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Our meetups on Mars and Under the Sea

In HappyPorch we have the greatest opportunity and privilege to meet physically twice a year, each time in another country and enjoy living and working together for a week or two! 

Some of our great meetup stories we had in the past can be found here. 

Our last meetup when we all met in person was in Liverpool, back in October 2019 after which Covid happened worldwide so we decided to move our physical meetup to a virtual one on Zoom.

In the meantime we had four virtual meetups and we tried to make them as engaging, constructive and fun as possible. We usually plan a month or two in advance, suggest various topics we could and should talk about and then vote and choose the most important/interesting ones. We did fun things like hiring a goat in December 2020 to attend one of our calls. The goat participated on the call just like any one of us and had her opinions and thoughts she shared with us!

We also made up locations for all of these meetups even though they were virtual so this year in May we “traveled” to another planet to meet each other, on Mars! 

Choosing Mars as our location made our two weeks as virtually amazing at it can be from the very start as at each call we had some Mars trivia and facts and some of us were playing with images in our backgrounds to make it all more convincing.

At the same time we were discussing very accurate and important topics for HappyPorch. We had an update on the year so far in terms of projects, client work and overall experience. We were introduced to Barry’s proposal of a concept of OKR’s- the "Objectives" and "Key Results" we should set for reaching our goals as a Team. Becoming part of the circular economy is definitely one of our major goals and we discussed our possible transition period suggestions and actions and the overall “Purpose-Way-Impact” on how we can understand and describe best what it is that we do. We have discussed how our unlimited holiday policy and our health and wellbeing is implemented in HappyPorch, how and do Team members take advantage of this and what we could do to make it better. We had a very useful, fun and interactive workshop with Lisa Gill from Reimaginaire on the topic of values and conflict within our Team.

Afternoon slots were scheduled for fun where most of the Team met on Zoom and played some online games and quizzes like Scrabble, Pub Quiz, Virtual Vacations, Gartic and virtual escape rooms.

Last week we had another meetup, this time we dived under the sea! 

We were accompanied by  Elena Denareo from “Greaterthan” who is at a position of our Team coach that is currently meeting the Team and how we do our work. 

Check-in questions at the beginning of each of our calls made us feel more relaxed and as always it put us all in a very good mood to start all the themed discussions and for everyone to participate and share their thoughts. Some check-in questions we had were finding some joke or a specific quote that we like and sharing with the Team, we shared photos of our refrigerators and then tried to guess the owners of the fridges, we shared what we would be doing if we were not working at HappyPorch and many more interesting check-ins. 

In the “depths of the blue waters” we have made the usual current year update but also our 2022 vision and plan which we'll continue to discuss and refine. We had a very intense and interesting workshop in the form of the “Money Game”  facilitated by Elena and Lisa. It was a great experience to explore our habits and unconscious beliefs around money.  

As we had to get used to the “new-normal” habit of not traveling so often because of all Covid restrictions we dedicated one call on talking about how we can communicate among ourselves more often and more efficient and how we can stay up to date with our fellow colleagues that are working on different projects and how they are doing at work and also in life. It was a very interactive discussion facilitated by Grace and Corstian which we enjoyed very much. 

As always, later afternoons were reserved for fun for those who could make it where we played games like getting trapped in a virtual escape room and many others.

The only thing missing at our virtual meetups is the feeling that we are physically near each other as we enjoy hanging around after the computer is shut down.

We can’t wait to meet each other in person and we hope that in 2022 we will be able to organise a “proper” meetup somewhere!

Picture of Marina Matic

About the author

Marina Matic

Marina enjoys assisting the Team with admin stuff and is very happy to work with such positive people and professionals and to learn from them! Besides that she loves to spend time in nature and travel around often!