A Day in the Life of a Team Member at Aequip
By Ananya Saha
Ever wondered what it feels like to be a part of an exciting and up-and-coming startup? I’ve had the opportunity (and the privilege) to have a first-hand experience of working as one of the first members of the high-performing team here at Aequip.
As an Occupational Psychology Intern, my tasks and responsibilities vary by the day, and often include working with other members of the team.
My working day begins with the daily 15-minute standup, where people talk about what they plan on doing for the rest of the day and if they have any blockers or updates. But it’s usually less formal than that.
Our standups normally begin with sightings of Dr. Lukas’s dog Finnigan, or with the classic British weather conversation (which oddly unites everyone on the team despite us all being of different nationalities!) This way, the morning stand-ups serve as a good touchpoint, allowing us to immerse ourselves into the “work” attitude.
We also get to chat with other members of the team during these short meetings, as we may not all be working together on the same tasks later in the day.
After grabbing a cup of coffee (and usually something I’ve baked over the weekend), I sit down to work. Throughout the day, we have various meetings depending on our schedules, with some days designated as meeting-free. As a part of the Research team, I have regular catchups with Dr. Lukas and Dr. Gill, the two behavioural scientists on the team.
We usually discuss our work for the week, and they are always open to giving me tasks that allow me to explore different interests within psychology.
As a placement student, I have a kind of “hunger” for knowledge- I joined Aequip with the hopes of trying a bit of everything, to get a taste of working at a growing company so I would know what to look for when I start applying for jobs after graduation. And so far, each task and its related responsibilities make me more and more eager to pursue a career in occupational psychology, particularly in the People Development space.
We also have wider company meetings throughout the week. Every two weeks, we have a meeting on Monday to lay out our plans and tasks for the upcoming sprint. These Sprint Planning meetings allow us to brainstorm what we want to achieve and how we might go about it, while at the same time providing us with the space to structure and organise our plans. Our brilliant QA Engineer and Product Owner, Sarah, leads these sessions and walks us through our goals and timelines.
At the end of the sprint, we have a review meeting, where we go through what was achieved and what goals still need to be met. By spacing our Sprints over two weeks, we give ourselves enough time to work on and prioritize different tasks depending on company requirements. Though the Sprint meetings are usually longer due to their informal and brainstorm-based nature, Miriam is always there to nudge us if we are spending too long on a particular point and need to move on.
To better understand what worked and what didn’t during a Sprint, we also have retrospective meetings towards the end of the week. I enjoy these sessions because of the interactive Start, Stop, Continue activities which help us refine our goals. The welcoming and friendly atmosphere at these meetings encourages people to discuss issues and concerns that they may have. We also work together in groups to discuss any problems the team might be facing, and how to best resolve them. This way, we ensure that not only are we reaching our targets but that we also feel comfortable and supported throughout the process.
I also have my 1:1 meetings with Michael every Friday where we discuss the status of my tasks, what I would like to work on next, and general feedback about my week. 1:1 meetings like these are helpful for checking in on team members to make sure that they are taking time off to enjoy things outside of work. They also offer a space for people to suggest new ideas or actions that might benefit the company.
But it’s not all work at Aequip. Due to the online and remote nature of our work, I have not yet met any of my team members in person. Despite the physical distance between us all, I feel very connected and comfortable working with them.
One of the ways Aequip encourages social, water-cooler interactions is through Social Hours which we have every other Friday. Here, we can bring along some drinks or snacks, and just chat about what’s on our minds. I often see a different “non-work” side of my colleagues, such as Patryk’s love for kitesurfing or Saadat’s photos from his Morocco trips.
Each day in the life of an Aequip employee is different from the last. Some days are light, with us breezing past tasks and achieving one Sprint goal after the other, while other days may involve us sitting in long meetings trying to rack our brains to figure something out. But that’s just a part of the spontaneity and excitement found in most start-ups. Aequip goes one step further to ensure that this spontaneity does not manifest into uncertainty or impulsivity.
The team all have structured schedules with space to work independently and collaboratively. The core meeting hours are from 9:30-14:30 GMT so the team can work around those hours at times that suit them. This was particularly helpful when I was working from home in India, as I did not have to stay up for long hours because of the time difference. Such arrangements reflect Aequip’s commitment to providing a safe and flexible working environment for its team, and in doing so, it practices what it preaches- creating a company culture that is diverse, inclusive, and accommodating to individual needs and working habits..
Ananya Saha is a psychology undergraduate student at the University of Bath. Ananya joined Aequip as a Occupational Psychology Intern, hoping to gain valuable work experience during her placement year. “As an up-and-coming start-up, Aequip offers exciting opportunities for aspirational psychologists like me to observe how psychological and behavioural science principles can be meaningfully applied to real-life organisational contexts.”