It’s been a turbulent 2020 for HIREQUARTERS, to say the least. While the news of the pandemic brought many challenges to the personal lives of every one of our team members, the business side of things stayed pretty much intact.
As a matter of fact, 2020 was our most successful year yet, as we managed to double our workflow, employ a bunch of great new people, improve productivity, establish firm relationships with prosperous clients, and tick off a lot of goals we had for this year while also making room for future ones.
To do all this, of course, we had to work our asses off, and that’s exactly what we did. It was tiring, but also very satisfying.
So, with December 1st (HQ’s official birthday) coming into view, we all looked forward to our annual team-building event, hoping to unwind at a beautiful resort just like we did last December at Solaris Resort in Vrnjačka Banja.
For this year, we chose Gorski Hotel & Spa, an upscale 5-star hotel and spa center located at the heart of the picturesque Kopaonik mountain, one of Serbia’s most popular winter tourist destinations.
Armed with good spirits and suitcases packed with both winter coats and swimsuits, we headed to our three-day wind-off that we very much felt we deserved after a year that was finally getting behind our strained backs.
Here’s how it went down!
We began our journey from Niš on November 27th, with a few of our remote team members from Novi Sad and Belgrade starting their trip from up north.
After a few hours of driving through thick morning fog and meandering through curvy mountain roads, we finally pierced the clouds to see an endless landscape of piney woods and hilltops that make Kopaonik so irresistible to both local and foreign tourists and outdoor thrillseekers.
Shortly thereafter, we arrived at our destination. Gorski Hotel & Spa is a sparkling new hotel that justifies every one of its five stars. We were met with friendly hotel staff that appointed us to our comfy and spacious rooms.
We settled in, enjoyed our lunch, and prepared for the first thing on our team-building agenda — a presentation from Milan, our CEO, who talked about our company’s development path, current position, and goals for the future.
This is where some of our newest team members had a chance to learn about our humble beginnings and understand how we transformed from a small collective of several individuals with bright ideas into a full-scale company employing over 20 people in just three years.
Milan also showed us our business’ growth report and how we significantly increased our number of employees and clients in the last 12 months, as well as a productivity report where we could see our efforts presented through numbers.
It’s safe to say that all the graphs were pointing upwards and that the planned goals for the future are sustainable. The two-hour presentation was uplifting and promising, reassuring us that HIREQUARTERS is heading in the right direction.
But it was enough business talk, so we headed to the hotel’s game room where we played ping pong, foosball, darts, PS4, and a bunch of board games.
Since the pandemic forced us to keep working from home, spending this quality time together gave us a chance to get to know each other a bit better, as some of us were merely communicating virtually in the last several months.
After all, that is what team-building activities are all about — giving colleagues a chance to spend time together outside of their working stations and establish friendly relationships that can only reflect positively on their future professional collaboration.
Day 2 was relaxation-only. We finally got to visit the hotel’s spa center that was equipped with state-of-the-art saunas, salt rooms, exotic showers, relax rooms, a jacuzzi, and an indoor pool.
Unfortunately, the hot outdoor pool that we were so eager to swim in was closed down due to renovation, but the hotel managers were generous enough to give us complimentary massages instead; massages that were more than necessary and that our worked out necks and backs thanked us for after long months of sitting in front of computer screens.
After dinner, it was time for the birthday cake. We ordered the same chocolate cake as we did for our first and second birthday celebrations. It’s becoming a tradition at this point, and things are looking well for the company, so we’re probably going to keep doing it for as long as the bakery we ordered it from stays in business.
Milan held a short speech thanking everyone and wished that we would gather around the same cake next year, this time with a lit candle in the shape of number 4.
After that, it was time for another visit to the game room, where we burned the calories added by our traditional HIREQUARTERS cake by playing more games, some of which revealed the competitive nature of some of our teammates.
We used the final day of our team-building trip for some outdoor activities. Being that we were relatively close to Kopaonik’s peak (Pančićev Vrh), most of us decided to head there (some on foot, others on quad bikes) and treat ourselves to a gorgeous view of the untamed mountain nature that stretched for miles in every direction.
Then, it was finally time to check out from the hotel and say goodbye to the fresh Kopaonik air. The trip was short but sweet, helping us get deserved rest and take our minds off work for a while, but also talk about how we can keep improving as a collective.
Even though we were at the top of the mountain, we knew that there were plenty of other, higher peaks that we are yet to conquer, from both personal and professional perspectives, and that reaching those new heights is well within our reach if we keep working hard and believe in our qualities.
Until next year!
Celebrating Safely and Responsibly
Even though our trip was organized in the midst of a pandemic, we made sure to respect and be in accordance with all the safety measures.
We’d like to use this opportunity to thank Gorski Hotel & Spa’s staff members for their hospitality and for keeping us safe during our stay. Everyone was wearing masks at all times, from receptionists and lobby waitresses to housekeeping personnel, while hand sanitizers were at our disposal at every corner.