FD Annual Trip ’22 – Hay-on-Wye, Wales
We’ve just got back from our FD annual trip. This year we took three days out to explore Hay-on-Wye and the surrounding countryside.
Nestled between the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons National Park, Hay-on-Wye is best known for its picturesque river landscape and a disproportionate ratio of bookshops to residents.
As well as being an enjoyable few days, our Fiasco trips are a key part of our team culture.
Setting the scene
For the past seven years, we’ve taken a few days out of a hectic studio calendar to take the whole team away on our annual trip. Last year we headed to sunny Porto as a delayed (nice one Covid) celebration of our 10th birthday. This year, the rolling hills of the Brecon Beacons and the bookish town of Hay-On-Wye was our destination.
The tradition of an annual escape started back when there were just six of us; an opportunity to take the time to down tools and enjoy one another’s company outside of work and client deadlines. Now a team of close to 20 – including sister studio Yatta, our annual team trips have become something of an institution. More than just an enjoyable few days, our Fiasco trips are a key part of our team culture. Here’s why…
It's an opportunity to take the time to down tools and enjoy one another’s company outside of the studio.
We take time to check in
The trip away ties in with our financial year end, so before departing we gathered the whole team for breakfast to share some insights into the performance of the business over the previous year. We took time to celebrate the wins and reflect on the losses. We also used the opportunity to set out our vision and business objectives for the next 12 months, including our plans for B Corp certification in 2023.
Being a fast-paced studio, we use this moment each year as an inflection point. We’re completely transparent about our ambitions and the challenges ahead, helping to bring the whole team with us on the journey.
We’re completely transparent about our ambitions and the challenges ahead, helping to bring the whole team with us on the journey.
To recharge, refocus, and regroup
With the hustle and bustle of the studio, the annual trip away provides the chance to take stock before moving forwards into the first few months of our fiscal year. Downing tools for a few days provides the opportunity to decompress; to pause, reflect and discuss our plans for the year ahead.
We’ve always been firm believers in a positive work/life balance, and that this plays a fundamental part in the creative process. From flexible working hours to Summer Hours, we set out to create an environment that allows creativity to flourish. Time spent outside of the studio pursuing other interests and experiencing new environments helps to bring fresh ideas and focus when it’s time to get heads down.
Downing tools for a few days provides the opportunity to decompress; to pause, reflect and discuss our plans for the year ahead.
We connect on a different level
Throughout the year we make sure to carve out time together outside of the studio walls. Whether we’re aware of it or not, everyone brings their game-face to work. Taking time out to do something fun helps us to get to know each other better as people, not just teammates. Whether it’s sailing down the river Wye in canoes or embarking on a mountain bike trail, indulging in activities that aren’t part of our usual day-to-day allows us to get to know the more unique quirks that each of us have. The stuff that sits below surface level and makes up the fabric of who we are.
Time spent pursuing other interests helps to bring fresh ideas and focus when it’s time to get heads down.
From breaking bread at the wonderful Chapters restaurant to simply finding out that there’s a mutual love of the same author while digging out books in Hay-on-Wye, these memories are made special by the fact we shared them together. It’s testament to the sincerity of one of our core principles: ‘together is better’.
We returned to the studio this week with a renewed sense of camaraderie and focus for the year ahead. Now let’s get stuck in.
Words By Nathalie Crease
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