Hot on the heels of celebrating our company’s 7th birthday, we embarked on yet another fun adventure. In fact, it’s probably everyone’s favorite company initiative – our Motion outposts. For those of you who are not familiar with it, it’s basically a way for Motion Software to take employees and community members on a week-long outdoor extravaganza of work and fun at remote locations.
Taking the office outdoors
We would never force our team to go to an office. Since opening its doors in 2015, Motion Software has been one of the strongest voices in the CEE region for the adoption of the remote-first work model on a mass scale. However, we are definitely among those who think that a strong, tight and happy team is the key to success for any organization. And that’s what these series of Motion outposts are all about. Every few months an exciting week-long trip awaits those who are willing to get together, meet, work and have fun.
This year alone our outposts have taken us to remote villages, the sea coast, and finally – the mountains. This time around we were in Apriltsi – a small town close to the highest part of the Balkan Mountains in central Bulgaria.
To be more precise, we stayed a bit out of town at Villa Petra and Villa Trade. And it was just the perfect venue for what we had in mind. The main building is a lovely modern house with a huge kitchen and chill out area, as well as a big and comfortable work space.
It is surrounded by mountains which not only treated us to incredible views, but also provided us with plenty of options for hikes and outdoor activities.
Our work settings
Don’t get the impression that it’s all fun and games. There’s also some serious work going on. It’s just that the surroundings are better than average. How could a regular office ever compare to this?
We’d also prepared an indoor office area, for those who preferred to work inside.
When not working
Spending time at such locations gives us the opportunity to spend quality time together before and after work.
For example, before work, we went on different hikes in the surrounding areas. We even managed to practice paragliding take-offs as one of our community members is a licensed paraglider. He even let us try out his paraglider! While that was still going on one of our colleagues took out a Bulgarian bagpipe (called a “kaba gaida”) and started playing. This came out of the blue and we were totally surprised and blown away! It was so beautiful! We couldn’t resist asking him to play for us a few more times during this trip.
One of the days we organized a trip to the Troyan monastery which dates back to the 16th century. Not only is it stunning, it is also one of the spiritual centers of the country!
And after work, we played board games, chilled out in the common areas and watched movies (wait, did we mention that there was also a movie room at our disposal?). Whenever we felt like leaving the complex we were staying at, we would go out for dinner in Apriltsi and treat ourselves to some mouthwatering Bulgarian food.
Our Motion outposts usually end with a weekend of pure fun and action. And this one was no exception. After a week of hard work, we were ready to properly unwind with a Friday night dinner that we prepared ourselves. It’s a Motion Software tradition to kick it all off with a barbecue. However, this Friday night was rather calm as we knew we had a long day ahead of us.
Saturday was all about hiking as a team. This was not a regular hike. When we got to the top of the mountain, we split into 7 teams and had to find 9 different locations around the mountain ridge. This was a real test of our orientation skills, using a compass and a topographic map. And while doing this, we were surrounded by wild horses and stunning views. This was truly a magical experience for us all.
As you can imagine, we were quite tired afterwards and went to relax at the nearby Pleven hut. Whenever we travel, we always use the services of local businesses and organizations. Hence, we chose a truly local hut and local mountain guides.
Then we went back to Apriltsi where our hosts had prepared a traditional Bulgarian dinner. That night we also celebrated one of our colleagues’ birthday and surprised him with a freshly-baked cake and the unavoidable “Happy Birthday” rendition. And that’s when the party mood kicked in. We turned the place into a club and danced away into the night. Part of the team decided to play a game that has become somewhat of a tradition for Motion Software – Werewolves. Not a single Motion event goes without this game being played until the early hours of the morning.
Can we stay forever?
All good things come to an end. One thing we’ve realized this time around is that the more we do this, the more comfortable we feel around each other, the more natural our communication becomes and the more difficult it gets to leave. Fortunately, we know that there’s always another Motion Outpost in the making.
Motion Software is not just a company. It’s a lifestyle. If you feel like this is the type of work-life balance you need, check out our open positions.