The Lab08 Pop-Up Offices
As the end of 2022 is approaching, we’re looking back and doing our retrospective of all the challenges and achievements. We’re proud to say that this year brought growth and many positive emotions to all of us. One of the core team practices that has contributed to this is the Lab08 pop-up office initiative. We were lucky enough to enjoy three editions of it this year, and we are currently in preparation for Lab08 Winter Office 2022/23. Let us tell you more about this important component of Lab08’s culture.
Lab08 is an aspiring software company, whose remarkable achievements and happy customers come from the effective collaboration between smart, open and competent people. Lab08’s company culture relies on teamwork, cooperation and friendship. With the pandemic, our culture was at risk, and we had to come up with a solution to revamp it. Back in 2021, we started researching options for great locations near the seaside and in the nearby mountains, where employees can spend several working weeks, being close to nature and in a new and different environment. What was initially just an idea for testing became one of the most enjoyable and anticipated company events. A core cultural practice of Lab08.
A pop-up office is essentially an event held during the course of one or more weeks. All employees can choose personally convenient days to work from the designated space. In addition to ensuring that every employee has a seat in the coworking place, the company covers accommodation, breakfast & lunch, as well as outdoor activities of choice (e.g. skiing, parasailing, etc.).
We believe that the pop-up office initiative allows us to have a natural way of team building, stimulating people to work together and in addition – it offers a noticeable increase in creativity (key to ideation and problem-solving). Especially during the pandemic times, the pop-up office initiative was one of the very few opportunities to refuel the team spirit after months of isolation and harmed company culture. The Lab08 pop-up office initiative presents a change of environment, in a great place close to nature. Thus, the team receives a boost of motivation, coming from the saturation of positive emotions and experiences. And you know what? It’s one of the most productive periods for us. We actually do work and return with accomplished tasks, aside from great memories.
By introducing the pop-up offices, we gather people from different teams, who share experiences and create memories together. We believe that this allows for improved communication, more trust and consequently – better collaboration in work.
The very first pop-up office took place in July 2021 at Beach Hub Kavatsi. This was a three-week event with fully covered accommodation expenses, breakfast and lunch, as well as costs for recreational and fun activities for the team. The company also organized a soft skills training, held by Tochka 2, which aimed to improve teamwork, awareness of strengths and points for improvement in team communication. The training was a blend of new technique acquisition, as well as a fun interactive game, which has also contributed to the overall pleasant experience during the pop-up office.
In February 2022, Lab08’s office was the cosy lobby corner of the Moreni hut on Vitosha mountain. As the event was held in winter, we decided to book a nearby location, in order to make transportation easier. The team was able to enjoy working from the mountain for a period of 2 weeks. Ski and snowboarding activities, as well as soft skills training by ShiZi Impro Club, were organized for the team to enjoy. The training helped us improve our active listening skills, as well as the ability to clearly communicate ideas, avoid ruminating over mistakes and dwell on challenges, instead of taking action and contributing to the team’s work process.
We learned that by regularly having pop-up offices, our team’s motivation remains high and this greatly benefits performance, as well as contributes to the company culture. That’s why we organized another edition of the initiative at the end of June 2022 and this time, our office was the Septemvri Hut on Vitosha. Our workdays were accompanied by the summer sun, fresh mountain air and delicious food. Carpooling to the designated location was also a big part of the experience and definitely contributed to the team-building experience. You’ve all heard of the proverb: ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ That’s why our chosen activity for this pop-up office was taekwondo training. Several sessions took place in the surrounding outdoor sites. It was not only fun but a healthy thing to do. We all enjoyed the recharge that this activity provided, but also the beauty of the nature around us. Of course, summer and the sea go together, so despite the welcoming nearby mountain, we couldn’t say no to another opportunity to visit the seaside.
In July, Lab08 moved its office to X Challenge Park in Tsarevo and this event was quite significant – it was the second time we organized a beach pop-up office. This meant that our initiative had become a tradition. What was even more exciting – this was the highest-attended event of the sort since the beginning of the Lab08 Pop-Up Offices! Picture this – you spend the first half of your workday in the coworking zone of the park, where you enjoy great coffee and hide from the raising temperatures in a cosy air-conditioned spot. When it’s time for lunch, you and your team have a nice walk to the seaside, where you enjoy local food and a pleasant view of the sea. When you get back, the remaining part of the workday passes by so quickly (yet productively ;)) that it’s time for you to get in your bathing suit and say a proper hello to the sea. In the evening, you get back to the park, where you have a nice outdoor dinner and a movie night together. And during all of this, we bond and become closer as a team. You imagine why this has become a tradition, right?
In Lab08, we aim to do things when we see real value in them. It’s not just about doing something that’s trending and modern. The Pop-Up Office initiative keeps on giving, and its benefits are visible to the company and to each team member individually. That’s why we plan to keep on going, and the preparations for this winter’s edition are currently in progress! Each time we aim to do something different and in a better way, so stay tuned to learn more about what we’ve planned 🙂
All in all, the Lab08 pop-up office initiative aims to bring new opportunities for the team to bond and gives a boost of positive emotions and new experiences. We believe that this will greatly benefit our culture and the products of our work long-term.
Talent Community Manager
Diliana is one of Lab08’s first employees, responsible for the recruitment and branding activities of the company.
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