Doonails’ offsite event in Montepulciano


In today’s digital age, where remote work is the new norm, keeping a team connected and maintaining a vibrant company culture can be a real challenge. Doonails, a fully remote company with employees scattered across Europe, faced this head-on by organizing an unforgettable offsite event in the charming town of Montepulciano, Italy. This five-day retreat was all about balancing work and play, giving the team a chance to bond in person, exchange ideas, and simply have a great time together.

Let’s dive into how Smartway helped Doonails pull off this amazing event.

Doonails: a revolutionary force in the manicure industry

First, a little background on Doonails. This innovative company has been making waves in the manicure industry since its launch in 2021. Founded by Lukas Windegger and Elisa Walder, Doonails quickly grew from a small startup to a team of 45 remote employees. Their claim to fame? A top-notch at-home manicure system that has won the hearts of many. As Lukas shared, “We started Doonails three years ago with a dream to create the perfect at-home manicure system. Today, we have an amazing team of 45 people working remotely.” While their remote-first setup works wonders for productivity, Doonails knows the magic that happens when people meet face-to-face.

A week of connection and collaboration

The offsite in Montepulciano was packed with fun hyper-local activities and productive work sessions that perfectly balanced the need for connection and collaboration.

🧊 Breaking the ice and building bonds

The event kicked off with a series of ice-breaking activities designed to help everyone get to know each other better. From lively discussions to playful games, these activities set a relaxed and friendly tone for the days ahead, allowing team members to connect on a personal level right from the start.

đź“· Exploring Montepulciano together

A photo scavenger hunt had teams exploring the beautiful town of Montepulciano, capturing memories, and building camaraderie. “It was an incredible way to see the town and work together,” said Anna. “The shared experiences outside of a work environment really brought us closer.”

🍷 Wine tasting and culinary adventures

Nothing says team bonding like a wine tasting challenge in the land of wine, filled with laughter and friendly competition. Participants engaged in a wine blind tasting challenge, followed by a delightful farm-to-table dinner featuring a pici pasta masterclass. “These experiences were not just fun; they also helped us bond over shared moments and new experiences,” Anna noted.

👩🏻‍💻 Work sessions in a historic setting

The team set up their workspace at the stunning Palazzo del Capitano. The agenda included a plenary session followed by focused team sessions. One of the highlights was the one-on-one meetings with a mental coach, a special initiative requested by the leadership at Doonails to support personal and professional growth.

🪩 A grand finale

The event wrapped up with a stylish total white dress code party, adding a touch of elegance and fun to the proceedings. It was the perfect way to celebrate a week of hard work and deep connection, leaving everyone with cherished memories and a stronger sense of unity.

The Doonails team ready for the total white party

Overcoming challenges with Smartway’s support

Organizing an event of this scale is no small feat. Anna Unterweger, People and Culture Manager at Doonails, explained, “Last time, I had to handle everything myself, and it was tough. But this year, Smartway’s support was incredible. They gave us so many options and took care of all the logistics. It made the whole process so much easier and stress-free.” Smartway’s expertise ensured that every detail was meticulously planned and executed, allowing the Doonails team to focus on the experience.

Impact & Results: strengthening bonds and boosting morale

The impact of the offsite event on the Doonails team was profound. Participants felt more connected and closer to their colleagues, fostering stronger team bonds. Lukas emphasized the importance of these in-person events, saying, “And that is exactly the part what was missing in our organization. So we are coming for a remote first focus but the in-person events are so crucial for us because the connection between each other, the get to know even better the person that’s of course crucial for our organization.” The beautiful setting and engaging activities provided a much-needed morale boost, as Anna noted, “Meeting face-to-face once a year? It’s huge for motivation and alignment. The offsite in Montepulciano has been perfect for recharging our team spirit.”

The work sessions also played a crucial role in clarifying the company’s vision and setting clear goals for the future. The combination of team bonding activities and focused work sessions resulted in a noticeable improvement in team collaboration and communication. The event not only recharged the team but also reinforced the company’s mission and goals, providing a clear path forward for the upcoming months.

A model for remote-first company

Doonails’ offsite event in Montepulciano was a huge success. It not only brought the team closer together but also reinforced the company’s vision and goals. For a remote-first company like Doonails, these events are essential for building a strong sense of community and driving success. This case study shows just how powerful a well-planned offsite event can be in uniting remote teams and boosting overall company performance.

In the end, it’s all about balancing the advantages of remote work with the irreplaceable value of in-person connections. And Doonails nailed it with this unforgettable offsite event in Italy, making a lasting impact not only on their team but also on the local community of Montepulciano.