Blog

Why Meeting In Person Every Quarter Makes Apprenda Stronger

By Atos Apprenda Support

quarterly kickoff

Like many modern work teams, Apprenda employees are scattered geographically and temporally. Our work is delightfully varied and has us interacting constantly among ourselves and our valued customers and partners. We use all available tools for communication and collaboration — apps for email, chat, video conferencing, prototyping, building, testing, planning, you name it.

But once every three months, the entire Apprenda team meets at our headquarters in Troy, N.Y. for an important quarterly meeting. During several days at the beginning of each quarter, all staff from New York City and other cities around the world return like swallows to Capistrano to see each other in person.

For some of the time, we meet formally as an entire company to get a big picture of what’s happening in every department. But we also meet formally and informally in large and small groups, sometimes as departments and sometimes with reps from all areas, to build and nurture rapport while we give and receive up-to-date information. Physical proximity helps us cross-pollinate and appreciate our co-workers’ challenges and contributions to our successes, and ours to theirs.

We get huge benefits from reuniting on a regular basis. As good as our shared work processes and collaboration tools are, there is no substitute for personal, human interaction. Meeting in person lets us observe body language and have unscheduled side conversations. It enhances the opportunity for serendipity and wonderfully unexpected solutions can emerge from social conversations about our diverse interests, hobbies, families, and ambitions. I am also reminded each quarter of everyone’s dedication and different approaches to problem solving.

Each quarterly meeting is designed to help us pursue the timely needs of our customers, but another constant thread is connecting over our shared values. We get to articulate those values, try out ideas for putting them to work, and hone our separate and collective appreciation of those principles.

There are costs to bringing the whole gang together, of course: travel, time away from our regular work, the imperative to coordinate with and support urgent customer needs without undue disruption. But we are confident that the cost is justified.

Personal physical interaction encourages, inspires, calibrates, enlightens, and invigorates our teams. We consider our quarterly meetings a key element of our success and growth because they fuel morale while sharpening our focus. And we have a bit of fun too.

Atos Apprenda Support