Flixed is on a mission to build a universal streamlining layer with tools and resources that make streaming decisions easier and more accessible. Founded during the pandemic, the company is fully remote — “but even if we launched before COVID, we’d still likely be remote,” explains Founder and CEO Thenuka Karunaratne, who says they have no plans to open an office, or even to introduce a hybrid system.
However, the benefits of in-person interaction are not lost on Thenuka, who understands just how closely it’s tied to retention, especially for small companies like his.
“If you don’t feel close to the people you’re working with, it can be really difficult to retain your best employees.”
So earlier this fall, Flixed turned to Flok for help planning a corporate retreat to foster team building — “we didn’t plan any hackathons or serious work meetings. The goal was just to allow people time to get to know each other.” Here’s how it went:
Selecting a destination
Destination-wise, Thenuka’s priorities were to find someplace warm with a low COVID risk and ample activity options. Because the retreat was originally planned for the summer, Wyoming was initially at the top of the list, but when the dates shifted to October, it was nixed in favor of Hawaii. And then Hawaii issued a COVID travel advisory, so that was out. In its place, Flok suggested San Diego, a coastal city known for its beautiful beaches, world-class attractions, and unrivaled cuisine — the perfect spot for a group.
Selecting a venue
Flok arranged for the Flixed team to stay at Hotel Salomar, which boasts a laid-back, quintessentially SoCal vibe. The amenities (rooftop pool included) and destination (central Gaslamp Quarter) were ideal for the team.
Flok also arranged for dedicated WeWork time during the day (when the team wasn’t out and about enjoying San Diego).
During the four-day experience, Flok planned a handful of team-building experiences for Flixed, including:
- Private Food Tour with Secret Food Tours
On this three-hour tour, the Flixed team was able to explore downtown San Diego’s vibrant food scene and taste its influences from Mexico to the Far East. They sampled some of the city’s freshest seafood — from lobster rolls to local ahi tuna — as well as freshly-made gelato and pork belly Bao buns while learning about the area’s culture and history.
- Cruise around the bay on a San Diego Harbor Cruise
The Flixed team took in San Diego’s best sights from the bay on this hour and a half-long tour led by a local guide.
Flok also provided a list of activities for allocated free time, including:
- A visit to Balboa Park
The largest cultural complex west of the Mississippi that contains eight gardens, 15 museums, a Tony Award-winning theater, and the San Diego zoo.
- Beach time
At one of the city’s iconic beaches, including La Jolla Cove Beach, Coronado Beach, and Pacific Beach.
- Renting electric bikes from Pedego
And riding along the water — one of the best ways to get to know San Diego.
Securing dining reservations
The Flixed team gathered for communal dinners at some of the city’s best spots.
- Osteria Panevino
A go-to Italian joint featuring fresh pasta, osso buco, and plenty of gluten-free options.
- C Level
Asian fusion-inspired seafood fare served in a breezy lounge overlooking San Diego and Coronado.
- Herb & Wood
Helmed by Chef Brian Malarkey, Herb & Wood specializes in rustic, wood-fired dishes that blend Mediterranean flavors with a California ethos of seasonality and sustainability.
- Kettner Exchange
Located on Little Italy’s only rooftop patio, Kettner Exchange — which was named to Michelin’s prestigious Bib Gourmand list in 2019 — dishes out progressive American cuisine from acclaimed Chef Brian Redzikowski.
“Flok made it incredibly convenient,” explains Thenuka, who plans on hosting two retreats per year moving forward. “I didn’t have to worry about the food, or where to go, or whether the places are comfortable. There was a lot of effort and time saved for the internal team.”