Bye Finsbury Park, Hello Horley: Quin’s 1st away day
Quin turned 5 and we organised our very first company away day.
While the team was wondering what was in store for this year’s birthday party, Cyndi, Isabella and I decided the time was right to organise an away day. We have an incredible team delivering at lightning speed to achieve Quin’s mission. It was time to press pause to celebrate our achievements and spend quality time together to reflect and discover.
Planning a day we would all enjoy
Armed with only a few available dates and why we wanted to have an away day, the rest was a blank slate. I got a bunch of the team together for an ideas session on what we could do – we came out of that gleaming with a top-notch plan. While I turned to the logistics, others developed the fun content of tasks for the day with none of us knowing exactly what was in store for the whole day.
After hours searching for the perfect mix of countryside and space to fit us – in a location near an airport, under 2 hours from London, with a reasonable price tag – I found the perfect country pad in 4 acres of land in Horley.
We arrived in Horley on Thursday evening, popped open a magnum of champagne and headed straight to the local pub. We ate and chatted for hours, walked back to the mansion under the light of a full moon and finished off the evening with board games until 2am – it was a delight!
We woke on Friday to a gorgeous, warm late summer day where we blew lego cars around paper race tracks, sat around the pool for a game of Quin guess who and laughed our way through a Quin Quiz where even the right answers were wrong.
Throw trampolining, ping pong, giant garden chess and more competitive board games into the mix and it’s no surprise we were all shattered by late afternoon! As a lego obsessed, board game loving bunch who live for fun Friday quizzes it was a day full of enjoyment had by all.
We ended the day with a homemade chocolate mousse that our wonderful Head of Marketing come resident chef, Vanessa, led the charge on rustling up.
Why this was a success
You often hear away days can be draining, mixed with company presentations and “teamwork” activities that don’t relate or reflect on the team. We went to completely switch off for 24 hours from delivering Quin’s mission and the three key ingredients to our away day success were:
Trust the Team – get the team involved in the organisation as it’s a day for everyone
Planning – ensure you’ve factored in the logistics and communicated to the team what they need to know
Flexibility – life doesn’t always go to plan so be prepared to roll with any last minute changes
But amongst all the fun and games, it’s the small things that make a truly special away day. Watching our entire team rally around to prepare breakfast and lunch together, with no orders or singular direction in a kitchen not built for twelve, and produce two excellent meals, showed me that we have something unique here.
Why pressing pause is instrumental
We are working on a complex problem to solve, it’s challenging, and it’s important to spend time to stop, reflect and relax together. So what have we discovered? When you take a step back and escape the office, you see the love in the small interactions between the individuals. This is a team like no other, and there is no one we trust more to solve this complex problem.
Here’s to the next 5 years at Quin with many more successes – I can’t wait to see what our next away day will bring!