This is just a photo of some of the dev team doing, like, sand dune buggy races in Dubai. Here's the support team in Boracay. Here's, I think, the marketing team in Bohol. So we do these team retreats every single year. We actually have one single team retreat where everyone flies into one location per year. That's up to you, because it's very expensive.
Last year, our off-site cost us $2360 per employee. We did it in Bali and, in essence, it was a conference on our company. So we talked about HR, marketing, product, sales, logistics, support, all of these things. All these department heads come together. And we really have a very cool deep down discussion about it.
Also, an honorable mention is that's when we sync up and we communicate nonverbally it's very difficult to describe what happens. But I study people that have not done a team retreat like the pre and the post. It's a very interesting phenomenon, it's just one of those things like, 'I didn't know Liam was that stupid' or 'I didn't know that John was that tall' or 'I didn't know that Jack could drink that much'. These are the types of things that just sort of come out of these conversations. And we have a very, uh, those non-verbal interactions you really can't get, unfortunately, any other way than in-person. Yes, it costs about a quarter million dollars to be able to do it, but we consider it money well spent. And it's something that everyone looks forward to every year. We also tried to do this in VR and it was a massive disaster. It just wasn't the same.
Basically, there is no quantitative data currently that shows that remote off-sites actually work. Qualitatively they work. Everyone feels really excited about it. Now, can I put a quarter of a million dollars into something else? How many Teslas can you buy with that? A lot. If I'm going to be completely honest with you, the reason why we did that is everyone else in the remote-first community does it. Joel Gascoigne, the CEO of Buffer, Amir, from Doist, Gitlab does this.
The thing that I've learned from being the organizer of Running Remote for 3 years is all of these incredibly successful, remote-first companies, that I've had the honor of being able to interact with, they have completely different ways of building their business. And I have a theory connected to this, which is remote work is so new right now, it's such an interesting new phenomenon, no one knows what they're doing, everyone is doing it not in an ideal way.
And yet they're all still winning in the market because of the massive productivity gains that you get from remote-first work agreements.
We may find in the future that team retreats are actually not effective at all. But as of right now, since we have a whole bunch of extra cash, we basically do it. And the reason why we have so much extra cash is because we have a remote-first organization.
Also, we make sure that our employees write us testimonials about who we actually are. What's it like working inside of the company? What are the cultural components of working at a remote-first organization? So we have a couple of those there, just go to time-doctor.breezy.hr
, take a look at the way that we structure our applications. Don't worry about it and just use it and fill in your own stuff.