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My Trip to Manila 2.0 - Back to Team Building and Team Bonding – Being Human!


I recently returned from my second trip to Manila, and I'm more convinced than ever that regular face-to-face meetings are essential for building strong teams.


We've all gotten used to working remotely. Whilst there’s no denying the clear advantages to remote work; having a team based in Manila being top of that list, some of the important things are lost when we're not able to meet face-to-face. Time to be Human again!

With the march of AI into our lives, being human and having the kinds of interactions AI can't give, is how we separate ourselves from those “AI will replace us” conversations.


This Year, to celebrate being (mostly) free humans again; Frontline put our team trips back on after a 2 year Covid hiatus – we’ve grown so much over that time we now need 2 events to ensure our management team can safely manage the numbers!


This year we took a 3-hour trip out of the hustle and bustle of Manila into the beautiful, serene surroundings of Camayan Beach Resort overlooking Subic Bay.

AI can’t shake a client's hand, this year across 2 team trips we had 16 clients join us. That’s real quality time with clients in a beautiful relaxed atmosphere. As you can imagine, we were born in Oz so we do like catching up with our clients on a beach with a beer or a cocktail in hand.


AI can't take part in team building events… and Win! Go Red Team!🏅

Although AI can now make music to a scarily good quality, even imitating actual artists, but it can’t take the mic, stand up in front of hundreds of colleagues and proceed to murder a Robbie Williams song on Karaoke 🤣 Just check out our new Ozzie Country Director Adrian’s face!


AI can't go out and eat good food, have a few beers and play pool with colleagues to build relationships with people that you mostly see on Zoom.


Anyway… this isn’t a travel blog so my point here is – in a world where AI can talk, type and even create a humanoid image of itself 🤖 – it’s time we get back to more face-face, more human meetings because if we don’t want to interact, unfortunately, those people who are happy to sit quietly in meetings with cameras off will be the first that AI replaces.


Frontline will be using our team trips and social events to encourage staff to want to come back into the office more often, get to know their new colleagues that joined in the pandemic and haven’t seen the office much and get back to the Frontline FAm interactions we built the company on.

We’ve even hired a full-time events co-ordinator as our events are:

a) a vitally important part of our retention efforts and; b) a full time job in a company of 600+ staff.

Next up is the Christmas party on the 17th of November 2023. So you have plenty of time to prepare from now. We would love to see you and I’m sure your staff would too! FYI November is perfect weather in The Philippines with temperatures in the mid 20C’s and the rainy season should also have passed so it really is a perfect time to visit.

For existing clients – expect to see an email from me shortly so I can arrange to come out and see you on site at some point over the summer. Our face-to-face visits are a crucial part of our client feedback loop. We need these to learn and improve. Conversely, I work with our BPO clients and I see best practice every day, I know what is and isn't working for our clients globally and I am happy to share my thoughts on what can also be improved for you and your team.


Get in touch if you would like me to help you get more rest!


UK Country Director

Frontline Accounting

With over 10 years’ experience working with Accountancy Firms, BPO’s and Fintech’s like Intuit & Dext; Mark helps firms maximize efficiency and solve capacity issues with People + Technology.


Learn more about how Offshoring works: www.frontlineaccounting.com

Schedule a call with me: www.calendly.com/markmcnee


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