The last few weeks have been filled with holiday traditions. One of our favorites at Uber is workation.

Workations — a combination of work and vacation — aren’t a new concept, but ours is unique to Uber culture. Each year, we ask employees to come up with ways to improve our product or customer experience. We reward the best ideas with the opportunity to lead a small team over the holiday break, bringing together colleagues who wouldn’t normally work together to tackle a creative project and make real business impact.

This year, we asked employees to focus on improving the driver experience. This is a top priority for Uber in 2017, and we’re excited to begin the year with a momentum boost from workation.

We received a record number of submissions from across the organization, and ultimately chose 50 of the top ideas to set off on workation. At Uber, we like to move quickly. Team leads only had a few days to form teams, schedule prep meetings, and book/pay for their workation destinations. And last week, they set out to build.  

One team worked on a feature that helps drivers report bugs in the app quickly and easily. Another built a way for drivers to tailor the emails, SMS messages, and in-app notifications they receive, both from riders and from Uber. These are features we’ve both heard that our driver partners want and that our employees who have driven with Uber say we need.

Some workation projects may be ready to ship in early 2017, but many of the ideas will continue to be refined throughout the year. We have a long list of ideas to start with, and we’re always listening to driver feedback to keep developing products and features that make the driving experience easier and more rewarding.

Stay tuned! Wishing you and yours a great 2017 – we’re excited for the ride.