We just had our 6th Semi-Annual UpBuild Team Day in my neck of the woods, Austin, TX. At this point we’ve grown quite accustomed to saying that ‘that was our best Team Day ever!”, and it’s something we plan on saying every six months, thank you very much.
Our Team Days serve 4 main purposes:
Purpose #1: Face Time
For a remote team, it’s awesome to all just be in the same room together. We indulge in some of the standard shared-office team activities, such as small talk. We get to meet our newer team members in real life, which typically goes like this:
“You’re taller than I thought!”
Who knew Ryan would turn out to be so tall?
We’ve found time and time again that video chats just don’t take stature into consideration or provide any semblance of a sense of scale, and it’s always delightful to take comfort in the fact that ‘yes, I do work with real human beings’.
We Builders frequently discuss how we each ‘do remote’, and we’ve found that it works for us. We employ numerous tactics to make sure no one feels isolated and that we’re building a real, positive company culture. I think that our semi-annual in-person time has proven to be an invaluable part of these tactics for our remote team.
Purpose #2: Discussion
Have I mentioned how smart my team is? We spend the majority of the day discussing different topics, which I’ll list below, and it’s just delightful to hear everyone’s thoughts come together in an informal discussion. We typically focus on how we can do better work for our clients, how we can keep pace with a fast-changing industry, and what the future looks like for UpBuild.
Here were some of this Team Day’s discussion topics:
- SEO/Analytics/CRO Tools
- SEO Automation
- Mobile-First SEO
- Remote Work
This year, we also heard a presentation from Ryan, our Operations Manager, on what agency operations is all about, and I gave a presentation summarizing some of my takeaways from the recent CXL Summit I attended.
Purpose #3: Travel
While I only had to venture just a few short miles this time around, the rest of our UpBuilders left the comfort of their home offices to hop on a plane to come together. We strategically schedule Team Day on a Thursday, allowing for the necessary logistics but also to encourage the ability to tack on a long weekend (significant others welcome!) exploring our host city. It’s a fantastic excuse and opportunity to venture out in some pretty cool cities (city bias duly acknowledged).
Purpose #4: Team Bonding
What can a group of problem-solving analysts inherently have fun doing together? Why an escape room, of course! We ventured on over to Austin Panic Room to test out our teamwork skills and escape from our cabin before the impending blizzard hit and collapsed the rafters of our ski lodge right on top of us rendering UpBuild utterly extinct! [gasp!]
Having never done an Escape Room before, I had only vague notions of what to expect, and it certainly exceeded those expectations! There were clues all around us which made it possible for everyone on the team to actually contribute to our escape in significant ways.
So did we escape? Drumroll…
We did and with 10 minutes to spare!
Just look at all these panic-room-escaping sleuths!
Mike always puts together an awesome presentation about where UpBuild came from, where it’s at today, and where it’s headed. As I get a chance to reflect on my 6th UpBuild Team Day, I’m happy to say that each one leaves me being even more pumped to be a part of this brilliant team than the last one. For that feeling alone (plus a chance to spend time with my awesome coworkers and show them around my ‘hood), I think we can say UpBuild Team Day #6 was an unmitigated success.