Having remote employees is like having kids in a boarding school. You have to do something more than just send money, to show that you really care ;)
A year ago Tooploox was a small company hiring less than 25 people. It’s fairly easy to stay in touch with everyone and to maintain personal relationships in such a small organization.
In just a couple of months we’ve grown to over 50 people (and we’re still growing!). Currently our main office is located in Wroclaw, however nearly 30% of our employees work from our Warsaw office or remotely.
Keeping our structure while staying integrated is a huge and ambitious endeavour. Some of its challenges include scalable solutions in managing offices and paperwork or office space upgrades. Good interpersonal relations among the employees have always been one of our top priorities. We constantly strive for providing opportunities for our teams to work together and have some fun as well. The recent event-packed week shows just how we do it at Tooploox.
The Boat party
We wanted to make sure we have everyone on board, literally :) For some of us it was the first day at work, for others it was an opportunity to spend some time with colleagues that are many kilometers away.
“The palms! In general the atmosphere was great, I liked the music and the idea to get out somewhere with the whole Tooploox team.”
The main idea behind our first hackathon was to integrate the teams and give them a chance to work with devs from other projects. Everyone could pitch an idea and we voted for 6 best ones. As it was an internal event, we mainly focused on in- house projects.
"I was a bit sceptical about the whole idea, but it turned out to be a very positive experience. What I liked most was a chance to learn something not related to my area of expertise."
After almost 24 hours of intense work all teams presented their projects :
- Foosballytics - An Android app that was communicating with a camera-equipped laptop tracking the movements of the ball throughout a foosball game with computer vision.
- Basement door lock system - A useful tool that will let us enter our chillout-basement without any keys, just with an app and IoT lock that we designed.
- Timeploox - A Slack bot that allows the whole team to quickly log and track time spent on projects from any Slack channel.
- SkyNet Cookbook - The goal was to automatically generate cooking recipes, preferably with the ability to specify some of the necessary ingredients.
- Poke Party - an app that enables communication between Pokemon Go players.
- Pokarm - an app for ordering food to the office
(a separate blog post about details of hackathon projects will be published on our blog soon)
After the hard work we felt like we deserved a proper celebration. We had planned a BBQ in the yard of our Wroclaw office, and as a last minute upgrade we ordered a foam machine!
We are still growing so the challenge of preserving Tooploox’s company culture and keeping the entire company integrated is still vital for us.
The entire week was very intense, packed with creative work and loads of fun. It was a great way to integrate, however next time we are going to spread company events over a greater period of time. The week was brilliant but left us physically exhausted. We’ve also learned that wearing goggles during a foam party is a sensible thing to do ;)
Photos by http://www.janucho.com/
Graphics by Anna Langiewicz