Imagine having 7-8 meetings every day for two and a half years in an in-person job.
Now, flip it upside down. Literally.
You have 1-2 meetings per week. You work remotely. You write your thoughts now or share them over loom videos. You co-create asynchronously. You're trusted to make decisions. And you don't know your teammates in person.
That was my experience when I started working at Parabol. It has been incredible, but not without its challenges. Fortunately, I had the immense privilege to have an in-person retreat during my first month!
Planning an international retreat with so many different nationalities and during COVID is not easy.
The marketing team is spread across The US, Canada, Poland, and Switzerland, so we decided to meet in Lisbon, Portugal, in search of some winter sun.
The star activity was preparing Pasteis de Nata together. I don't know how objective I am about it, but they were the best custard tarts I've ever eaten.
We had four days of pastries, walking hills and working together. Here's a summary of some of the work we did:
- We introduced explicit roles, rights, and accountabilities for each person in the team.
- We created a new skills matrix that enables team members to level-up at Parabol.
- We reflected and re-centered our brand vision and direction. We discussed what's important for us as a company and as a brand, what problems we care about, our thoughts on future and modern work, and what we stand for.
- We wore our users' shoes and walked through our funnel, understanding how to add more value to our users in every step of the funnel.
- We ate a lot of pastries.
We also played card games, ate fantastic seafood, made a tourist trip to Sintra, had a photoshoot, and came back energized with new projects.
Building our vision together and even learning each other’s coffee preferences made the team more unified, making our async-fully-remote culture stronger. And as for me, it was the best onboarding experience ever!
This week's metrics are a nice way to round out 2021. Reflecting back on how the year has been quantitatively, each chart grouping tells a different story. Our web metrics got off to a roaring start in 2021 led by some big content hits—most notably this piece of ours, 237 Icebreaker Questions to Try with your Team. Then, around June 16th, Google Search's algorithm update began eroding our hard-earned page rankings. This is something we're hard at work to improve. User metrics have continued the same pace of growth for well over a year. Each week it gets harder to maintain this rate as adding a similar number of user percentage-wise means adding numerically more users; yet we have. We're proud of our performance. It means more of the right kind of folks have visited our website, converted to try our product, and stuck. Commensurate with this growth are the number of meetings run each week. Most notably, we launched Sprint Poker and saw that particular meeting type grow from zero to being relied upon by hundreds of teams each week.
We're excited to see how these numbers grow in 2022!
This week we…
…continued working on our new website design; we'll have more details to share soon.
…put together a New Pal's Guide to Parabol's Async Communications; we liked it so much, we will soon make it public.
...continued to ship progress on our new Search feature; this allows users to find similar reflection cards during the grouping phase of a retro.
Next week we’ll…
…take a break from December 23rd until January 3rd for the winter holidays.
Have feedback? See something that you like or something you think could be better? Leave a public response here, or write to us.