Working from home. Sharing makeshift office spaces with roommates or partners, or noisy kids, or needy pets. Zoom fatigue. Too many meetings. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had some time to think?
Well, Twilio did just that. We’re just coming out of one big company-wide “Think Week” that took place globally from July 5-9. And, as Twilio is in the midst of a hiring spree with hundreds of jobs open for developers, managers, and sales professionals, we wanted to give potential candidates a feel for how Twilio is listening to employees and making room for thinking.
What is Think Week?
Twilio's Think Week is a global initiative during which Twilions everywhere get to focus on whatever is important to them without the disruption of internal meetings. It's an opportunity to reflect on the first half of the year, determine where they are with their BPMs (our acronym for Big Picture, Priorities, and Measures), and recalibrate if necessary.
Just as weightlifters know that working out without rest and recovery is a bad strategy, we're hoping Think Week offers up some moments in the day for Twilions to unplug and step away and reflect on personal and professional goals rather than just getting stuff done.
The Twilio Approach to Think Week
Besides assessing individual and team progress, Think Week at Twilio is a great time to work on mid-year performance reviews, provide feedback to team members, or take an online learning course to strengthen a skill set or address an area of opportunity.
Think Week is also an excellent time to find balance in your life, whether that comes in the form of a midday nap, an extra-long dog walk, or a family activity. The hope is that some of the findings of Think Week become permanent practices for Twilions to pause and reflect during every workweek.
Just before Think Week, we had a chance to chat with Christy Lake, Twilio's Chief People Officer, to discuss her perspective on the merits and benefits of Think Week.
Several other companies are doing versions of Think Week. How did the idea germinate at Twilio?
Christy Lake: As we moved into a full virtual model last year at the start of the pandemic, we recognized that people are ‘always on.’ Too many meetings, lots of work, and what we heard from people is that it is hard to find chunks of time for deep thinking. We've seen that Think Week is quite popular at other companies, especially in the space of innovation and creative work, so we wanted to bring that to Twilio and allow everyone to just disconnect for a week and have the time to really dig into whatever it is that they’re challenged with.
What are you most excited to build with five days of interrupted time?
Christy Lake: I will be building my thinking. One of the things that I'm personally thinking a lot about is the People strategy for the business, how our team delivers some of the change work we have on deck, as well as working on Twilio Magic, our cultural evolution. Also, it's about reflection and taking inventory, both personally and professionally. I think it's a really healthy practice. Then it's the perspective of "where to from here" with the balance of the year ahead of us.
What else — non-work related — is on your plate during Think Week?
Christy Lake: Deep thinking doesn't have to happen in front of a laptop. For some, your best thinking may happen while you're out and about— different experiences in a different environment yield different thoughts. I'm in San Diego at present, and I plan on sitting in a chair, oceanside, thinking all the things. Also, I was recommended a book called "Where Is Everybody? Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox," which attempts to answer the question, "Are we alone in the universe?" I have no clue how it applies to work for my life, but I hope it’s going to expose me to things that I didn't know to think about.
What are you hoping to hear in the coming weeks of how people spent their Think Week?
Christy Lake: I hope that there are "aha" moments where people have had the opportunity to more thoroughly evaluate challenges and opportunities. If there's a new product idea or innovation that comes out of it, that's amazing. But, equally, I hope that there's some refresh that people feel and maybe some new perspectives at the end of the day.
So, what did Twilions most appreciate during their Think Week? How about the ability to disconnect, reprioritize what’s important, and work on their terms? See what they had to say on our social channels under the hashtag #TwilioThinkWeek.
- "At Twilio, we are doing a global #ThinkWeek...to have a zero-meetings focus week. It's a great time to be grateful for the plans that worked, reflect on screw-ups, recalibrate priorities and reset my motivation for the next half." - Shobhita Agarwal, Principal Engineer (Bengaluru)
- "It's hard to get heads-down work done with the number of Zoom meetings, so I am extremely excited that Twilio is kicking off THINK WEEK - a full week with no internal meetings. Looking forward to thinking ahead to my priorities in H2, taking a Linkedin Learning course, and a full-on, much-needed break from Zoom." - Kevin Leslie, Strategic Accounts, Southeast Asia - Team Lead (Singapore)
- "Relief is what I feel during #TwilioThinkWeek as there aren't any internal meetings this week, so I don't have to deal with the pressure of being 'on' all the time. As an introverted Black woman, back-to-back Zoom meetings can be mentally taxing in a way that's hard to describe, so I'm thrilled at the opportunity that Twilio has provided for Twilions to slow down. I'll be spending my week doing some big picture thinking, long-range planning, writing it down, and reflecting on an impressive first half of a rewarding year at Twilio." - Stephanie Alojofe - Director, Global Employer Brand & Recruitment Marketing (San Francisco)
- At a time when you have back-to-back meetings clouding your calendar, tickets to resolve, and daily errands to finish up, it takes a toll on you! Twilio steps in with this amazing program of a #ThinkWeek, which allows you to step back, focus, cut yourself off from meetings for a week and re-energize yourself. I think this is very necessary now that everyone works virtually during this pandemic. It's a very thoughtful initiative from Twilio, and I'm really super grateful for this!! - Nikhil Joshua D'souza, Technical Engineer (Bengaluru)
- "It's @mparker and I meeting for the first time in person (in Austin, TX) after having worked together since back in Feb. 2021. We talked endlessly about work and life." - Hannah Kopeikin, Senior Manager, Global Employee Experience and Diversity & Inclusion (San Francisco)
- "Una semana para pensar, para orientar los objetivos, para solventar los pendientes, para estudiar, leer y para encaminarnos en medio de la cotidianidad del dia a dia es mas que necesario... Gracias #Twilio por esta semana #TwilioThinkWeek" - Carolina Arévalo Contreras, Growth Account Executive Latam (Bogota)
- "#TwilioThinkWeek Love this concept at Twilio❤️!! Me planning some #familytime, #bookreading, #mindfulness & revisiting some projects!!" - Anuj Jain, Head, GTM Data Strategy, Governance & Territory Operations (San Francisco)
- "🎯 This week is a THINK WEEK here at #twilio - a full week with no internal meetings. That’s right: zero internal meetings for the entire week. It’ll just be you and your work. Twilio, thank you for always taking care of us! ❤️" - Sanita Tripane, Talent Acquisition Partner, R&D in EMEA (Tallinn)
Disconnect, Rest, Recharge
Health and well-being are paramount at Twilio and taking additional time to rejuvenate is essential for us all. So, on top of Think Week, and a generous and flexible PTO policy, Twilio is providing our employees the time to disconnect from work to rest, recharge, and spend quality time with family and friends – even if remotely. Remaining break periods this year fall in early September and late December.
“I'm hoping that Twilions will look back on Think Week and remember that when they took this time, they were hopefully able to consider a work challenge in a way they hadn’t thought of before,” adds Lake. “I hope folks will proactively grab their calendars and start blocking off time for thinking post-pandemic.”
Twilio is on a hiring spree with open roles across multiple functions worldwide. We’d love to be part of your next career move. Check out open opportunities at Twilio today.