One Friday in late July, we came from far and wide to gather over roadmap plans, croissants and Dishoom takeaways. It was the SMLWRLD team day; those of us who could attend in person travelled to the London office from our home offices in the South, the East, the Midlands and Scotland. We completed lateral flow tests and took precautions on our journeys into the office to be as safe as possible in our meet-up.
The team in attendance included the MD Dan, the Product Owner Reena, Developers Miriam, Shazad, Ilham and Adrian (our newest colleague), Project Managers Nicole and Hussna, and Board member Yvan. Our Operations and Client Services Manager Kyrstle dialled in from her home in Australia, as did Vinoth from India, UK-based Designer Saleem and Marketing Executive Misty. “Although I was sad to not be able to attend the meeting in person, I did not feel any less part of the event. Those of us on screen were able to voice our opinions and suggestions just as freely as if we were in the room. It was actually very comforting to see the majority of the team back in a room together, and gave a glimmer of hope for the future that some of the normality can be resumed. I think that for the immediate future, the world and how we interact is undoubtedly changed, but with precautions we will be able to continue with face to face interaction, and enjoy the company of colleagues in person. I very much look forward to attending the next event, and enjoying the free lunch.” – Misty.
The purpose of the day was both social and productive. Months before lockdown in the UK, SMLWRLD made the business decision to convert to homeworking as part of our efforts to be sustainable and smarter. So for some colleagues it had been well over a year since they had met in person, and for some of us it was the very first meeting. Nicole, Hussna and Adrian all came on board within the UK lockdown, and were recruited and onboarded completely remotely.
We started the day with a Company update from MD Dan, followed by product feature presentations from Nicole and Reena. Thoughts turned to lunch, and a delivery from nearby favourite Dishoom provided a welcome recharge. The afternoon was then spent discussing market research, development opportunities, and ultimately sharing all of our ideas for the next chapter of SMLWRLD. Everyone’s ideas were heard, everyone had a place at the table, whether that was in person or through a screen.
We agreed to repeat the meet-up regularly, future restrictions permitting. Whilst remote working is brilliant in many ways, the occasional get-together is hard to beat (especially when lunch is on Dan). What we gained from the day was a clearer vision of how our product offering is growing and improving, and how to demonstrate our capabilities to prospective clients. “It was so lovely to connect with the team, to discuss the vision of the company, express ideas and see them all in person! Nobody was on mute (Teams joke) and we all just got along in our SMLWRLD! Can’t wait for the next occasion!” – Hussna.