May 22, 2023

Critical Success: Unleashing the Power of Teamwork Through DnD

Critical Success: Unleashing the Power of Teamwork Through DnD


At Showmax, we're no strangers to the world of online video streaming, code, and cutting-edge technology. But sometimes, the best way to build a strong team isn't through Teams conference calls or Slack messages – it's through good old-fashioned tabletop gaming. For more than two years, a group of us have been embarking on epic Dungeons and Dragons adventures, and we've discovered that this fantastical pastime has had a profound impact on our teamwork, collaboration, and interpersonal connections. So, grab your d20 and join us on this journey as we reveal how our weekly DnD sessions became the best team-building experience we've ever had!

Embarking on the Adventure

Imagine a group of dedicated developers and team leaders, exhausted after a day of debugging and brainstorming, suddenly finding themselves transported to a world of swords, sorcery, and epic quests. Guided by our exceptional Dungeon Master (and skilled developer, Tomáš Heger), we navigate this fantastical realm as a bard, a druid, a rogue, and more, learning a thing or two about teamwork and camaraderie along the way.

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Staying Connected and Accelerating Onboarding

Amidst the COVID lockdowns, our DnD sessions became crucial for staying connected, maintaining morale, and preserving team spirit. These virtual gatherings offered a sense of normalcy and companionship during unpredictable times.

When I joined the company two years ago, we were operating entirely remotely due to the pandemic. It took me over two months to meet my team members in person for the first time! When I joined the DnD sessions I felt immediately closer to my colleagues with the added bonus of having an excellent opportunity to practice my English, which helped me feel more confident speaking my second language. João Pampanini (a.k.a. Jony), one of our colleagues, experienced a similar benefit when he joined our DnD sessions during this first week at the company. Having relocated from Brazil to the Czech Republic, Jony quickly felt welcome and supported by the team, thanks to our shared adventures.

For both newcomers and relocated team members, our DnD sessions have proven to be engaging icebreakers that expedite onboarding and cultivate a sense of belonging. By cultivating camaraderie and creating memorable experiences, these sessions have become an invaluable tool in connecting and integrating team members.

Maintaining Connections Across Teams

Our weekly DnD sessions have even helped nurture strong relationships with colleagues who have moved to other teams. Despite two of our players transferring to different teams, we still gather around the table (or screen) to share in the excitement, keeping our connections intact and strengthening our bonds.

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Building Character(s) and Questing Together

So, what's the secret sauce that makes it such a fantastic team-building experience? DnD allows our team to step into the shoes of unique characters, improving empathy, understanding, and adaptability while exploring different perspectives and problem-solving styles. In each session, we rely on one another to overcome obstacles and achieve goals, which makes a powerful parallel with the essential teamwork we need at our daily work at Showmax in order to deliver the best experience possible to our users. Plus, it doesn't hurt that the memories of epic battles, daring rescues, and hilarious misfortunes make for great coffee break conversation!

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Laughter as a Team-Building Elixir

DnD is nothing if not entertaining, and our weekly sessions have become a much-anticipated opportunity to unwind, laugh, and share in some lighthearted fun. This shared sense of humor and excitement has made its way back to the office, creating a fun, supportive atmosphere where even the most daunting deadlines seem conquerable. After all, if we can defeat a Goddess of Winter, we can certainly tackle a few lines of code!

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Our weekly Dungeons and Dragons sessions have become more than just a hobby – they're a testament to the power of play in developing strong, collaborative teams. As we continue to explore new realms, slay fearsome foes, and weave tales of adventure, we all feel like we couldn’t hope for a better team-building experience at Showmax! So, whether you're an experienced adventurer or just starting your journey, don't be afraid to take a leap into the unknown and embrace the team-building power of play. You never know – your own epic saga of collaboration and adventure might just be waiting for the roll of a die!

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