At StreetTeam, we’re proud to enable everyone to find their own best way to work. There are no set office hours or locations – everyone can work wherever and whenever they want. Once a year though, we like to bring everyone together for a week of fun in a creative environment.
This year we spent the week at North Cadbury Court, deep in the vales of Somerset – the perfect backdrop for a busy week of activities, ranging from clay pigeon shooting and archery to ballroom dancing and cookery lessons.
The retreat isn't just fun and games, however. We also use it as an opportunity to share skills and ideas. One way we do that is through a hackathon which asks multi-discipline teams to solve traditional business challenges. This year, with so much recruiting underway, we were excited to see what solutions our new starters would come up with...
Team One – “We don’t know each other very well”
With $10 million in funding, it’s no secret StreetTeam is growing quickly. Other companies in that position may struggle to make new starters feel at home, so how can we do better?
Our hackathon solution is Whatbot; a conversational Slack bot which asks you for trivia such as your favourite restaurant and lets you quiz it whenever you need an icebreaker. As an added bonus, the MVP led to a list of what we think are some of the best restaurants in the world!
Team Two – “I don’t know what others are working on”
Our operations team does a great job tracking projects, but is there anything we can do to make their lives easier when dealing with offices in multiple countries?
With only 48 hours to solve the problem, we created a company dashboard that pulls information from Trello, Google Calendar and Jira to create an overview for the business. Capable of handling everything from birthdays to project updates, we think this is something everyone can make use of, no matter where they work.
Team Three – “Video conferences suck”
We’ve all worked in companies that force us to deal with bad connections and terrible software. At StreetTeam we’re committed to doing better, so where do we start?
The solution is to invest in creating a minimum standard for conferencing equipment across the company, with handheld microphones and meeting rooms with decent acoustics. We also created a new bot which automatically records all meetings it's invited to. We call it NSAbot.
Team Four – “I don’t know who is responsible”
A big challenge when you join any new company is learning who holds responsibility for projects. It’s the sort of thing everyone learns eventually, but how can we speed the process up?
Dubbed The StreetTeam Approach, our idea was to create a clear framework for managing responsibility and a process for communicating it clearly. This means our operations team always knows who to talk to - and who to blame, if needs be.
Team Five – “I don’t know when someone is available”
A Rewards Only Working Environment is great, but it can be tricky to know when colleagues are available if there are no set office hours. Is there a way we can retain visibility without sacrificing freedom?
That's where ROWEbot comes in. ROWEbot is a Slack bot built to quietly track your working habits. Need to speak to someone? Slack them and, if they’re not online to answer straight away, ROWEbot will tell you when they are typically online and give you the option to leave them a reminder – which resets after 24 hours to stop Slack becoming an email-like dumping ground.
Interested in finding out more about what we got up to on our retreat? Follow StreetTeamCo on Instagram to check out pictures from the rest of the event – or check our current vacancies to see if there’s a chance to join us next year!