Team Building Remotely: Our Engineering Offsite

Written by Katerina D.

A few days ago, the Engineering team had a remote half-day offsite. This was my first offsite with the team I joined about 6 months ago and I was excited to see how it could help us stay connected, have some fun and present some exciting ideas to improve the business – all remotely.

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The aim of our off-site was to build a better connection between our team members, as well as have an opportunity to talk through some important things that our team would like to be developed in the future.

We started off by logging in to a cool app called Gather Town. This is an online platform that allows you to create your character and wander around a virtual town –  you are welcome to do what you fancy, from playing some piano or Tetris, to fishing or playing poker! You can share this experience with your team (as we did) or do it on your own, it’s up to you.

We had the opportunity to sit with our team members’ avatars to work on ideas that could benefit the team going forward or, if we preferred, go into a different virtual room as we worked and occasionally pop over to visit other team members to say hello!

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Once we’d worked on an idea that would help the team, each presenter shared their ideas one by one in a communal virtual room. We watched each presentation and then asked follow-up questions to the participants, such as “how would you ensure that your idea will work?”.

In total, we had 21 ideas presented by 9 people, which were narrowed down to 12 ideas that were presented in the end. We had two winning ideas. Our software tester Simon suggested creating a tool to assist us with testing and development by integrating with 3rd party and internal services, while our Python Developer Pietro suggested using OBD2 to use car diagnostics data to calculate risk and drivers behavioural patterns. I know it sounds really tricky, but it was so great to hear our team members’ ideas and discover how they’d put them into action and have an opportunity to brainstorm together.

We also enjoyed some team building activities and had some time to also just simply hang out – it was awesome!

The event was well organised, carefully thought through and as an added bonus we received rewards for participation! Each of us was sent a lovely hamper to enjoy while we worked in our virtual world! Double-win!

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INSHUR is a great company to work for. I don’t just feel like an employee, I feel like an owner (hopefully our co-founders Dan and David won’t mind me saying this!) and I am extremely grateful for that.

I am super excited to have another team building event like this in the future. In the meantime, we are always hiring in Engineering (and other departments) so if you are looking for your next challenge and want to be a part of something great, we’d love to hear from you.