's just not for me. And, so both those things have to be, have to be true. I think.
Scott - [24:01 - 25:20]
I couldn't agree more. And I think also that sense of flexibility and I think one of the things I experienced during the InVision IRL. I just can't sit on a plane that long. I don't sleep on planes. It's literally torture even to go to Berlin. So the company was very supportive. Cause I think there's a direct flight from Tel Aviv to San Francisco. There might also be one to Las Vegas. So IRL was in Phoenix. so in theory I could have flown straight to either Las Vegas or San Francisco and then down to Phoenix. No! The max I can sit is to New York. So they were supportive of, "Hey, fly to New York. Take a couple of days and then fly separately from New York to Phoenix." if it's literally the difference like I'm just not gonna make it. I can't sit that long. a perfect layout for the next question. I know this whole episode is about I R L and getting together in real life, but I think it would be ais and you've, you've hit it perfectly of that sense of the virtual relationship building, which for me is like as crucial as the real life, get together and time spent because right, you get together, let's say three times a year, right? As a company is, it is a team, and then individually you meet up one time a year, that's three times a year. Or even if you throw the third time away, that's two times a year, every six months.
Scott - [25:20 - 26:01]
What do you do in between those? And like that virtual building is so important to kind of reinforce the time that you spend together now that you have deeper connection and like you're excited and have like the energy of how do you continue that in a virtual way and then how does that kind of lead up to the next opportunity that, that you get to. So I'd love to hear a little bit more about what you guys do and what you guys are thinking about, and what teams should be thinking about for the sense of virtual. So, okay, hey, we're gonna do IRLs. we're gonna get people together in real life, but that doesn't mean we don't do anything on the virtual side. Like what does that look like? Is it a virtual IRL. which I know we're quite popular during the pandemic for, for obvious reasons, or is it just again, like weekly team building and games and funds and things like that? Would love to hear what you're thinking.
Chase - [26:01 - 27:34]
Yeah, we look at the retreats as kind of like bookends and, and events that are gonna pay dividends over the next six months. So we, we come together, we're in person and then we kind of expect that we'll connect the dots with these other types of activities that you mentioned in between. and, and both are equally as important as you said. Like, we're, we're together two weeks out of the year and then we're working virtually the other 50, so we gotta get the other 50, right? If we're, if we're gonna put so much emphasis on the, on the two that we're together, we better be good at the other 50 also. so one of the first things that I think is important to clarify, and at least for us, the, the very tangible decision that we made is that we're, we're gonna see culture and connection as much about work as it is about the other stuff that some people might associate with culture and connection. Like, you know, the equivalent of the Zoom happy hour or games or whatever it might be. we do that, we do those things and there's some, there's some importance there. But step one was identifying that we were okay with saying, you know, we're a team, not a family. the work is what actually unites us and binds us together, like very legitimately, very, very, you know, tangibly speaking. That's the reason that we're actually working together. And so we want to build out a really great system for facilitating awesome collaborative work together with people from around the world, people working on stuff that's new and exciting to them all the time. And then really facilitating that in a way that allows them to connect on a personal level and, and around the work that they're doing.
Chase - [27:34 - 29:07]
So that was kind of step number one and I think is important to clarify. and then we move down the ladder towards activities, which kind of fall into two buckets. Virtual and synchronous and then virtual and asynchronous. so we have a variety of activities and events going on every month. We created a social calendar, where every few weeks there's an opportunity to join a live session that's also recorded and transcribed for people that, you know, may not be able to make it or at outline time zones. We try to vary the time zones so people from all around can join. but those are a variety of different, activities that give people a chance to, you know, work out together or cook a meal together or listen to someone give kind of like a TED talk and then discuss that. we have activities that are focused on bringing in third parties to lead us in activities which will like, help facilitate better bonding or better teamwork or, or whatever. and then we have a bunch of asynchronous stuff going on too, like, like that really works well with the way that we work, trivia games and two truths and a lie. And, we have like a lot of bots that have been built in Twist, which is where we collaborate that, that, you know, in, in, they get people to mention like what's going on in their life, what they did over the weekend, celebrating people's birthdays, things like that. So you can infuse that stuff into an async world. I think there's probably a little bit of a misconception that you think about asynchronous work, you just kind of think about people working in their silos alone in their bedroom, you know, just like typing away like a robot on their computer. We've done a really good job of making people feel human and connected. And, and, and that's why, you know, I mean you see that reflected in employee satisfaction. You see it reflected in retention. so all of this is, you know, very important.
Scott - [29:22 - 30:42]
couldn't agree more, especially the last points of my previous role that the two teams that were running, we ran kind of the work stuff asynchronous by default. So team meetings and one-on-ones and things like the work portion were always one-on-one. it was always asynchronous, but I kept the calendar invite always there and we used that for synchronous time and, and relationship building. So teams, like, we played games, we did no show and tells, we did the kind of things that you were speaking about, the one-on-ones, it was very much of like, Hey, chase, how's it going? Like, how was your weekend? Yeah. Did you meet the soccer team again, more focused on personal relationships, professional development, and things like that. which again, are super important to make sure that you still have that time? And we do like coworking hours or half an hour, just people join, you, join, you, join, you don't join, you come in, you come late, whatever. It was just having that opportunity for people to get together and spend time together in, in the fashion that they won. but let's, let's now, let's, let's start to geek out. Let's really get into the details. Now, we kind of glossed over this first question I have earlier, and I think it's maybe probably the most important question we're gonna hit. So we'll start, we'll throw it out front. Your team's getting together, all right? You're doing company reach retreats. you're doing IRLs. what the heck do you do with these things, right? Again, when the old history is, it started off right, a company you retreat was okay, the whole team went to someplace to go do work the whole time you're there. And that's, we're gonna get into whether people should be doing that or not, and is there a difference in what you do, whether it's the entire company getting together versus the entire team getting together, or individuals getting together. So let's, let's start there.
Chase - [30:56 - 32:33]
Oh, I love this. I think there's a science here. I've actually tried to like really quantify this because, as we touched on earlier, like these are massive investments, not just in terms of finances, which they are, that also, but like time and energy, and, and the fact that you're pulling people out of their day-to-day for two weeks out of the year, like it, there's, there's an opportunity cost there if you don't get it right. So, all in all, getting this right is extremely critical for any team that's gonna venture down the path of investing in them. and, and so the way that we defined it and again, coming back to like the way that we work, very asynchronous, very few meetings in general, because of that, we also feel like we can get our work done very well, like at a very high level in, in a very productive level in the async world. So we actually struggle to make them very productive in terms of like just coming together, working even when we do workshops and brainstorming, and, and things like that. There is value add there for sure. We get something out of the work time, but it's not as valuable as some people might think in terms of just purely getting things done. there's, and, and there can actually be like a little bit of a negative cost or reverse cost to this if you start to think that the offsite is where work's gonna get done, you know, a picture yourself like one month before the offsite and that inclination too, well, let's just wait until we're co-located to, to get that, to figure that out, that that mindset can be toxic.
And I don't know if you've seen that before, Scott, but that I've, I've witnessed that and so we wanted to mitigate against it.
Scott - [32:38 - 34:03]
Yeah, I think absolutely it's, for me it's the same idea, right? If you're gonna travel for an IRL, it's the same con to do work. It's the same concept of commuting 60 minutes to sit on Zoom calls all day. Like there's just no point And if I had that opportunity right in, in, in Phoenix and I thought I'll, you know, give some history to envision. So Envision did two company retreats, entire company retreats, the first one I'm gonna get to attend. But that one was very much focused on working together and meeting with customers and, and very work focused, right? The company did pulse surveys and asked like for feedback after the event. And it was very, very, very clear we didn't travel all around the world to come work together, right? We're working together virtually every day. We spend together time together every day. This is not the purpose of why we're coming here. We want to sit with people, we wanna build relationships. Like that's, that's the point of traveling wherever you're traveling from is to build relationships. And the company really understood that and took that and did a fantastic job on the second one in Phoenix that I attended. then again, we'll dive into a little bit more of, most of the focus was on not working, right? Just relationship-building structure time. And like, again, we'll talk about like the 50-30-20 idea. but spending time together and whether that was a structured way, whether that was an unstructured way, it's like that's what you're coming here from because you work together, you collaborate, you're doing these things every day anyway, that, that's not what the whole purpose of getting people to, to together in person was.
Scott - [34:03 - 34:31]
So I think even at Invision, we clearly saw the impact of making that mistake the first. time of trying to focus more on work. cuz for me, if even the one that I went to if I knew we were gonna do work there the whole time, I'm not flying whatever, 18 hours on the other side of the planet to go do work. Like, all right, I could just do work for home. Like I even, so that takes the motivation and like that energy out of the travel and the experience because it's for the wrong reason.
Chase - [34:31 - 36:03]
Yep. Yeah. It's rooted in the wrong reason to totally agree. so, so the way that we've defined this, you know, is we, we created what we called the 20-30-50 rule. which basically is 20%. We want our itineraries to more or less reflect 20% work, 30% structured activities, and 50% unstructured free time. I would understand if someone heard that and said, "wait 50%," You're just doing nothing 50% of the time? And, and to be clear on that, like you're, you're looking at an itinerary and you're basically saying, I want 50% of the time to be structured and the other 50% for people to be human, do what they want to do in those moments. We provide options, we give them suggestions, we have activities or things there for them to choose to do if they want to do them. but we want people to have the space to just sit and be humans with their other, with their fellow humans, you know, and, and get to know each other. And it's b it's amazing what comes from that. In one of my first retreats with Doist, I ended up, sitting with who's now our head of support at the time, and it's become one of my best friends at the company. And like we had, he worked on the support tea. I worked in the business development, business development team. We had no real meet reason to talk or collaborate, but we ended up just sitting for a while talking. We came up with some amazing ideas which ended up being implemented later. we had another story this year that, that, and I should say, and that, you know, that relationship has grown as we've both moved up throughout the organization.
Chase - [36:03 - 36:59]
That relationship has turned into some, some pretty, exciting changes that have happened at, at du us. I watched another group of guys this year in our past retreat. A bunch of backend developers, they had some free time and they ended up going to this room and coding and actually building something, together that they just had a, like they were at a, in a hotel room there and just totally not work-related, but just went and had a blast and got to know each other. Like they would never really have the chance to work together otherwise. These serendipitous moments are sort of what this thing's all about. I think it's just really important to carve out lots of time for those because that is what you absolutely can't get, or is very, very difficult to get in the virtual world. And that's what we're optimizing these for is like, what can you not get in the virtual world that, that you can get IRL because you can get work done in both and there's space to for getting your regular work done in, in these retreats, but it's not optimized for that, You know, a hundred percent.
Scott - [36:59 - 38:05]
I had the same experience. The most impactful opportunity for me at the company IRLwere the fireplace side chats. We were in Phoenix in February, so it was kind of cold at night. It was probably not the right term, but they have different like couches with no fire pits set up, and just to sit there right next to a fire, drinking a beer with somebody I know, somebody you don't know, and just having a conversation, like those are probably the most impactful moments for me. The theme of the IRL that we had was camp, like going back to camp. So as you said, there was always camp fun things and we were at a place that had like all the amenities to do things all day long. But again, much of that structure was around, there's stuff here to do if you wanna do it, but we kind of leave that opportunity to you to decide, you know, what you wanna do and who you wanna do it with. and that works very well as a company. So now maybe a little bit of a focus on a team, like do we see a little bit of a difference now when a specific team gets together? I think the support team is probably better than a hundred percent. Anyone else?
Scott - [38:12 - 38:42]
Yeah, sorry, it looks like there was a little bit of a delay, but in essence, like a support team, right? That you can't close down support for a week. So there in theory has to be some type of work that's going on maybe with sales as well. So do we see a different equation when it comes to teams? And I think certainly when it comes to individuals. you're probably not paying for someone to go travel to someone else, just again, kind of sit at a bar, sit to lunch and, you know, have coffees all day versus, you know, co-working for the day, but also going to lunch and dinner and, you know, maybe drinks afterward.
Chase - [38:42 - 40:07]
Yeah, absolutely. I, I lost you for a little bit during the question, so I'm gonna, I I think I understood most of it though. the, so couple things. One is when it comes to the support team, it's a little bit separate from the direct question. but I think it's really important for your customer-facing teams to really think about how you're gonna make this experience positive for them. it's not a really fun experience when your whole support team's working throughout the entire retreat, that's a pretty miserable experience for them. It's also not great for them when they have to return to an overflow of tickets and have, you know, two, three months of backlog sitting ahead of them, because they sat out for a week. So you have to really rethink that. we, I'm glad to dive deeper into that. We came up with like a whole strategy for how to insulate them from that. but, but more specifically to your question, like, so when we do our mini retreats, which are more like team offsites where you actually are trying to get some work done, and we, we do put a bit more emphasis on, on those teams trying to get something done. They're usually trying to solve one or two major challenges that they're facing. They do a lot of focus on knowledge sharing, you know, working together on things that they don't normally get to sync up on. And, but we still try to keep a good balance between, you know, we, we make sure that they're not five-day hackathons either where they're just like grinding it out for four or five days.
Chase - [40:07 - 40:49]
We want people to go on them, focus on connection first and getting work done second, and then, but, but walking away with something pretty tangibly, positive that impacts their team and generally what these lead to are, pushing over a major hurdle, like something that's really been blocking them that they just haven't been able to jam on together in, in the synchronous world and, and fight through something or working through, a series of smaller roadblocks that they feel like have been just keeping them from hitting at peak efficiency. and then the third one is knowledge exchange. Like they do a lot, they spend a lot of time sharing their learnings, creating ideas about how they can work together as a better, more functional team, and then implementing those strategies afterward.
Scott - [40:49 - 42:19]
No, I love that. last, as we kinda spoke earlier, the last company retreat was in the very dreamy from the pictures Austrian Alps. the one that's upcoming later, I guess this year is in Tuscany, which obviously the thought of drinking wine all day and, and eating pasta is also quite dreamy For, again, I wanna try to help people understand, like, these are very called rural right out of, out of urban areas, very scenic. but very focused away from the urban areas. And I think this is something important for people who are listening. we're thinking about what's the right place, I guess probably you wanna pull your, your team, but do we get people together in a city like Lisbon where there's so much to do museums and restaurants and bars and all that stuff, but that potentially opens the opportunity where there's more fragmentation because you can kind of escape and people can kind of go on their own and then it kind of removes the opportunity for people to kind of build relationships. Or on the other hand, you go to the Austrian, now you go somewhere where more rural war, okay, everyone's kind of in one place, there's nowhere else to go. And there's maybe, I don't wanna say less to do, but again, there's more of that emphasis on, hey, everyone's here as a team. We're here together and we're building more relationships as a team. So we'd kind of love to hear your thinking on why the locations have been chosen that you've chosen for the team and what companies could be thinking about whether or not going to a city or going to maybe like a more rural area and like what the maybe pros and cons of, of both are.
Chase - [42:19 - 43:47]
Yeah, I thought a lot about this and, I can, there was an experience that we had that really shed some light on this for me. So one time we did a split retreat. We went to Santiago, Chile for half the week, and then we flew down to the south of Chile near Patagonia for the second half. And so one was very like, you know, right in the middle of a massive urban center at a fancy hotel. And the other one was at more of like a lodge, look overlooking a lake where we did like campfires and, and, you know, went and saw waterfalls and stuff. And the feedback on that retreat was very clear that the one down in the part down in the south was the highlight of all of our retreat experiences to that point. nothing against Santiago at all, it was just that people really, really loved that time together. And some quotes that might have like exemplified that was like, we were just in a place and we just got to hang out and be, you know, just like be as a team. And so when I started thinking about rethinking our whole retreat strategy after the pandemic started to bring people back together again, I really went back to that and reviewed the feedback from everybody. It was just clear, that that was something that they really liked. I also saw that in other retreat surveys where it was like, you know, we had been in Athens, Greece, but we had gone out like sailing all day. And so there was this real enthusiasm for like, activities that brought us back to nature a little bit and, and things like that.
Chase - [43:47 - 45:09]
And I heard that over and over again from the Austrian Alps trip where people were like, you know, nature brings out the best in us, or we just had space to just hang out and just be, and, and not, and not feel like we had to go do something to entertain ourselves. It was just about being together. So when we centered the focus of these retreats on connection, it kept taking me to places like this that said, you know, there's ob obviously a subset of people who really love urban centers or the museums and, and, and want some of that. So I try to infuse some of that into the strategy as well. by picking locations that are within a relatively easy distance to a major city. obviously you need a major airport pretty close by, and I've kind of drawn a circumference of around an hour and a half to maybe two hours at the very most from a major airport. so people have that opportunity. We also let people come in a day or two early and stay a day or two afterward, depending on how far they have to travel. So some people have, have the chance to stay in those cities. And then also, like this year we're gonna do for example, a day trip to Florence. We're only 30 minutes from Florence, so we'll be going into Florence for a full day and spending some time there and getting that fix as well. So you wanna try to please everyone? You won't, you'll fail at that if you, if you, put too much emphasis on it, or, or probably either way, but try to accommodate all the needs and, and provide both, so much goodness here.
Scott - [45:09 - 45:50]
And I love your statement of the feedback of 'just be.' I think unfortunately the world, the way we've come, it's always about always have to be hustling. We always have to be doing, we always have to be building. It's nice just to take a break, right? And just sit and just relax. It makes a lot of sense that somewhere in nature allows you to be doing that, versus I think if you're in the city, okay, now I'm in the city, I'm only here once, I gotta go see this and I gotta see that and I gotta do all these things and you know, check off all the boxes versus if you're just nature, right? You're just there, right? Just, there are not the things to do, but gives you that opportunity to say, okay, and you don't, you don't have to go, you don't have to hustle. You don't have to do just sit, relax and kind of know, spend time with each other.
Chase - [45:50 - 47:21]
Less is more in these cases, I think. and, and I, I mean, you hear that in the feedback, more and more. And, and I know people are, you know, another thing, this isn't the point, but it's a, it's a, I guess a perk of that strategy as well is that, you know, a lot of people are, are tightening the belt right now. They're thinking about how to be more fiscally responsible, and these are big, these are major expenses. I mean, any, any savings that you might have recouped by, you know, not having an office and those expenses you probably spend on, on these events, right? So like, they're, they're, they're hefty investments and a lot of people are thinking twice about whether or not they're gonna do things like this. If you go to a place like that, where your activity is going on a hike, which is free instead of, you know, going to a, a show at a theater or visit even visiting a museum or something, like all these expenses add up quite a bit. And again, when you find that people are really just reflecting on the fact that they just want to be and, and, and have some of those activities to bond around, like going for a hike for example, then, you know, then I, I think it can be a win-win. You obviously have to like, if you're going to places like this, you do have to recognize that it's not, you know, you, it can't be like a, an outdoors person's adventure camp. You know, like you have to think about infusing cerebral activities and, and you know, I've, I've talked a lot about the fun sides of this, but like we did a hackathon for example, and we have amass and workshops and collaborative sessions where we are getting stuff done, but in a very collaborative manner. So you have to, you have to feed all sides of the brain in that way. But, it's not all about just going to big cities and seeing sites and stuff. I find, especially after Covid, I think people are, are really focused on that just being and, and enjoying and, and thinking less is more.
Scott - [47:36 - 49:06]
Yeah. So you, you jumped at questions a little bit, but so we're gonna maybe cut swing back to, to, to this question, but one of the things that I also think is something that isn't thought about enough, especially when it comes to IRLs. You got everyone in one location, everyone in the Austrian Alps, everyone wherever may be, but human beings are human beings. And we're social creatures, yes. But we tend to rely on packs. And so if I'm on the support team, the people I'm probably going to spend most of my time with are the support people. I saw this at the Invision IRL. For me it was fascinating. It is a sociological experiment that every one of the meals and every team sat siloed together, right? So your APAC sales team was an APAC sales team, and your iOS team was your iOS team. And me either because I'm an extrovert, or probably more likely because I was the first hire there and literally everyone except for the two co-founders came after me and I didn't have any interaction with probably 90% of the people that were there. I refused to sit with my team at any meal. So every meal I went to and I sat at a different table because I knew if it wasn't for this opportunity, I would never meet these people. I would never have a conversation with these people. And my team gave me a hard time. We're like, listen, Scott, like why aren't you sitting with us? I'm like, I talk to you every day. I know you, all these people here, I have no idea who they are. So I think, again, that's something that can be often missed of like, Hey, we got everyone together and all of a sudden like mixing and mingling is just automatically going to happen, but it doesn't. So like, what should companies and people who are organizing these events be thinking about it? How do you get people to meet other people when, again, the tendency is, Hey, I'm going to kind of sit and talk to the people I already know on a day-to-day basis?
Chase - [49:22 - 50:37]
Yeah, I, I love this question, and it's something I think about a lot because it, you're, it's a missed opportunity if you, if you don't give people the chance and you, and you're, it's not just giving them the chance. You have to curate it in a lot of ways because as you said, the natural tendency is to go isolate with the team that you already know. and I think that it gets exasperated the bigger the company gets, like, at a vision. I mean, I can imagine how you walk into a room with a thousand people. You're, you're very likely to go hover with the group that you already have a connection with. it's daunting, you know, like, even, even for extroverts. and a lot of people aren't extroverts. So, there are a couple of things. Like one of the concepts that we tried to infuse was a lot of optionalities. So not just options over whether or not you wanted to come to the retreat, but then once you're in the retreat, there are a lot of options on what you'd like to do. So like every afternoon we'll have three different options for people to do actually four. because the fourth option is to do nothing. And that's, that's heavily encouraged. And a lot of people will choose that option. Say, I'm not gonna go on the hike or the paddle boarding tour or the museum tour. I'm gonna just hang out and, you know, go, go have a beer with my buddy over here, and, and that, and that's totally fine too. Or go rest in my room because I'm exhausted. cuz I'm not used to hanging out with so many people all the time anymore, So whatever, whatever you choose.
Chase - [50:37 - 52:02]
But we, we give, by giving people those three activity options, what you're doing is breaking the bigger group down into smaller groups, which I think smaller groups of like less than 10 to 20 is, is really good for giving people the opportunity to connect better. And then they're choosing to do things that they're naturally interested in, which means you're automatically set in a group of people that you have something in common with. So going back to the hiking example, if you chose to go on the hike that afternoon versus going on the museum tour, there's a fair likelihood that you have something in common with the people on the hike versus the people that went to the museum. the other thing is like small tables at meals. So getting the tables down to as small as you possibly can, four to six people, eight people maybe, is really good because it forces teams to break up and to go sit with other people. And then we infuse some things like, like some of our workshops, activities, things like that from a work standpoint, specifically had people cross collaborating with people from other teams. And we also infused that into some of the social stuff. we played a game of, word assassin throughout the week, which really ended up being a huge highlight of the retreat, oddly enough. And, but that forced people. You were, you were paired with someone who didn't know that you were paired with them and you had to, you were forced to go up and talk to them. And we made sure that people weren't paired with people from their own teams. so, but yeah, just, I mean, being intentional about all of this is, is the key. there are a million different ways you could slice and dice it, but I think being intentional about creating those smaller groups and forcing people to, to connect if that's your intention with these is really important and worth the effort.
Scott - [52:13 - 53:31]
Oh, that's, that's a lot of very good stuff. I think I'm recording another episode later, on the same topic. And I think what they had used in, in the past was the idea of assigned seating at meals, right? So every meal you were assigned at a different table, and it was also very specific to make sure that teams didn't sit together where you were kind of forced to sit with people in other teams, you know, outside of your, your core team. So I think all these ideas, again, the word intentionality, if you're intentional of getting people together, that's like the crux there. So one of the, one of the focus now on, right, this is a, a heavy, investment, heavy investment in potential money. And again, I'm gonna have a follow-up question to that, but you wanted, everything to be returned on investment and we understand the impact that, time together has. And I know you had a great post, on LinkedIn that I've personally used in a couple of my newsletters and different things, and social media. Tell us about the impact that you've seen, actual numbers, actual specific feedback from people on the team of what the experience was and what impact and how that translated into engaged more happiness or more engagement or higher productivity, or again, reducing churn in, in employees. Would love to again hear truly from the people who are listening, what impact comes out of doing an IRL and doing it the right way.
Chase - [53:31 - 55:07]
I hope we'll get even better at this, Scott, because like, I, I think there's still a lot of room for improvement, in terms of how we measure this, you know, scientifically and be able to back it up. But we have pretty strong indicators from, pre and post-retreat surveys. We do various touchpoints throughout the year to kind of measure employee engagement and satisfaction. our retention, our employee retention hovers in the 90% range, and our employee satisfaction does as well. which are, you know, by industry standards, both, both very high and, and those appear extremely high right around the times of IRL interactions. So it's always interesting to see that, that bump, but I can't honestly say those numbers are, are, you know, pretty standard, throughout the course of the year anyway. So what we do is after the survey or after the retreat, we send out a survey of, various questions. And some of the things we're trying to measure are like connectivity to the connection that people feel to their teammates on an individual level, on a, on a, on a more macro level, the connection people feel to our course, core values and mission statement. one of the things we try to infuse throughout the week is, is reinforcing our core values and mission statement. an example of that is like when we did our hackathon, it was all based around building something connected to our mission statement. and so teams had a finite amount of time to build something and present it that connected to our mission statement, which is to build the future of work. So we're, we're trying to measure the way people feel connected to those things. to their teammates, to the things that we care about as a company.
Chase - [55:07 - 55:42]
And, and then also measure just like very specifically, like what were your, what was your opinion on the, you know, the activities on the food, on the hotels, all these things so we can year to year make sure that we're moving in the right direction. but yeah, interestingly, I just had a conversation with a group of other people who were in a similar role to mine, and we were all talking about how we feel the need for even better tracking and, and, review of the return on investment of these activities. But it's very easy to notice it's that it's, that it's a positive ROI.
Scott - [55:42 - 57:05]
Yeah. I think that's very, anyone who's done, who's been, I think just even experienced it, not even on the side of running it, but even who's con throughout experience can clearly see the value out of that in relationships and connection to the company. You hit a point before, and I want to kind of circle back for, unfortunately, you know, the world is in a recession. Many companies are unfortunately laying off lots of people and kind of now, tightening the purse. But that should obviously never mean that we're not spending money on engagement, right? I've been preaching for the last year of any time that any company should ever spend money on their employees. Now is the time more than any other time that they should be doing it. So for companies, again, that are thinking focused on the financial area, like you have some tips and ideas of how do you again, get people together in whatever capacity without breaking the bank. cause I know that kind of that fear, if we're spending hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions of dollars depending on the size of the company, like that may turn something off, but different options of locations, right? If you wanna do the Swiss Alps, you wanna do a ski trip in the Swiss Alps, right? You go to the country of Georgia, right? It's probably a quarter of the cost or a fifth of the cost, probably almost as good skiing now. So there are different things you could do. And again, maybe like you said, instead of a city where you're going to museums and theater and there's a cost for everything, right? Doesn't cost anything to hike, it doesn't cost anything. Do bonfires and do things like that.
So I'd love to hear it again, maybe some tips that you have for companies who are thinking on the financial side, how they can still get people together, but at the same time not break the bank.
Chase - [57:14 - 58:39]
Yeah. so the first thing is, is like, try not to think about this as one big expense every year, but think about it as like an investment in each individual employee. So if you, if you change the narrative from this is gonna cost me half a million dollars to this is gonna cost me $4,000 per employee, and I just do that once per year, you break that, start breaking that down on a monthly basis or whatever, and it becomes very tolerable, you think, oh, well, if I had an office space in any mid-size city, I'd be paying way more than that probably, or, or around that, at least for, for an office space. So in the same way that you might not think about what does each employee cost you in terms of a desk, think about it. Try to think about it in those terms and that can, that can help you. budget, we, we do that. We basically have a number per person that we're trying to get to and that we're willing to spend, and that gives us our total budget, which we work with to manage this all our retreats. so that's been helpful for us. I think just determining what that number is for you will depend on every team. The other thing to keep in mind is that number's gonna be different for each person. because you have somebody, if you're gonna mainly do your retreats in Europe and you have somebody in Australia and somebody in Berlin, the cost for bringing that person from Australia is gonna be two to three x what it is for the person from Berlin. So, you know, we do like a multiplier effect for people from certain parts of the world to get to the right number there.
Chase - [58:39 - 01:00:10]
the other thing is like your two biggest costs are gonna be, flights and hotels, or, or lodging accommodations, whatever. and so figuring out how you want to go about those two things like optimizing your flight cost is well worth the investment. You could save 10-20% on this overall thing just by making sure that you've chosen a location that allows for the majority of your team to get there, pretty easily. And then keep in mind that it's not just about flight cost, but there's an opportunity cost there when people have to travel multiple days or multiple legs or for many, many hours to get to places. So choosing convenient locations, even if you have to drive an hour and a half outside of a city, getting everybody close to a location or an airport that most people can fly into with one or two connections tops is, is key. We'll save on the initial investment, but also on any like, extra costs like you need to budget that. There's gonna be some, some canceled flights, some extra tickets that have to be bought at the last minute, some people that get stuck somewhere, baggage fees, you know, things that just pop up at the last minute. So reducing those connections and getting convenient locations will help save on costs also. And then, as we already talked about, like going to locations that are maybe on shoulder season or, that are, you know, not quite the, maybe not Paris, but you're going to somewhere an hour and a half outside of Paris, and, and saving, you know, 50, 60, 70, a hundred thousand dollars on your hotel costs. all of these things can, can add up quite a bit.
Chase - [01:00:10 - 01:00:40]
We touched on this already but don't over-index on lots of activities. Those cost a lot of money and often aren't the best, use of your resources. So providing that free time. I heard somebody say a C e O once said, he said the best activity we did at our offsite was we put a bunch of video game consoles in a room and let everybody play video games all night. It cost us nothing. you know, got ordered pizzas and, and so yeah, these are real options and, and not a bad use of your resources.
Scott - [01:00:40 - 01:01:53]
I love this. I think the most beautiful point to me was the first one. I've made this point, especially on social media endlessly over the last however many years, that looking at this as an investment and not a cost, where if you break down the cost, okay, cost the average employee $4,000 to attend an IRL every year. But you understand again, that return on investment, their engagement goes up, their happiness with goes up, their productivity goes up, $4,000 seems to be pretty worth it for it's costly enough, decide, hey, if we didn't do it and the person became less engaged and less productive, and maybe they would leave the company, right, what is the cost of replacing that person significantly higher than 4,000? When you switch that mindset of, okay, this is an expense versus we're instead investing in the person's happiness and engagement and o obviously that's productivity and success of the company, right? Then whatever that cost is is probably not going to be significantly high and probably well worth what the opposite is. in cognizant of time, I have one kind of final question for you. For all those people who are listening, company leaders that are listening who have now been totally blown away, which I know they, they obviously have been, and want to start doing, ILS within the team, what are, let's say, three pieces of advice that you can give them to, to get started?
Chase - [01:01:53 - 01:03:25]
The first would be to get your documentation and, and tool set in order. There are a lot of different ways you can go about organizing this, but investing a lot in avoiding duplication of efforts is, is key. And I would say get out in front of that before you start actually planning and, and involving other people. So, you know, having FAQs and documentation around your travel policies and how you're gonna approach things like covid and making sure you have the right tools in place for people to, you know, book. Like we use virtual credit cards so people can book their own flights and, and, and things like that. So investing in the infrastructure around it is, is really key. And that includes, you know, setting your budget. The other one is like, ask why, like, why are we doing this? What is the reason? Is it because everybody else is doing it and suddenly cool? or is there like a, is it to get a lot of work done? Is it to build stronger connections? Like ask why, ask why, ask why to the answer and keep drilling down into that, to figure out like what the real root reason is to, to do this and then optimize everything around it. and then I think the third thing is to, I mentioned this before, but to make everything optional by default and, and to really be true about that, don't, just don't, there shouldn't be any hidden guilt strings, associated with any of this. Like, make sure this is built for the people that really, really want to be there. Don't drag people to it. And within that don't drag people to each individual activity. More optionality is very key.
Scott - [01:03:27 - 01:03:46]
Yeah. Very important points. For everyone who's listening, who wants to learn more about the work that you do, get ahold of you. Maybe read more or learn more about how you're planning, and how Doist is planning and working on IRLs. What's the best place to find you? Get ahold of you and find the good stuff from Doist?
Chase - [01:03:46 - 01:04:35]
Yeah. Well, first of all, thanks Scott for the awesome conversation. Such a fun subject and I learned a lot through this as well. You made me reflect on some things, so, appreciate that. And I've, I've got questions for you at some point that we'll have to maybe do this again cuz I wanna pick your brain, but please, if you wanna find me the best places probably on LinkedIn, that's where I'm talking a lot about what we're doing and just trying to build in public. I also write some for Forbes and, and for our Twist Async newsletter, which is awesome for anybody who's really interested in learning about how to do asynchronous best practices and as I mentioned before, the IRL strategy as part of our remote async strategy. So, we talk, we do some of that there. And, yeah, I've written a handful of articles, maybe I can send 'em to you and you could Yep. You can share 'em along with this and, they go deeper on some of the things that we talked about today.
Scott - [01:04:35 - 01:05:00]
Amazing. Yeah, we'll put all those in the notes and also the link to the newsletter for people to sign up and chase, thank you so much. All the wisdom and, and, and fantastic information that you've shared I know was extremely helpful for me, again, for the opportunity to learn and, and helpful for people who are listening. So I greatly appreciate the time and greatly appreciate the opportunity for the chat. And look forward, to follow-up chats. For everyone listening until the next episode, have a wonderful day.