A week in the Cotswolds – Concentric team meetup

As a remote-first team, we are spread across a wide geographical area. To put that into context, at our daily standups, we routinely have people experiencing vastly different weather systems, ranging from rainy mornings in Cardiff to the sun streaming into the office in Spain. This diversity of location means that face-to-face meetups are treasured.

Earlier in May, the Concentric team embarked on our first away week of the year, meeting in the picturesque Cotswolds. We ran, competed in garden games, and participated in Concentric Dine with Me. Amidst the festivities, we definitely did some work as well…

Concentric run club

Under the watchful eye of Daf “Quickfoot” Loughran, the team was guided on several early morning runs through the Oxfordshire countryside, including a scenic route along the River Thames.

Adrian and Patrick Running

Every runner has their bucket list races. For many, this includes the likes of London, Berlin, Boston, New York, and Tokyo. But do any of these races offer Concentric socks as end-of-race prizes? I think not!

Runners with Concentric socks as prizes

(It’s a terrible shame for Daf that he isn’t the fastest member of the Concentric team, but I’ll not bring it up again 🤣)

What on earth is Concentric Dine with Me?

Concentric Dine with Me is health-tech’s answer to the hit TV series Come Dine with Me (but arguably with better food, more sophisticated entertainment, and extra competitiveness!).

The team was divided into pairs, each taking turns to host a dinner party for the others. At the end of each night, the rest of the team secretly rated their hosts out of 10.

On the first night, Chloe and Andrew wowed with a springtime-inspired menu that took advantage of local seasonal produce, and had us playing some challenging after-dinner games.

Chloe and Andrew with their CDWM menu

Adrián and Daf served up a culinary cultural fusion, with delicacies from both Spain and Wales, before having us practise their respective languages after dinner.

Adrian and Daf with their CDWM menu

Connor and Martyn took advantage of fortunate weather conditions, serving alfresco starters at sunset, before moving inside for a show-stopping main course (but no dessert?!).

Connor and Martyn with their CDWM menu

Each evening, the pre-dinner menu descriptions, post-dinner entertainment, and end-of-evening reviews were captured on camera. These were edited together, and on the final evening of our stay, we all gathered around and watched the final cut of the show.

CDWM viewers

While I won’t make you watch the entire thing, you can get a sneak peek with the intro:

A testament to the intensity of the competition, only following a recount did Connor and Martyn emerge victorious, clinching their win by a mere half-point margin.

CDWM winners

Sadly, it’s unlikely to be commissioned by Channel 4 anytime soon, but I am confident that there will be a second season in the future.

Garden games

Over the course of the week, we played Croquet and Boules on the lawn. Ed showed us how it’s done.

Ed playing croquet

While Connor played slightly off-piste…

Connor playing croquet off-piste

Product discussions

Amongst the fun, we did make time for some work. There are going to be a couple of big Concentric product updates in the coming months (stay tuned), so we took the opportunity to talk through these as a group. The face-to-face discussions meant we could deep dive into the nuances of the upcoming features, and brainstorm solutions.

Technical approach discussion

The engineering team worked side-by-side on some of the technical approaches to these new product features.

Engineering team working together

One of the most inspiring moments of our away week was realising that while we were together, Concentric was used to support over 7,000 patients in making important healthcare decisions. This tangible impact is a powerful reminder of our mission and the meaningful work we do.

Our time in the Cotswolds was a resounding success, and as we look ahead, we’re excited to implement the insights and innovations sparked during this week, continuing to make a meaningful impact with Concentric.