At Formstack, we take team building very serious.
We’re a remote-first company, so we don’t get a lot of opportunities to see our fellow team members in person. Every year, we host a few events where we get the chance to see our coworkers and friends in the flesh. These events are our all-company retreat, “All Hands,” and our individual department retreats, “Small Hands.”
Our department retreat, Small Hands, isn’t just an important time for our teams to connect face-to-face. It also happens to be one of our favorite seasons. That’s right, to ‘Stackers, Small Hands is a season, and in 2019, it was the best one yet! You don’t have to take my word for it either. Staff Accountant Morgan Whitaker said, “Small Hands 2019 was one of the best weeks I’ve had since starting at Formstack in 2017.”
Perhaps this year was better than the rest because it’s our fifth annual Small Hands. Maybe it’s because our teams have grown so much over the past year with our recent acquisitions and product evolution. In any case, it’s safe to say that this year’s round of department retreats were packed with memories and important team building opportunities.
Interested in learning more about our team building adventures? Here’s a recap.
This year, our growing Human Resources and Talent Acquisition squad explored Indianapolis, Indiana, where Formstack HQ is located. They toured the city on scooters, immersed themselves in the interactive, real-life adventure of Escape the Room, practiced their lumberjack skills with a little axe throwing, and built personal connections on top of their strong professional relationships that are the driving force behind our company culture.
HR Small Hands first-timer Kaitlin Loomis described the experience:
I loved getting to spend some quality time in-person with my team because it allowed us to strengthen the relationships we initially built professionally (and have a lot of fun in the process!). I'm really proud that Formstack believes in fostering more personal relationships outside the workplace through events like Small Hands because I think when we develop deeper understandings of what makes us who we are, we ultimately work more efficiently and respectfully together in a professional setting.
Take a peek at their adventures in our Instagram recap post:
Customer Support + Sales
This year, our Customer Support and Sales teams linked up for some extreme team building in the high heat, literally. They got the chance to visit Las Vegas, NV and go beyond The Strip by riding ATVs through the desert, competing with HR for the title of Best Axe Throwing Team, and munching on In-N-Out… A lot of In-N-Out.
So grateful to be part of this amazing team and celebrate our victories together! - Customer Success Manager, Dani Montano
Our Support and Sales teams spend countless hours providing top-notch, front-facing service to our customers, so it’s only right that they get to celebrate their hard work together. Click the photo below to experience their Small Hands adventures.
Product + Marketing
I’m not sure Rockbridge, OH was ready for our Product + Marketing teams! With an exuberant amount of La Croixs, White Claws, and s’mores, the week was well celebrated. After a year of product evolutions, including the introduction of Documents, this particular Small Hands was truly a melding of two teams into one.
We spent a lot of time getting to know our team members as the person instead of the profession, with a “family wall” of photos on display and “Passion Presentations” about topics we hold close to home. It was all about team building as 40+ ‘Stackers in attendance broke out into smaller teams for backyard games, like dodgeball and hide-and-seek, and chose between a zipline adventure, wine tasting, or canoeing/kayaking on the Hocking River. Personally, I came out of this Small Hands with a greater sense of belonging and friendships that will last a lifetime!
Prepare yourself for a little Small Hands jealousy for our Finance Team who spent their week in San Antonio, TX.
Small Hands 2019 was one of the best weeks I’ve had since starting at Formstack in 2017 – our team was literally counting down the days leading up to it. Those meetings are valuable for project planning purposes, but also equally important as a time to catch up with everyone on the team and celebrate wins from the past year. - Staff Accountant, Morgan Whitaker
Our Finance Team took full advantage of everything San Antonio has to offer, from great food, history, and architecture to exhilarating experiences like sky-diving and biker tours! Check out their wild ride in our Instagram recap post, including footage of their biker gang.
Last, but certainly not least, our Engineering Team continued the tradition of Formstack Lodge Hands in Pigeon Forge, TN. Lodge Hands becoming a tradition was not planned, but spending the week in a cabin surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains has been really good to a lot of our teams, so we just keep coming back.
This year, VP of Engineering, Jeff Johns, unified his team with a fun-filled week of outdoor adventure like whitewater rafting and enjoying a little disconnected time with board games, great food, and great company. There was also a Heytaco inspired taco bar and invaluable presentations from DevOps and Billing. Jeff captioned the week as the “best Lodge Hands yet with the most amazing team. So thankful I get to work with people from all over the world.”
There you have it! The 2019 Small Hands season has come and gone, but the memories will continue to inspire teams and connect Formstackers. Until next year, we’re out.