Why Happy Employees Are Productive Employees

Megan Storie

I joined Nextup in early August and learned early-on that the company was planning a team retreat to the Dominican Republic. I was delighted that I would have the opportunity to get to know my team face-to-face in the beautiful Punta Cana, DR.

Now some might wonder, why a company all about making remote-workers more productive would value an in-person retreat? While a study by Stanford showed that working from home increases productivity by 13%, what we were after wasn’t just productivity, but also happiness and fun!

Research shows 73% of remote employees miss socializing with their teams, and when your team is as awesome as the people at Nextup, our time together is memorable for sure. As an added bonus, studies also show productivity is increased by up to 13% when employees are happy. :)

We embarked on our journey on September 6th, and stayed three nights at an all-inclusive resort called the Hideaway Royalton in Punta Cana. Instead of spending our time in a stuffy conference room, we put work aside and focused on the fun. We did different activities offered by the resort such as salsa dancing, karaoke, an ocean boat ride, snorkeling, a hydrotherapy spa, and, of course, relaxing on the beach. We also got to experience a gambit of different cuisines from Italian to hibachi.

This was an amazing way to meet most of my coworkers for the first time. I was so encouraged by the team’s warm welcome. Seeing my teammates in person really helped break down barriers and develop stronger bonds and better communication. 

I feel so much more comfortable with my team now that I’ve had the chance to get to know them and hear about their interests, laugh with them, and create memories together. We all left the trip with a newfound understanding and support for one another that has carried through to our work endeavors. 

One of my newer colleagues, Brett Zelk, a Software Engineer who joined the team last December commented, “When working remotely, there is only so much can learn about your colleagues. Meeting everyone in person was exciting and an amazing opportunity to develop stronger relationships and build on the culture we have at Nextup. Being part of a company that cares as much about their people as Nextup is rare.” 

With up to 70% of workers reporting feeling burned out by work, it’s so important to pause, connect, and celebrate your successes. After our week in the Dominican Republic, I can definitely say we did all three of those things! 

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