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Quick Release on a remote (work) Island.

This week I had a post-retreat chat with Jonathan Noy, Marketing Business function owner at Quick Release. Quick Release is a Product Data Management company founded 20 years ago and working mostly in the automotive sector.

"Basically we look after the data and it frees up engineers to do valuable work rather than being data shepherds" Jonathan explains. I like that idea as it reminds me of what we do at Campfire, taking care of the logistics so the team can do valuable connecting and brainstorming.

a team building a bridge as a team building exercise
Valuable connecting & brainstorming

Be Where you have to Be

With offices in the UK, Spain, the US, and Australia, QR now counts almost 300 people either working on client sites or from the headquarters offices. However, since the very beginning, the policy has always been to "be where you have to be": if you need to meet someone, best to do it in person, but if you need to do deep, silent work, it's also ok to do it from home.

The only thing Covid seems to have changed at QR is the dress code. As Jonathan says: "It's a bit more relaxed now".

When it comes to retreats, they have always existed too. But understandably, they have evolved as the company grew. At first, everyone would gather for one large annual meeting, but eventually, it became logistically and financially very complex. Quick Release now favors several smaller location-based gatherings.

That being said, their week at The Workation Island was their first time bringing together 30 people from all offices across the world (UK, Australia, US...) since before Covid. People who worked together but not necessarily met in person often, or at all.

a team picture with mountains in the background
Blue sky, mountains and water makes a very special setting.

Fun relaxation and reconnections.

Retreats can have many goals. Theirs was clear: to reconnect as individuals as well as officially unveil the next 2 years' plan.

I asked Jonathan his thoughts on the value of team retreats. Of course, if you look solely at the cost, you can think you're spending a lot but you also need to think about what it helps achieve, in terms of connections, belonging, and loyalty.

"That week away did a lot for a lot of people. Everyone enjoyed it and came home with a renewed sense of purpose and connection"

And what is it that makes the island so special? I asked.

being on the island immersed you in several types of nature: water, such an important element for people's well-being, mountains, the sky... "a great degree of visual interest- it did make it feel like a retreat in the truest sense of the word".

Between morning dips and hiking up to great viewpoints, there were a lot of special moments but the feeling of togetherness, Jonathan attributes to eating meals together. very cliché he admits. But so powerful.

a team taking a boat ride in Italy
Secluded but never trapped

Finally, he shares his personal tip for a successful retreat: remember to allow for off time for people to be together in an unstructured way.

Activities are good, but don't forget the power of unstructured time in a nice setting.


Thank you, Jonathan, for your time, and the Quick Release team for trusting Campfire with your gathering and for being our first team on the Workation Island!

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