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A Proper Boss Meetup

Back in October it was time again for our second team meetup this year. This time the HappyPorch team came together in Liverpool to spend a week together.

Since Mark, one of our team members, is a native Liverpudlian, he was able to prepare us well before the trip itself, even throwing in some helpful videos to help us understand the local dialect (you might see where this post’s title has come from 😉).

From all the corners of the world the HappyPorch team members managed to arrive in Liverpool safely (although some of us had to deal with some lengthy delays…).

As is common for our meetups this time we also shared a big house together. There was plenty of space for us to work, have discussions, cook together and hang out. But importantly, also have enough space for everyone to have some quiet time as well.

Work

Even though we spend a whole week together, it doesn’t mean our day-to-day work just stops. Our clients still expect us to our job, so most of the working day is spent working like we normally do. But it’s great to be in the same room as your team mates for a change, as that makes discussing things together a lot easier.

Our initial plan was to work from the house for the whole week, but due to some broadband issues we did spend a couple of days working from a co-working space in the centre of Liverpool.


This provided us with a nice change of scenery and gave us the opportunity to explore Liverpool city centre during our lunch breaks as well. Some of the local businesses we checked out were the Liv Organic Food Market and The Brink, which is a dry cafe/bar run as a social enterprise by people recovering from alcoholism and addiction.

Team

Apart from the normal work we also made time each day for a team meeting to discuss a wide range of topics together. Some of the things we covered during this meetup were:

  • A company finance review of the past six months.
  • Options for rotating of team members across the various projects we work on.
  • Reviewing and updating our team manual to make sure it still makes sense to us and future team members.

On the Thursday and Friday of the meetup the format was slightly different, as we were joined by Lisa Gill who is a self-management coach. She has been helping us at HappyPorch on our journey to become a more self-managed organisation.


During this meetup she hosted a few group workshops where we had the chance to talk a bit more in depth about important topics:

  • The direction of the company in 2020.
  • Salaries of the team members.
  • Reviewing where we are on the self-management journey (which things go well, which parts need some improvement).
  • How to create a better feedback culture within the team.
  • Feedback session were each team member could give and receive feedback from others.

Fun

And of course there was plenty of time to hang out and explore Liverpool together.

One evening Mark took us all on a walking tour of Liverpool city centre which included some of the famous sights like the Albert Docks, The Beatles statue, the Liver Building and the Cavern Club.

Some of the team members got some exercise as well by visiting the local gym and climbing centre during the week.

We had a few nice team meals out as well. This took us to a restaurant in Chinatown one night, and a Moroccan restaurant on another night.The weekend after the main meetup some of us stayed on and were able to visit a few more places outside the city centre, like the Baltic Triangle street food market and a replica yellow submarine which now houses a bar.

And with that another successful meetup came to an end.

Planning for the next meetup has already started, so stay tuned for a visit of the HappyPorch team in a town near you in the new year!

About the author

Tom van Enckevort

Tom van Enckevort

Tom speaks many languages - C#, HTML5, JavaScript and CSS among them - but it's his ability to translate tech talk into practical business outcomes that makes everyone love having him on their team. As a Dutchman living in the United Kingdom, his time away from the desk is naturally spent exploring the countryside on his bicycle.