Life at UpKeep

UpKeep Learns the Ropes of Team Building!

Ryan Chan

Annual Holiday Team Outing at UpKeep in Los Angeles

UpKeep Team at Ropes Course

The holidays are coming, but we aren’t waiting for presents to arrive. Instead, at Upkeep, we are fully embracing the gift of the present moment – with our teammates! Last week, our entire team ventured to Culver City for our annual all-team end-of-year team bonding event!

We spend everyday hard at work helping maintenance teams accomplish their goals, so an outing was the perfect way to get to know one another more personally, foster a supportive team environment, and have pure fun, so we can give our all in providing the best customer experience to UpKeep’s incredible users. What better place to learn the ropes of team-building than a ropes course in Culver City? Fun fact – our CEO, Ryan Chan, went to this exact ropes course almost 12 years ago with his school!

Ryan at Ropes course

Can you spot Ryan in this photo?

Reaching for success, one step at a time

When our team first arrived on site, we were greeted warmly by facilitators who broke us off into groups mixed with people from different teams within our company. After writing our New Year’s goal on a sheet of paper, we shared our personal visions for the year ahead with one another. Then, we supported one other both literally and symbolically reach for our goals. Each team member was instructed to place their goal on the periphery of a circle made out of rope. Each person was supported by their team members, as they reached outside of the circle to grab their goal for the year ahead.

Most of the time, team bonding exercises come with the some version of this lesson: if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together. While this lesson is valuable (and true), it’s usually expected for team exercises — which isn’t a bad thing.
Furthermore, the way this lesson is framed is typically to always play for the team, not for the individual, and care less about yourself.
However, during this team bonding, we learned how empowering it is for the team to also support the individual. Part of the exercise involved sharing personal goals with your team, ones that had nothing to do with your team’s goal, with work, or with any of your colleagues directly (i.e. “I want to learn guitar by the end of the year”). Colleague-relationships transformed into friendships — and that is crucial for success in whatever you’re doing. The theme is to care about teamwork holistically.
Care for the individual pieces as you would the whole: all for one, and one for all.”
 – John, Sales Team

Our CEO, Ryan, takes a selfie from the top of the ropes course!

Afterward, we all went over to the real challenge: the ropes course! Between climbing to the top of a rock wall, teetering over the edges of a rope suspended in mid-air, tip-toeing across a log with a teammate, and taking a “leap of faith” off of a wobbling platform to latch onto a hoop, everyone was brought to the test. There were many laughs and lots of calming, deep breaths. However, despite the demands of the obstacles, each team UpKeep member was incredibly supportive of one another. It’s not everyday you hear your co-workers shouting “YOU GOT THIS!!” among other words of encouragement from atop a 50-ft tower.

Most importantly, we built a positive, trusting team atmosphere and learned that when facing a challenge, we can always lean on our UpKeep family.


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