#MutantsTakePhuket: Team Retreat to Phuket!

Sometimes you’ve got to say ‘Phuket, let’s go to Phuket’ 😉

A private villa, a schedule of exciting team challenges, and heaps of Thai food – us Mutants were whisked away to Phuket this February for our annual Mutant Offsite. Yep, we’re lucky enough that for three days every year, our entire team heads out of Singapore for a teambuilding experience like no other. And after a rather big and busy 2018, we wanted to kick off this year with a bang. Phuket seemed to be the obvious choice for a company retreat.

After an hour’s ride from the airport, we arrived at our accommodation near the peaceful Nai Harn Beach, seemingly a world away from the usual Patong haunts.

  
This tucked-away bungalow villa can house up to 32 guests, and has two swimming pools! | Photo by: Sreya Sanyal

Work first, then pool time? Thai and stop us… | Photo by: Ian Lee


The view from one of the rooms in the villa. | Photo by: Yeo Sze-G


A living space with an abundance of plants is definitely #goals. | Photo by: Claire Choo

Shark Tank (minus Kevin O’Leary)

After everyone settled in (and dried off from a dip in the pool with a gigantic blow-up rainbow unicorn), we were given our first task of the trip – after all, what’s a team retreat without some mind-boggling team challenges?


Our CEO, Joe, recapping company performance in 2018 before the mini challenge began | Photo: Yeo Sze-G

After being split into teams, the challenge was to choose an item that could be found in the villa and pitch it, with just 15 minutes’ prep time. We had to come up with a name for our product, its target audience, a tagline, and an elevator pitch to a bunch of ‘investors’ (our bosses). From a vertical garden to the humble toilet roll, the exercise was all about being bold and thinking out of the box.


Team Towel-In-Oneturned an ordinary orange beach towel a convertible garment. | Photo: Rebecca Lewis

Team Lifeline: The winners for our first challenge made toilet paper a must-have accessory! | Photo: Rebecca Lewis

The winner from the first challenge was Team ‘Lifeline’, who pitched customisable toilet roll. It was a close call between teams, but their creativity, humour and solid pitching skills ultimately won the challenge.

“It was great getting to know more about my colleagues outside an office setting, and it was also refreshing teaming up with people I don’t usually work with during the challenges,” said Alyson, our Senior Account Executive.

Mutant’s Storytelling Challenge

The second day in Phuket was all about storytelling, and an exercise that focused on creating visual narratives for a specific audience. We were again split into teams, and then tasked with finding an underrated place in Phuket, travelling there, scripting a video and then editing a two-minute piece to present to everyone – all in about 5 hours’ time! Talk about meeting tough deadlines…

  1. Getting a Thai massage fix


Photos: Alyson Tay, Bethany Bloch, Ian Lee, Tina Sales

Our first team explored the world of Thai massage on the island. Profiling a pop-up stall on the beach and a massage studio in a strip mall, they taught us all about the art of benefits of a traditional Thai massage and emphasised that you don’t need to go to a ritzy resort for a high-quality experience.

  1. Exploring a living museum


Photos: Kent Toh, Richa Shah, Yeo Sze-G

With team member Kent as the main lead in their video, Team 2 headed to Baan Chinpracha Museumin Old Phuket Town, and told us the history of Chinese culture in Phuket through the rustic imagery of a 100-year-old house that was built by a wealthy Chinese family in the early 1900s.

  1. Being #Basic


Photos: Ivan Tan, Priscillia Chun, Sreya Sanyal

Team 3 gave us the ultimate guide to having some #summertimegladness on the streets of Old Phuket Town. They showed us where we could go to live our best Instagram life by introducing trendy clothing stores and the coolest cafés in the area.

  1. Patong by day


Photos: Claire Choo, Rhea Arora

Reporting from the sands of the most (in)famous nightlife hotspot in Phuket, Team 4 demonstrated why the area is worth a daytime visit, highlighting where to eat, shop and play.

“This challenge was all about emphasising the soft skills required for collaborative storytelling and meshing different perspectives and angles into a coherent narrative. Some of us are lifestyle-y sorts while others are corporate-y data people, so emotive storytellers and data storytellers were able to come together to create these videos,” said Ian, our Account Manager.

Putting the “treat” in “retreat”


While some of us had fun in the sun… | Photos: Alyson Tay, Ian Lee

…others experienced a bit of discomfort. But the good kind – who doesn’t love a good
Thai massage? | Photos: Alyson Tay, Ian Lee

After all the brainstorming and sun exposure, we made sure to unwind the best way we know how: with good, local food. Nai Harn still retains its quiet charm with only a few hotels and villas in the area, and authentic local restaurants dot the shore.


We made sure not to miss out on the classic pineapple fried rice! | Photo: Yeo Sze-G


Our outdoor dinner setting on the last night | Photo: Bethany Bloch


It was a feast! | Photo: Alyson Tay

We had a great time bonding over delicious food, fun challenges and convenience store snack and beverage runs. Sometimes, to relieve stress from hectic work schedules and deadlines, you just need to get everyone out of the office to relax and have fun!

A 360 team photo at Nai Harn Beach | Photo: Ian Lee

“It was time well spent. We don’t only work hard, but we play hard, too,” said Kent, our Business Development Executive.

Refreshed and reinvigorated, we Mutants are back in the office – though perhaps daydreaming every now and then about green curry in our bellies and sand between our toes.

Want to know about the other cool stuff we do while having fun? Contact us at hello@mutant.com.my.