As in most work environments, you learn to work with a team. You learn what you love about them and what you can’t stand. You figure out workarounds and continue on being the most productive human you can be. Other than the occasional office party, how often do you find yourself really socializing amongst your coworkers?

Working for a small graphic design firm, the perks are what you’d expect for a creative job at the top of the Rocky Mountains: ski pass, powder days, flexible schedule, ability to work remotely, etc. With all those perks, we still make time as a company and as a team to bond outside the workplace. We make time for the reason we all are here–to play outside.

Just a couple weeks back we took a company hut trip in the 10th Mountain Division Hut system to the titular hut–the 10th Mountain Hut. Skinning and snowshoeing about four miles into a remote hut at the base of Homestake Peak at nearly 11,500 feet seemed as good a way as any to really get to know each other.

We played outside, skied some mountains, cooked, relaxed, and–of course–indulged in whiskey and fishbowl off-the-grid for 48 hours.

As in previous retreats, we found ourselves not just amongst coworkers, but amongst the people we truly consider our friends, each individual different and complex in their own ways. It was a moment that called to mind the definition of the word sonder–the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. Each time our team partakes in an endeavor like this, an additional level of respect seems to develop between each teammate. It’s moments like this where you remember everyone you work with is a human being, and not just somebody that sits by you 40 hours a week or who you chat with online. You get a taste of what makes them vulnerable, what makes them smile, and what type of humor they have.

Making time to bond with your coworkers introduces respect and removes resentment. So what’s the moral story? Convince your boss and coworkers to drink whiskey and go skiing, and it’ll make your work life that much more productive.