From COVID-19 to Maldives ‘21

Eynat Guez May 05, 2021
Papaya Global in Maldives

Last week, for Papaya’s annual Global Week, we took our entire global workforce and their families – well over 250 people based in six countries – to the Maldives for five days to meet, connect, and look for ways to improve our global cooperation.

It was quite a leap from our first Global Week, held a little more than a year earlier, ending in January, 2020, just a few beats before Covid shut down the whole world. That year, we had a total of 80 people join us from Israel, Australia, and the US.

This year, people came from Israel, Jordan, Ukraine, France, UK and the US. Half of them had never met before arriving in the Maldives.

I received a lot of feedback about the event from outside. Some people expressed envy. Others thought it was irresponsible to hold a global event in the current environment. Another group thought remote work and video calls were enough “face-to-face” interaction to build bonds.

Of course, that’s not the story we heard from the 250 people who participated. They’ll tell you how much of a relief it was to spend a few days feeling “normal” again, and how valuable it was for them to interact in-person with their colleagues.

As a global leader in software solutions for any type of workforce, we know how to create the perfect infrastructure for remote employees – and we know that there is no substitute for meeting each other face-to-face.

Papaya Group Photo

A New Papaya Tradition

So what led up to this year’s Global Week?

Last year, we held our first “Global week” in Israel. It was a great success and we decided that this will become a Papaya tradition.

And then, it seemed like just minutes after the trip ended…the COVID era began. At the same time, Papaya entered a period of major growth. The workforce grew each month, but none of our distributed employees could meet in person. People made their best effort to work together remotely, it was not the same.

In September 2020, when the second lockdown in Israel began, I made a personal escape to the Maldives with my family. Once I was there and saw the place for myself, I was determined to figure out how to hold our next Global Week there, despite the challenges of Covid.

As it turned out, Covid proved to be a challenge, but not one we couldn’t overcome. We ended up postponing the trip three times – until we felt the timing was right. By then, most of our employees were vaccinated, flights were returning to normal, and Covid-related logistics, still very strict, became manageable.

We realized, to my great satisfaction, that we were going to make it happen!

Papaya Employees in Maldives

During the last days of April, Papaya took over an amazing Island in the Maldives called Olhuveli –  we had work sessions alongside parties, networking opportunities with our colleagues alongside personal time together enjoying the beautiful island atmosphere.

It was truly amazing and inspiring to see just how much power there was in the group, and how many people are part of Papaya’s culture. For me, Global week is the strongest expression of our strength and spirit – setting goals and making them happen, not focusing on why our goals are impossible but asking how, together, we can make it possible.Papaya Employees in Maldives

With the amount of talent and fighting spirit I saw from our group in the Maldives, I’ve never felt more confident that we are headed in the right direction.

Thank you to all the Papayans around the world for making this trip such a massive success. See You next year in ___________ (we’ll share soon!!)

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