Culture

12 Weeks and Beyond - Building the Dream Team!

Hi! I’m JP and I’m Beyond’s Webflow Wizard. I will try to share with you a glimpse of the 12 weeks I’ve had with Beyond since starting at the end of July 2021.

Right from the initial application interview, I felt that I could fit right in. The familiar feeling of meeting a lost friend. I knew that there’s something special about this company.

Group photo during day 1 with Beyond Agency

Still, I was a bit skeptical about a start up since the company’s brand presentation seemed too good to be true. That perspective quickly changed as you’ll learn from my experiences. Now, I’m the Webflow Wizard of Beyond and am very happy with where I am.

So what’s it like working with Beyond? To give you an overview, this post will be on two main topics –– remote work and company culture. 

Beyond Remote Work

I promise I don't work like this haha

Settling in

The first two weeks were important to me because that’s when I need to adapt to the company’s process while delivering good work. 

Chris and Emma made it easy for me to adjust by providing me with clear design directions and concise feedback. They would even ask if I needed more time for a project. That was definitely a breath of fresh air since I’ve always been stuck with unrealistic deadlines from my previous jobs. 

There was one day/evening when we had a push on a site that was launching the following day. I worked after my usual hours to get some bits finalised so they let me start a couple of hours later the following day. It made a nice change and it was good to be rewarded for the extra time I’d worked. 

Having a flexible schedule allowed me to work my creative muscles more while having ease of mind. Within a month, I was able to learn the ropes and I now have a routine and find work fulfilling. 

Working remotely has not been a problem for us even though I’m working 9am - 5:30pm in my local time. We have a 7-hour difference, them in UK and me in the Philippines. In a way, it forces us to see and prioritise what’s important to tackle with our overlapping time. And, it gives us undivided focus for non-overlaps.

Four-day workweek

My baking skills taking off with a Mango Graham!

In my second month, we tried a 4-day workweek in the final week of the month. This gave us time to rest, study, or do anything we wanted to do, with one rule - no work! 

Since I suck at cooking, that’s what I did!. I decided to learn how to properly cook. I started with a dessert - something simple, Mango Graham with chocolate. I had a lot of fun and was very happy since it turned out to be delicious! Now, the 4-day workweek is a monthly occurrence. Here’s to hoping it’ll be a weekly thing.🤞

It was great to have an extra-long weekend and gave us all chance to do something we enjoy. Chris went camping and Emma went out for food so it's safe to say we all made the most of our additional day off.

Beyond Company Culture

We’re a small team and it feels like being in a fun barkada (clique) when I’m with Chris and Emma. I’ve never felt uncomfortable or out of place with Beyond and I hope that we embed this more as the company grows and more like-minded people join the team.

Learning Time

One of the perks of Beyond is that we’re allotted 10% for learning time. Meaning, we have 2 days per month to study and develop professionally. This then leads us to create better projects. Since I’m a Webflow developer with a design background, I chose to learn how to code, particularly JavaScript. I see this as a step in achieving one of my career goals, for us to bag an Awwward, by implementing more custom coded interactions to our sites.

Beyond Olympics

We have a monthly meeting where we only play games! It was originally labelled a simple ‘Beyond Meet Up’ but we now refer to it as the ‘Beyond Olympics’ and it’s quickly become competitive... We play games such as Connect 4, Blockers, and drawing competitions. It’s a really good way to build camaraderie while being online and we also get to know each other a little better with every game as some have been about our interests and family life. 

I guess now is the right time to brag that I’m the back-to-back-to-back champion of the Beyond Olympics. ️🔥 Haha.

Champion of Blockers (and everything else!)

Personal Progression

In my 3-month review interview, I said that cooking is one of my weaknesses. To help with that, we’ve decided to dedicate a lunchtime/dinner per month to a joint recipe. We’ll be doing a different meal each month - I suggested that we’d start with Gyoza, one of my favourite Japanese foods. And they’ll pick the recipe for next month. We’ll be cooking at the same time over Zoom. Due to our time difference, they'll be cooking it for lunch while I prepare it for dinner. It was a great outcome and my whole family enjoyed our feast!

Zoom Masterchef!

Working Environment

With work, we’re trusted to do our part without daily meetings or micromanagement. We do have timely checkups for our projects and we openly communicate whenever we’re unsure of anything, which I like. Since the project timelines are very reasonable and that we’re given creative freedom with our projects, I find ways to experiment with design and add my own creative flair like Beyond’s easter eggs in our client websites.

And Beyond is always open for feedback on how to improve our processes to deliver better results for our clients. We’ll be building a living Beyond Bible for our processes to align with ourselves and to easily onboard future colleagues. I’ve already completed a start on one task which has provided a jump-start to our development process.

Closing Thoughts

I said earlier that Beyond is a ‘too good to be a true agency’. It’s a unicorn agency that I’d only dream of. Then, I guess Unicorns are real. And that’s mostly due to Chris and Emma’s hospitality and generosity.

It’s fun to be here and I’m happy to be able to share this experience. If you want to see for yourself, check here if you’re a fit with us. See you! ;) 

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