STAFF from a Malvern tech firm have returned from a week of exploring and working on a sub-tropical island.

The team from Payara, based at the Malvern Hills Science Park, spent a week on the island of Funchal, Madeira, where the company has opened its new EU office in response to Brexit.

Eliot Martin, technical delivery manager at Payara said: “We recently achieved something unique, important, and ultimately hugely valuable for the organisation and its continued success. Payara Week Madeira became so much more than a strategic discussion.

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"Together, ‘Payarans’ broke down barriers between departments and strengthened the mechanisms that allowed critical information to flow across the company. We inspected and adapted the systems and processes that underpinned how the teams worked together.

"Taking place between March 7 and 14, the week consisted of company-wide presentations, interactive workshops and team strategic activities, whilst also providing the opportunity for relationship building through social activities.

The Payara team also spent an afternoon exploring some of Madeira’s amazing locations, sampling local foods and listening to folk-song performances as well as taking part in fun team-building activities.

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Having forged links with Madeira University as part of the Payara STEM outreach programme, the Payara team took some time to share their tech expertise through a series of lectures to students studying Software Engineering.

Julia Millidge, HR manager at Payara added: "Although much strategic planning and collaborative working happens during the week, the social side of things is equally as important.

"As a company with workers from 10 different countries, it is a great opportunity to bring together colleagues who usually only see and speak to each other via the internet. Remote working has many advantages, but human contact is essential even just for a brief period."

While all members of the company are now working remotely in response to COVID-19, Mrs Millidge said the energy and relationships built during Payara Week has given them extra momentum to approach the situation with confidence and community spirit.