If you’ve worked with Lift UX, you know that we’re all about the power and flexibility of remote work. We have team members spread all over the world, all regularly checking in through a variety of communication tools to continuously stay in sync.
But even though we love remote working, we get that there’s something different about in-person meetings. We believe that if you typically work with an individual or group of people over text, email, and even video chat, there will always be value in periodically coming together to engage on a personal level.
Last month we brought the Lift UX team together to do just that. Over a few days of working on projects together, engaging in discussions about the business, interacting on an emotional level, and—in between the busier moments—grubbing down, we were able to reaffirm our bonds, ensuring that we stay even more connected over the coming months.
If you’re curious to see what a week with Lift UX looks like, here are some of the highlights:
First of all, we had fun. Usually when the team gets together online, it’s to move forward on work projects, so meeting up in person was the perfect motivation to do things a bit differently.
With the Playstation hooked up, we definitely put in time playing Rocket League (an awesome, futuristic spin on soccer) and NHL 2016. Anthony and I shared a special moment when we successfully knocked out both of our home teams from the playoff tree we’d created. We may have shed a few tears in the process.
Later on, Chris and Anthony had a Dude Perfect moment, as Anthony filmed him trying to shoot his Perrier can into the trash… again… and again… and again… and again. Eighth time’s a charm, right Chris?
Christian brought his dog with him (instead of boarding her), which everybody was happy about. Coco is an incredible pitbull/boxer mix with a beautiful heart, so we all enjoyed her company. And I’m sure she preferred being with us instead of somewhere unfamiliar and away from Christian.
Building the Brand
It wasn’t all video games, throwing contests, and cuddling with the pooch though. As I mentioned above, one major goal of our time together is in-person project collaboration, communication, and doing great work for our clients.
We also took advantage of having the whole team under the same roof to tackle some unique tasks outside the scope of our usual projects. We were able to take some time to engage in a few branding exercises to further explore who we are as a team and the value we bring to clients. We dug deep, collaborating on a Trello board to document our core values and what makes Lift UX a valuable partner for companies looking to increase their own presence and brand through the power of design. It was a fun and engaging team experience that is an invaluable foundation for our future work together.
Wings, Subs, Unlimited Meat, and Drinks
Finally, what’s a week together without great food and drink?
From Buffalo Wild Wings to Jersey Mike’s Subs, there was no shortage of feasting. But the best meal had to be our night out at Texas de Brazil, a family-owned steakhouse that’s also a paradise for meat lovers.
If you’ve never been, it’s quite a unique experience. Basically, you have a piece of paper on your table colored green on one side and red on the other. As long as you leave the paper with the green side up, the servers keep on delivering choice cuts of fire-roasted beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and sausage. So while we sipped on red wine and enjoyed the endlessly flowing meat, we might have been able to slip in a few bites of salad.
All in all, I’m so thrilled the team was able to come together for our in-person week together. It was extremely rewarding to physically work next to my colleagues and create lasting memories together.
Over the course of the week, we learned more about each other on a personal and professional level than can be gained over digital connections. Especially for a team like ours, with everyone working remotely, meeting in person is crucial to learning more about each other as individuals. It can also help build trust, which is the foundation of any solid relationship—professional relationships not excluded.
We also carved out time to review the bigger picture together. We talked about the Lift UX brand and who we are as a company, with these conversations laying down a foundation for what our team believes in. I have no doubt that these purpose-driven conversations will ultimately fuel our growth and make us a stronger team.
And while sharing meals and shooting darts at each other was all about relaxing and having fun, discussing our team’s purpose, values and vision were just as important. In the same way that families and friends should spend more time together at the dinner table—with phones out of sight—it’s important for work teams to do the same. Those times allowed us to disconnect from work, making room for different discussions that have led to even stronger bonds.
Last but not least, I learned to never give Anthony a high powered nerf gun… or Christian for that matter.
Can’t wait to do it again!