If you’re somewhat familiar with Roadmap, you might know we are a tad crazy. If you’re not, we’ll tell you right now that yes, we are nuts, but in a good way. Why? Well, here’s the thing: stepping into the business travel arena as a Dutch startup company, convinced you can improve traveler happiness, requires a nutcase-kind-of gut. Especially when you don’t have Silicon Valley VC backing you up with 500 million bucks to get things rolling.
And yet we’ve reinforced the team with 30 people, each of whom strives towards true happiness for business travelers. They’re passionate about achieving this objective because they are business travelers themselves (even our software engineers!). As a result, we can check some all-important boxes: ‘ownership,’ ‘accountability,’ and ‘happy employees.’
Next-level travel experience
All right. I’ve shared this story before, so I’ll keep it short. A few years ago, we realized our co-workers didn’t fully grasp what it meant to travel on business because it was all theory to them. Sure, they’d hopped on planes and trains before for leisure purposes, but business travel is incomparable with a vacation. Our solution? Team Travel Experience, which allows every ‘Roadmapper’ to globe-trot like a dyed-in-the-wool business traveler at least once a year. This way, they get to experience what our customers deal with on a regular basis. In terms of KPIs, it helps us in several ways: we improve, boost our productivity, and increase the fun factor.
Experience beats… everything!
This time around, two of our team members are off to some exotic places. Software engineer Pascal and customer success operations manager Myrna will visit three destinations. They’ll set foot in San Jose (Costa Rica), catch a flight to Panama City (Panama), and make a final stop in one of our customers’ top destinations, Bogotá (Colombia).
Why we picked these places? Firstly, because transportation and safety are essential to us, and when it comes to understanding what these topics entail, nothing beats the actual experience – especially in these locations. Secondly, business travelers often visit multiple places in a brief timespan, and we won’t be able to relate to the associated complexity and emotions if we never leave our safe-and-sound Roadmap HQ office desks. Lastly, a three-destination trip like this helps our co-workers discover the challenges that come with working on ‘business as usual’ in a very unusual (remote) manner. Love (for our company) goes a long way, and we take that quite literally – by having our employees experience it in the farthest corners of the globe.
So, are we weird because we’re sending our people away with their laptops, cellphones, and daily tasks to work amidst a bunch of palm trees for a week or two? Maybe. But let’s be honest for a second. If you’d need more information on a specific destination, who would you rather trust: the book-smart know-it-all or the well-traveled digital nomad who’s ‘been there and done that?’ I think the answer to that question is unanimous!