Is there a way to keep your team and employees engaged, even if they are working remotely?
Because of the global situation and the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies and startups are actively switching to remote operation. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs and business managers who have changed to remote work fall into the same trap – they prefer not to use innovative work methods but continue to follow the already familiar path.
Researches show that a lack of engagement, job satisfaction, and a lack of regular communication and interaction with colleagues are among the most common reasons that negatively affect employees who switched to remote work.
Fortunately, with the growing popularity of remote work, there has also emerged a relevant way to communicate with your employees and keep them engaged in the overall workflow – virtual office. This service provides ample opportunities to meet with colleagues, work together, discuss projects, and even gossip near the watercooler. A virtual office gives you all the benefits of a physical office and eliminates the need to gather your team in one place.
You have probably already guessed what the topic of our article will be today. We were lucky to become participants in an exciting dialogue with Charlotte Ekelund, the Co-founder of the startup Teemyco. Today we’ll talk about how to launch a startup in the field of remote work, what are the advantages of virtual office space, what qualities a team should have, whose members are scattered all over the world. Let’s get started!
What is Teemyco exactly?
“Teemyco is a virtual workplace destination that enables you to collaborate seamlessly within your team, no matter where you are,” said on the company’s website. Charlotte Ekelund, the startup Co-founder, gave us her definition, “Teemyco is your office, online.”
Whether you need a space for important meetings or a birthday drink with colleagues, Teemyco is a perfect space. But, let’s find out together more about the specifics of this unique platform for remote workers.
How to create a working environment for a remote team?
Fortune reported the “root cause” of startup failures, “They make products that nobody needs.” How to avoid this? Create an up-to-date product with extensive functionality that solves the pains and problems of users.
Charlotte confirmed our thoughts and described the capabilities of the service and what they offer to Teemyco’s users.” We bring the office space to wherever you and your colleagues want. Think of it as the Lego platform, where your team gets a possibility to build its own virtual space to hang out and interact just like in a real office. Whether you want to gossip about your weekend date, co-work sitting side by side with your favorite colleague, need to have a board meeting, or spontaneous input on an idea you have. In your Teemyco office, you can do all those things.”
According to experts, by 2030, an overwhelming 75% of teams will work remotely. So, if you want to see your company thrive in the future, build a proactive remote working environment today, for example, by using a virtual office.
Office space for everyone
The virtual office is the answer to the global demand for mobility. Continuous communication and technology guarantee your team’s effectiveness, regardless of its location, and the virtual workplace is a way to bring unity to your team and increase productivity, including an overall sense of happiness that money cannot buy.
Despite the apparent relevance of such a platform for everyone, we still asked Charlotte why now is the best time for their startup to exist. “Colleagues are no longer co-located but still need to interact as a team, and everyone deserves to have an office space,” shared with us an interviewee.
Implementation of the virtual office model saves the company from additional infrastructure investments, which means it reduces the cost of maintaining employees.
“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
After Charlotte gave us a full vision of what they are developing, we came to the next question about Teemyco’s virtual office background and why our interviewee and her Co-founder decided to launch a startup in this area. “The future of work is flexible and hence physically hybrid. As a former recruiter, strategist, and remote worker myself, I have heard, seen, and felt what still doesn’t work in remote teams.”
Why do startups develop differently in the same niche and under similar conditions? Why does one entrepreneur’s project become profitable while another business goes bankrupt? It all depends on motivation and competencies, experience, and knowledge in the field in which your company operates.
What is most important for a remote team?
A great strategy is helpful, and strong leadership is also a must, but one of the critical aspects of a successful business is having a reliable and unique team. It’s essential to make sure that your staff members are also ‘on board’. The most important qualities that a remote employee should have are risk sensitivity, willingness to change, and find solutions.
As a startup Co-founder, we asked Charlotte’s opinion on the most important for the remote team. “We are a highly diverse international team, fully remote, with different backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas. What unites us is that we all have a genuine drive to make remote work work. We all believe that team spirit and productivity must go hand in hand to make people love their job. Thanks to our virtual office platform, we give people anywhere the chance to be part of a team they love. We open up job possibilities for anyone across the world.”
“What unites us is that we all have a genuine drive to make remote work work.”
Investments are one of the most crucial aspects of every young business. Our next question to Charlotte was about where they received their first money for the startup.
“The initial investment came from Antler VC; after that also Angels and Luminar Ventures have invested in Teemyco.”
Lack of funding is the reason 30% of startups fail. American researchers argue that the lack of material resources takes the second place in the rating of failures of “young” entrepreneurs (by the way, the unsuccessful idea is in the first place).
The importance of being ready
There’s a famous saying, “By failing to prepare, you’re preparing for failure.” We asked Charlotte at what stage is the development of the virtual platform now, and what is the team focused on at the moment? “Teemyco is still in closed beta, the famous product-market-fit-phase. We are spending a lot of time speaking to our beta testers, so qualitative data is currently at least as important (if not more) as quantitative. We listen to why people love using their virtual office, how they design it, what functionalities they like, what needs they have, and how sad they’d be if they no longer had their online office.”
Your first steps can determine whether your company will cost millions of dollars or whether you are just another startup out of the 90% that no one remembers.
The best marketing is no marketing?
Even though most Co-founders usually measure the success of their startup with revenue, the interviewee emphasized the results of their ‘marketing strategy’. “We don’t spend money on marketing. We have been lucky enough to get great coverage, and hence 60k interested beta testers from over 40 countries across the globe.”
Undoubtedly, word of mouth is by far the most powerful form of marketing. But remember, there is no universal recipe for success. Techniques that worked in one situation may not necessarily work the next time. To make your business successful, be as flexible as possible, and this applies to all its aspects, from marketing to attracting investments and assessing the company’s success.
Time is the most rigorous measure of success for any startup
“It’s not the idea, plan, business model, team, or surprisingly, even the money that’s the most significant factor in a startup’s success. It’s all in the timing.”
Plans for the future are always another exciting aspect for our audience. We asked Charlotte where they think their growth will be next year, and she was frank with us. “We’ll finally make the platform available to anyone who needs and wants to access it. We want to help thousands of people around the world become happier at work.”
The absence of a long-term strategy turns the business into a chaotic movement without purpose and meaning. If you want to create something lasting, you need to act and look to the future and not standstill.
Is there a Plan B?
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
One of the personal questions we usually ask Co-founders and entrepreneurs during the interview is about ‘Plan B’, an alternative to working on a startup. “Good question, haven’t even thought of it myself. Because I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now! I might either have leveled up my previous recruitment career towards the leadership area. Before, I was a recruitment consultant and worked as a strategist for various leadership teams in Fortune500 companies for a few years. Or I would work on another startup idea.”
“I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now!”
Advice to young entrepreneurs
How do you know if a startup has a future, and how big is it? Does it depend on the co-founders’ ambitions, the professionalism of the recruited team, and the project itself as a whole? Or a bit of luck would come in handy too?
One of the most exciting questions of every interview we make with Co-founders and entrepreneurs, and our last stop in today’s article is advice to young startuppers. We asked Charlotte what advice she could give to young startups and got an answer from an experienced strategist. “Just go for it, don’t strive to be perfect; be prepared that it’ll be tough sometimes, and don’t be shy to ask for help around you.”
The secret of success
The possibilities of the Internet, computers, and smartphones with innovative software allow employees to interact despite the distance of thousands of kilometers. It doesn’t matter what size of your team, scale, or type of business, as any company, startup, and entrepreneur can benefit from adopting the virtual office model.
Although technology plays an essential role in the idea’s implementation of virtual offices, the success of such an experiment of remote work for each team depends directly on the human factor: on the impartiality of managers, reliability, and professionalism of employees. Virtual office space can benefit both sides.
What is about Teemyco? The secret of their success lies in the Co-founders’ self-experience, willingness to make people happier working remotely, and a great punch of competence.