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Retreat Postponed by COVID-19: Message #1

Apr 10, 2020 2 min readOpen
Photo of Courtney Seiter
Courtney Seiter

Former Director of People @ Buffer

This team communication regarding COVID-19 is part of our COVID-19 Response Series. You can see all the messages in the series here.

  • Shared: March 4, 2020
  • Posted by: Courtney Seiter, Director of People
  • Title: We are postponing our planned June retreat in Athens

We are postponing our planned June retreat in Athens

Hi team; I have some tough news to share: In light of the COVID-19 situation developing across the world and out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to postpone the June Athens retreat.

Retreat is a very important event for us as a team – for alignment, morale, connection, culture, and moving initiatives forward. We wouldn’t postpone the retreat without serious consideration and a lot of advice.

Here’s why we made this call

Although we are still a few months away from the retreat, it is extremely challenging to foresee how the global situation will evolve and whether COVID-19 will hit pandemic status worldwide. We do know that travel has helped to perpetuate the virus.

It is especially tough to anticipate how things will evolve in Europe, as Greece now has multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19, which are linked to the outbreak in Italy.

The uncertainty around a “wait and see” approach on whether to proceed with the retreat would place undue stress on all of us. We don’t want anyone to feel pressure to travel during this uncertain time.  Your safety and well-being are our priority.

How does this affect you?

If you haven’t yet booked your flight, no need to do anything right now. The People/Finance teams will keep monitoring the situation and working with our vendors, and we’ll share with the team as soon as we have any info on a potential new date.

If you have already booked your flight, check in with your airline to see what your options are for a refund or credit. For extra help on this, please head over to our Threads Space and the People and Finance teams will work with you to have these expenses covered.

How does this affect on-sites/other Buffer travel?

If you already have an on-site planned, please decide within your team if you still feel safe proceeding with an in-person meeting. Do review the COVID-19 situation at your on-site destination as part of your evaluation.If you’re planning an on-site or other Buffer travel, please talk to the People team before proceeding.

Thank you all for being patient with us during this unprecedented time. We know it’s disappointing to have to postpone our time together, but we’re hopeful things will stabilize and we’ll be able to share better news soon. I know this is a big shift and a lot to take in, so leave all thoughts, questions and feelings here and let’s keep talking.

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