In late March 2022, we assembled all of our Americas-based teammates for Pagos’ first formal offsite. When we started organizing this meeting several months ago, we’d hoped to get the entire global team together, but weren’t sure how that would play out. We expected pandemic-related complexity of course, but we didn’t anticipate how long timelines for visas into the US would be (e.g. multiple months just for an appointment to request a visa) or how tricky the visa process for some countries is. As a result, we landed on an Americas-only gathering, which roughly amounts to half of our small team. I’m disappointed that we couldn’t get the whole flock together and am looking forward to meeting our colleagues in the EU and APAC as soon as everyone can safely do so, but the meet-up was extremely valuable none-the-less.
The intent for our first offsite was to focus primarily on establishing social connections and building common context on what we’re aiming toward—and how we plan to get there. Here are some takeaways from that:
Face-to-face experience is the highest fidelity way to connect with your team. Without a doubt, meeting one another in person makes it easier for everyone to build social capital, deepen existing relationships, and resolve conflicts. It isn’t the only way it can be done, but it sure is convenient, especially when establishing a baseline for how to work together.
It was great to kick off discussions on working across different communication styles and backgrounds (that conversation’s never done!), as well as defining our organization’s guiding principles and what they look like in practice. We also had social activities together which allowed us to shift our attention from work for a bit. Everyone seemed to come away with a better understanding of the humans typically on the other side of a screen!
Context gaps are a risk even when everyone’s in the same room. We planned to record the week’s sessions to ensure those who couldn’t join us would still have access to the presentations and discussions. And yet:
So… always have a backup form of media capture for every session, and it doesn’t hurt to have a backup of your backup, too.
We’ve assembled a team of talented, thoughtful, and passionate people. And we each have our own baggage, which means we have to:
We have plenty of work to do as a fast-growing startup if we want to expand our team and products in a way that benefits everyone long term. Through our successful first team offsite, we’ve pinpointed some things to keep top of mind as our organization grows:
It was a great experience, and I look forward to the next time we can get together in person. There’s a lot of get-your-hands-dirty kind of work yet to do. If that appeals to you: we’re hiring!