About twice a year, our WordPress agency, Highrise Digital have a retreat away which is a chance to meet with other team members and spend some time together. This time we went to the Italian Dolomites.
Being a remote WordPress company means we don’t often meet in the physical world with our colleagues and therefore these retreats are really important. A time to spend getting to know each other better and of course for working on things together.
The weekend started with a train journey up to the Scottish capital. I managed to get some first-class tickets for a reasonable price. I must admit there is something about first-class that is a bit better. I light lunch, larger seats, free WiFi and a beer make all the difference, for the right price of course.
Arriving just before tea time I chilled out in my room for while watching some TV and catching up on some emails. My room, at a city centre Travelodge, was clean and tidy but extremely small with the only window point directly at a brick wall of the building opposite. Still, it served its purpose as I was not going to be spending much time there at all.
Today was a first for me, a marketing workshop with the team at Really Helpful Marketing in order to try and help us (Highrise Digital) to improve our positioning and the marketing of our products and services.
I have always been slightly sceptical about this sort of thing, but I must say that I have been converted and really enjoyed the day.
WordCamp Manchester has been going for a few years now. In fact I have spoken at a number of events over the years and this years event was no different. My talk, titled “Transitioning to a block-based editor in a pre-Gutenberg world” was selected.
Retreats are really important for us as we are a remote working company and this was the second one we had been on. It is a great opportunity to get to know the team a little better and of course get some valuable time together to complete some tasks. On the agenda for this retreat was to look at our WordPress maintenance plans.
We all arrived in the delightful little village of Clifford Chambers, just after lunch. The village itself is very quiet and very much reminds me of France, especially with all the hot weather we have had recently.
The weekend always starts early on a Friday morning. In fact it could start on a Thursday as there is a contributor day (where you can help contribute to the open source WordPress project) on the Friday. However this would mean just too long away from the family.
Being a remote company, although we chat and see each other everyday we rarely get the chance to actually meet in person and spend time with each other. As we have grown as a company we have grown to realise that this time together is very important.
To rectify this we rented an AirBnB flat near St. Katherine’s dock in London, not too far away from Tower Bridge. The flat/apartment was amazing with some stunning views over the river Thames. It was two bedroom with a third bed located on a mezzanine floor above the main living space – that was designated my bed and it was pretty comfy. I slept with the stars out of the window to my side which was really nice.
The weekend started on the Friday as Keith travelled up from Kent to stay with us over the course of the weekend as our base for the conference. It is not often we get to “physically” see each other with this remote working and therefore I was looking forward to the visit.