Team Meetups — How We Create Productive Face-To-Face Time

In a traditional office, you’re in the same place 48 weeks out of the year, and you might have 3 or 4 weeks where you’re not together. We try to flip that. So we come together in short intense bursts. The primary goal is connecting people. We want to make sure everyone is aligned and on the same page, and that they have a deeper connection with their colleagues. So that when they work together for the rest of the year, they can bring together that understanding and empathy.

Matt Mullenweg, Founder & CEO, Automattic
Team Patronus. Meetup Destination: Seoul, South Korea!

Have you ever wondered what a team meetup at Automattic is like? If you’ve been following us for a while, surely you’ve stumbled across a post or two showcasing photos of us working from various & exotic locations! If not, well, I’d like to say that one of the greatest perks of working at Automattic is paid company travel!

We cover all costs of company travel, so dust off that passport! Your team will get together one to three times per year in locations around the globe. With Us

The team meetup allows you to connect with the members of your team on a deeper level. Meetups are typically a week in length and I just got back from our last team meetup, which was held in Seoul, and it was amazing!

Fun Fact: Our last meetup was in Japan, and was even covered by Yahoo Japan News 🙂

For our Seoul meetup, we of course planned various work-related projects — we discussed best support practices, advanced troubleshooting, as well as refine our skills by directly watching other members do their work. Each day, we would have a different work-related task or activity, and we would learn from each other through discussion and group work.

But meetups aren’t all work with no play!

Our team made very sure we had other activities planned that weren’t work-related, such as trekking around Myeong-dong (Korea’s best known shopping district), visiting Changdeokgung Palace (a UNESCO World Heritage location), exploring Insa-dong (a street showcasing traditional Korean culture with antique art, book stores, teahouses, and crafts), as well as stopping by Hongdae (an area known for its urban vibes which has been influenced with the tastes of the trendy youths who gather there) — just to mention a few.

However, if you were to ask my team what our main non-work-related priority is on any given day, it would, of course have to be FOOD 😀

During our meetup in Seoul, we made doubly sure our restaurant and eating spots were on point! We ate so many yummy dishes, here’s just a short list of some of the things we ate:

  • Bibimbap – Steamed rice mixed with a variety of ingredients and red pepper paste, this is the most famous Korean dish and it is also very healthy
  • Bulgogi – Grilled beef marinated in soy sauce
  • Kimchi – Korea’s most popular fermented food, which is served as a side dish at every Korean meal
  • Samgyeopsalgui – Pork belly roasted over a hot grill
  • Chi-maek – Korea’s version of fried chicken and beer
  • Galbi – Grilled ribs marinated in sauce

In short, meetups are a blast! The team meetup is one of my favorite weeks of the year (with of course the Grand Meetup being the other.) 🙂

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