I spent a couple of days this week at a work retreat in Gex, France, hashing out a paper that will be submitted for publication hopefully before my internship at the WHO ends. Perhaps the idea of spending 48 hours with colleagues working on one single project can sound exhausting or intimidating, but I found it refreshing to be out of the office in a beautiful French village and working with young colleagues like myself. The four of us worked well together, and I found the mix of being focused and productive, with being silly and relaxed, made for a very successful retreat. I’m new to the whole work retreat thing, so I have little to compare it to, but I must say that two things stood out for me which made it an enjoyable and productive experience:
1. We spent a considerable amount of time making and enjoying each meal. The combination of cooking the meals together and then enjoying lingering conversation when meals were done was a very nice way to break up the day and focus our energy on work when we needed to.
2. We went for a late walk through the village on the Monday night, and this time physically away from the house we were working at, as well as the peacefulness of exploring a new place in the calm of the night, was an incredibly successful way to unwind after a long day of working.
I feel quite lucky to have had the opportunity to have had such a positive work experience. Now it’s down to the grind to finish off the paper and submit it for first review by this afternoon, eep!
|The view from the balcony, in Gex, France|