March 15, 2019

Defining our culture

By
Vicky Oakes
,
Chief of Staff

We’ve seen rapid expansion at Upgrade Pack, with six new joiners in the last week alone, taking our team to 20 people after just eight months.

Throughout the process of each new hire, we’ve placed emphasis not just on the candidates’ skill set and experience, but on their cultural fit too. Enjoying working with - and being able to collaborate with - our colleagues is just as important to us as their ability to do their job.

We’ve put ourselves under pressure to deliver our product at breakneck speed and we need everyone to be 100% committed. The fact that each and every employee owns a part of the company helps with feeling truly invested, of course.

How do we build culture?

For us It’s a cross-team effort.

We sit down to regular team lunches; which frequently feature show and tells (half hour insights sessions) where we learn together - we’ve learned all about the global banking sector, segmented the hotel industry, learned about airlines and how travel has been booked (not much has changed) over the past 40 years, and - for the non technical people in the team - we’ve been given a beginners’ guide to writing code.

If there’s not a learning or sharing opportunity, then we might introduce a fun, competitive edge – last week's ‘‘Cook Off’ led to an amazing spread of Indian dishes, a fantastic lentil salad, and a traditional Hungarian dessert. Yum!

And we socialise, as a team. From entering the pub quiz at The Cricketers on Richmond Green, to sampling the many ales on offer at the Tap Tavern.

Culture is about balance

Work / life balance is incredibly important to our Founders. In addition to 25 days’ holiday, plus the standard eight bank holidays each year, we also offer two extra days for community / volunteering work and 15 days’ ‘work from anywhere in the world’ allowance. A few weeks ago, our Lead Designer worked from Barcelona and last week one of our Developers worked from Russia – giving a greater degree of flexibility around holidays and family commitments. This pot of 50 days gives autonomy and flexibility to a team we trust to manage their own time.

And finally, of course, there’s our weekly Thursday drinks around our very own Dolly the Trolley. As our team grows, so does our cocktail repertoire (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, of course). This mix of socialising together, sharing together, and working together is part of our cultural DNA.

If you want to work in - and own a bit of - an exciting new technology business, make sure you check out our current vacancies on our careers page.

Company culture