Work hard, play harder: Kiwi.com’s Barcelona summer office

Staff at Kiwi.com received an opportunity to take part in a series of projects in Barcelona to improve the company’s service

Our summer office in Barcelona is proof that work, joy, fun and travel can be connected - Teodora Stojšin
Our summer office in Barcelona is proof that work, joy, fun and travel can be connected – Teodora Stojšin

Everything at Kiwi.com focuses on travel. Our customers are not the only ones who love it – we’re pretty keen ourselves. Since the beginning of the year, Kiwis have been working hard all over the world, especially at our summer office in Barcelona. Our Spanish adventure is proof that work, joy, fun and travel can be connected.

A few months ago, staff at Kiwi.com received an opportunity to take part in a series of projects in Barcelona to improve the company’s service. Imagine sitting in your office, working, when an offer for a working holiday in Barcelona drops into your emails. I still remember how thrilled I was when I saw the opportunity.

I knew that I needed to put maximum effort into my application because there were only a certain number of spots available. Even though I wanted to apply immediately, I waited a day to think about it, to take a deep breath, and to write a letter full of ideas and project suggestions.

And guess what? It was definitely worth it. When I heard I had been selected, I jumped all over my flat and called all of my friends and family to scream with excitement.

Even though we enjoyed the sun in our a villa pool, our main task was to improve the service our company provides - Petra Aanderud Summer office
“Even though we enjoyed the sun in our villa pool, our main task was to improve the service our company provides” – Petra Aanderud

The Barcelona summer office began in July and ran for two months, with employees switching every Saturday. We had the chance to combine exploring the Catalonian metropolis with practical projects. Getting familiar with and involved in other teams’ activities is an experience that every employee should have.

You may be wondering why management would decide to send us away for a week?

The purpose of our stay in Barcelona was not to sunbathe, drink sangria, swim in a fancy villa pool and listen to Ed Sheeran’s Barcelona. Each week there was a different project planned to improve our service and to develop the business.

The task during the week I attended was to analyse and test the website and the mobile app in order to make it simpler, easier, and more user friendly. While putting ourselves in the shoes of a customer, we were collecting all the information necessary for improvement. We also looked for potential issues and possible solutions.

we found the perfect balance between work and pleasure - we worked hard and played harder - Petra Aanderud summer office
Kiwi.com staff found the perfect balance between work and pleasure; they worked hard and played harder – Petra Aanderud

When you work in a positive atmosphere with people focused on the same goal, there is no obstacle that you can’t resolve. True, our working environment was slightly different from the one in Brno where the main Kiwi.com office is located, and we found the perfect balance between work and pleasure.

Since we are passionate travellers, we used our free time to explore all the hidden parts of Barcelona. Working hard during the day made us also realise that we need lots of awesome paella, tapas, churros and sangria in the evening to make sure that we recovered for the next day.

It was devastating to learn that there are no nice magnets of Barcelona to bring back as souvenirs. However, the legendary Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s art and the Magic Fountain made up for that. Sagrada Familia is the most powerful piece of architecture I have ever seen.

The proof of this is that I didn’t take a selfie with my compañeros immediately. I was waiting for at least five minutes to admire the basilica – a whole five minutes without a picture for me is incredible. And I did the same when we visited Gaudi’s houses.

When you work in a positive atmosphere with people focused on the same goal, there is no obstacle that you can’t resolve. Summer office - Petra Aanderud
“When you work in a positive atmosphere with people focused on the same goal, there is no obstacle that you can’t resolve” – Petra Aanderud

Another famous attraction is Guell Park, and I would recommend taking a bus there, or at least having a good navigator, to avoid getting lost on the hill. Next time, I’ll skip the stairs too. Stairs never brought anyone anything but trouble.

Barceloneta Beach is recommended only for those who don’t have enough time to go to any other beach. In other words, be kind to yourself and spend 30 more minutes going to Badalona, Ocata or Montgat. But Barceloneta suits those who forget to bring any kind of beverage, blanket or even swimming suits – you’re close enough to the city to pop back and buy everything without losing much time to chill.

If you are searching for a party and you can not find it on your way, just take a night public bus. It’s likely that there will be a party on the bus, which we had the luck to discover. If there is no party, there is a chance to meet a Spanish elder who would love to share their life story with you… In Spanish.

In Barcelona we worked hard and played harder. I can imagine working at no other company that would allow us to do this. And the trust that Kiwi.com places in us is huge – but it pays off. The work that we achieved and the solutions that we discovered in Spain were amazing. I can’t wait until we have the chance to travel again next summer.