A “Rare” moment, the BeYourFuture offsite.

Dear Readers of the BeYourFuture Blog,

It’s a common occurrence in teams at Microsoft, to organise the occasional ‘Offsite’ whereby an entire team ditches the laptops and boardrooms and heads off for a day of team bonding/fun and horrendously great banter.

It’s not always so laid back, sometimes we use these occasions to take ourselves away from our regular work environment and focus on the road ahead in a fresh setting. It’s a great way to brainstorm new ideas and think of the bigger picture than our day-to-day roles might elude to.

So… As a team in ourselves, we decided that BeYourFuture should have our very own Offsite!

We aimed to straddle it right between the two above themes, setting time aside to focus on strategy and fresh ideas for the rest of FY16, but also to enjoy some time together and chillax!

We chose to do our offsite at the fantastic Rare Studios in where two of our BeYourFuture team actually work! - Patti our marvellous Promotions lead, and Kewin one of our brilliant video leads.

Rare Studios is one of Microsoft’s Third Party Game Developer Studios and has made such titles in the past such as the legendary titles Donkey Kong and GoldenEye 007 and is currently working on the much anticipated upcoming Sea of Theives

The Offsite was broken down into four sections:

  • 10:00am till 12:00pm - BeYourFuture weekly sync (This is where we all catch up on our week’s work and feedback to the group about what went well/badly/amazing – hopefully always amazingly)

  • 12:00pm till 13:30pm – Lunch time! We had a chance to grab some super tasty (and free!) grub courtesy of Rare and enjoy some of the Easter sunshine out on Rare’s grounds, whilst we had a good ole’ stroll around and watched various developers doing their daily workouts and playing with drones… what a life!

  • 13:30pm – 14:30pm – This is the coolest part! As we were visiting the studios, the Rare team gave us the chance to test out the upcoming game Sea of Thieves and for us to give our feedback. This was an awesome opportunity, and proved to be such great fun! Definitely keep your eyes peeled for this when it looks to be released – we loved it!

  • 14:30pm – 17:00pm – Finally we reached the last section of our offsite. This is where we got down to some serious brainstorming and some top secret projects! (keep your eyes out for these…) We created some awesome strategic plans for the rest of our time with BYF, and set some really big goals which we hope to achieve!

All in all, I think I speak for every member of the team when I say it was a brilliant day! It’s important when you’re working in a team to always make time to take a step back, and assess the bigger picture. It’s very easy to get bogged down in day-to-day tasks needed to keep a project going forward. In order to develop and produce growth, these kind of sessions are needed to take stock of current plans, and produce new ideas and goals.

It’s also a great chance to chill out and have some fun with your team, work hard… play hard!

Thanks for reading!

Jack – Project Lead for the BeYourFuture Blog

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