Payara Week 2021: Of-FISH-ally Just as Good Online!

Long-time followers of Team Payara will know that Payara Week is our annual company-wide event. It’s our opportunity for team bonding, to discuss and develop ideas for Payara’s future success, and, most importantly, have lots of fun.

Last year, our fourth Payara Week took place at our Portugal office, located in Funchal on the island of Madeira. The fantastic event energised the team, and as the time for the fifth of these exciting company summits rolled round, we were faced with the question – what would Payara Week look like when pandemic-related restrictions meant it had to be virtual?

The answer? Thanks to the invention, imagination and innovation of our HR and Engagement team – and the fantastic attitude of “Payarans” all over the globe – Payara Week was just as creative, inspiring and relationship-building than in previous years! Payara Cloud lead developer Patrik Duditš invites you to find out more…


Our Internal Communications and Engagement Lead Mycah Banks worked hard to create a busy schedule of events: balancing learning opportunities, workshops to discuss our future as a company and brand, and times when we could enjoy each other’s company and get to know each other better.

We enjoyed:

Many members of the team commented that they definitely felt more relaxed after practicing for the week

  • 3 top guest speakers giving inspiring talks – on our products, principles and team health

Martin Owen, Chief Executive Officer at Quark Software, “How to Build and Deliver Great Products”

Paul Salazar, business executive and tech expert, “Infusing Open Source Principles into all Parts of an Organisation” 

Dr. Rebecca Williams, GP and writer, “Managing Stress During the Coronavirus Pandemic”

  • Daily workshops to discuss ideas for the future of Payara, starting with blue-sky thinking then drilling down into actions and details. We worked with professional facilitator Caroline Jessop – and finished the week with a real list of actions to take forward and an accurate representation of which improvements were going to inspire the team most
  • Payaran Pop Quiz, getting to know each other better
  • Daily lunch activities, from giving each other tours of our houses to a dress up challenge:
  • Ongoing challenges – scavenger hunts, photo competitions, making our own photobooth props and a ‘Sticker Sleuth’ challenge based on Information Theory (and the idea that with n YES/NO questions, you can theoretically distinguish between 2n options!)
  • VIP Awards – honouring the Payarans that best exemplify each of our values. Rudy De Busscher won The Prismo Award – for the employee who represents ALL of Payara’s values best (named after our Payara robot):

Goodies & Branding

Payara Week was its own branding extravaganza, with our designer Denisa Zettlova creating a host of special Microsoft Teams/Zoom backgrounds and imagery for us to use during the week. This imagery also featured heavily in our Payara Week gift box, sent to each employee before the event! This included a Payara Week t-shirt, merchandise to celebrate our Queen’s Award win, keyring, stickers, a Payara water bottle, materials for the challenges & more! We set our team members the task of capturing the goodies in eye-catching locations – check it out below:

Taste of Payara Week?

Last year, food featured heavily in the Payara Week adventures in Madeira – from bolo de mel honeycake to a traditional Madeiran meal, all washed down with lots of Portugese poncha! However, this year’s event being virtual did not mean that Payaran foodies (of which there are a lot!) would be disappointed.

HR Manager Julia Millidge ran a mocktails making session and we challenged Payarans to create the tastiest looking Payara Fish – take a look at the mouth-watering results:


How Can Payara Week be Summed Up?

This blog has discussed just a fraction of what was offered overall at Payara Week – Payaran Gaurav Gupta got out his toy box to create the below ‘billboard’ image to summarize:

Gaurav billboard image

Of course, the most important element was everyone coming together and meeting members of the team that they may not work with on a day to day basis; enjoying new experiences, laughs and thinking both about how the company could be better and what we are already grateful about and inspired by. Rest assured, we all came “back to work” feeling like we really had enjoyed time away and a change of scene and focus – despite the virtual nature of the event meaning that in reality we’d been at the same desk.

The creativity and commitment displayed proved that you don’t need to all be in the same place to be in sync – we were all bursting with enthusiasm for Payara from our respective homes! As a “Remote First” company –  where all of our positions are open to remote working, in any country – the success of this event is an important signal that you don’t need to be under the same roof, or even in the same continent or time zone, to be part of a truly connected team.

Sounds like we have a great time at Payara? You are right! Make sure to check regularly into our ‘Join Us‘ page to see if there is space in the team for you!

Topics: Fish Food, NewsroomTagged , , ,

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