Innovative brainstorming, team gatherings, summer and fun. Our Barcelona Summer Office helped developers find new perspectives on their work and work-life balance.
In the Northern hemisphere, July and August are here to provide us with some much needed summer treatment. At Kiwi.com, we know this well and we gave our developers a chance to exchange our offices in Brno for a luxurious villa in Barcelona. Every programmer with a full-time contract could have packed their laptop and worked remotely for a week in Spain’s second-biggest city.
One of those developers was Jakub who’s been with us for almost two years. He’s part of the Data & Automation Team and among other challenges, he deals with automated seating, check-ins and baggage-related issues. This year, he went to Barcelona for the second time, motivated by the chance to get new perspectives on his work.
“The villa gave us the opportunity to solve issues that we wouldn’t usually be able to — kind of out of the box brainstorming with people from all departments,” Jakub says.
For example, we have an internal tool named Portal that helps our Bookers with various tasks. In Barcelona, Jakub met people from our Customer Support Team who shared their insights about Portal — helping him understand how they use it and giving him ideas for improvements.
Last year, it was mostly programmers who went to Barcelona to code from the pool. However, this year, the Barcelona Summer Office was open to employees from all departments. There weren’t just developers at the villa, but people from HR, Facilities, Marketing, etc. You can read Teodora’s story to see how how it felt from a Travel Consultant’s perspective.
“Last year, we mainly focussed on preparing our future tech strategy. We often sat there until 3 am, drinking Spanish beer and discussing things that we wouldn’t be able to if we’d stayed in Brno,” Jakub explains.
The team spirit and mutual collaboration is definitely something felt by a lot of the Barcelona “summer workers”.
Jan from the same team was impressed at how twenty individuals really boded to form a strong team:
“It was great to see how we worked as a team, we cooked together, we explored the city together. I really got to know people from other departments — it helped me to better understand what they do.”
However, it wasn’t just work all of the time. Barcelona is a vibrant city full of possibilities, splendid architecture and beaches. It’s one of those places where you can enjoy your time to the fullest.
“The Sagrada Familia is probably the most majestic building I’ve ever seen, it’s forever stuck in my memory. No wonder it attracts so many people,” describes Jan.
At the same time, the capital of Catalunya lets you take a deep breath when you need to slow the pace down a little bit:
“Barcelona is a relaxed place that has a slightly different perspective on the work-life balance: favouring life. It inspires you to be more social, more team-oriented,” Jakub thinks.
The last group of Kiwis left our summer office at the beginning of September. However, our summertime there was very fruitful. Hopefully, we’ll see you again next summer, Barcelona!