Very often we read about how few Silicon valley companies are redefining work culture (for e.g. 4 days work week to no bosses & no email).

Lately, startup culture has been equated with great food, football, parties and beer; with very little creativity demonstrated by founders/management team in shaping up the culture.

It’s very rare that we see Indian companies rethinking culture/doing stuff that goes beyond the usual chore.
Pune based MindTickle that has created a sales readiness platform by combining the power of mobile, analytics and gamification, gamified its own culture by taking the entire team for a Workation (Work+Vacation) to McLeodganj (suburb of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh).

Snow-claded mountain ranges of McLeodganj
Snow-laded mountain ranges of McLeodganj
A view from a trekking point in McLeodganj
A view from a trekking point in McLeodganj

Straight from the horses’ mouth: Cofounder & CEO, Krishna shares the Workation concept

Sometimes in this fast paced life you really wonder if you live to work or work to live? Is there something called work life balance? Can you really be at peace and lost in nature and yet create some next generation innovation?  Can there be cultural innovations that we can do from India? Can we be the leaders instead of followers?

Well, these questions had been haunting MindTicklers for quite some time and given how weird we are, we tried to find an answer by doing an experiment called Workation = Work + Vacation.

MindTickle team during workation
MindTickle team during workation

Why we did it?

Because we really needed to!

MindTickle has always been about innovation and customer experience — we were the first to come up with the gamification platform for onboarding which has been globally recognized as the best twice in the GSummit and now we are leading the world in the new sales readiness category that we are creating. To be on the forefront of innovation, you need a culture where you inspire people to think out-of-box and you need to build it inside the DNA of your team.[pullquote-right] Our new offices were snow clad mountains, open restaurants, Dalai Lama temple, any place under the sun that you can sit and work. [/pullquote-right]

Similarly, you need a customer-centric culture that ensures you give the best experience at every touch point with customer — from product design to customer support no matter what happens. We have customers in all the 6 continents and most of them are billion $$ fast growing startups running on our platform. We wanted to experiment how we can be available for our customers 24*7 and at the same time relax/brainstorm on new ideas – all in a remote location.

It was a challenge and to be honest I was a bit apprehensive — however we believed in our team and decided to make it happen and so glad that we did it!

MindTickle team during a masti session
MindTickle : Masti Ki Pathshala!

Workation : How We Did It ?

We moved our entire office to McLeodganj for 10 days with families, kids, anything and everything just to take shelter in some small places. We took several data cards and temporarily increased the bandwidth in our hotels and nearby areas.

Our new offices were snow clad mountains, open restaurants, Dalai Lama temple, any place under the sun that you can sit and work.

MindTickle team during a trek
MindTickle team during a trekking

Typically you live with your family and go to office and here it was the other way round — we were living all together and walking out in morning to find out your own office, your own space

Our itinerary? Daily timeline?

6 – 8 AM : Trekking.

9 AM – 3 PM : Work.

3 PM – 8 PM : Exploring inner peace

9 PM- 11 PM : Games, masti, counter strike.

MindTickle team during workation
MindTickle team during workation
Enjoying the scenic McLeodganj
Enjoying the scenic McLeodganj

The time to office was in minutes.
The only mode of transport was walking.
The only mode of transport was walking. The only noise was birds chirping or the sound of.
The only noise was birds chirping or the sound of waterfall. And yeah, you are with your family sharing the experience with them.

And yeah, you are with your family sharing the experience with them.

During Workation
During Workation

Importantly, objectives for each team were well defined before we left and the team was free to get it done it the way they wanted and where they wanted as long as the work got done

MindTickle Team
MindTickle Team

Workation Result?

Productivity was up by 3X.

Health was perfect.

Smiles and laughter were in abundance.

Stress and traffic were hard to find!

MindTickle team with their families
MindTickle team with their families
Its Family Time
Its Family Time
Waterfall in McLeodganj
Waterfall in McLeodganj
Music, Dance and Fun
Music, Dance and Fun

It was one heck of an experiment that we would love to do again and hopefully longer until we can do it 365 days in a year.