Meet Teemyco, a Stockholm-based startup that wants to reproduce office interactions in a virtual environment. The company wants to foster spontaneous interactions and casual collaboration with a room-based interface. Each employee moves from one room to another just like in a physical office.
If you’re no longer working from an office, chances are you rely heavily on email, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet or a combination of all those tools. While those tools work perfectly fine for what they’re designed to achieve, many companies feel like important information is getting lost. It’s harder to bump into a colleague next to the coffee machine and ask a quick question.
With Teemyco, each person is working in a virtual room. By default, you work in the lobby. You can consider it as an open space with multiple desks. When you want to get together for a planned or unplanned meeting, you can pull someone from the lobby and create another room.
In that room, you can start an audio call or a video call. You can see your colleagues in the corner of your screen and stay focused on a document at the same time, or you can put a video call in full screen. When someone is done, they can leave the room.
Those interactions are less formal than what you get with video-conferencing services. You don’t have to send a link to a Zoom room, you don’t have to send a calendar invite. People hop in and hop out.
If you’re working on something important, you can move to a focus room so that you don’t get interrupted every fifteen minutes. Other people won’t be able to pull you from your virtual desk. If you have to run some errands, you can also put yourself in a room that says you’re not there — those rooms can act as a status.
Teemyco also helps you work next to your favorite colleague. You can create a room and use a walkie-talkie feature for quick interactions throughout the day. And, of course, you can create a break room for non-work related discussions.
Teemyco is still a young company. The product is only available in beta. The company raised a $1 million seed round led by Luminar Ventures with Antler, Gazella and various business angels also participating.
It’s also not going to work for all companies. I’m not sure it scales well for a company with hundreds of employees for instance. Introverts might not be fans of real-time communication either.
If you’re a remote-first company, you know that it’s important to have a culture of transparency. And written information is always more transparent than video conferences.
And yet, depending on your corporate culture, something like Teemyco can be useful. It can augment information stored in shared documents and internal communication tools.
It’s an interesting product that proves that the inevitable debate between physical offices and remote teams is not a binary problem. There is some granularity and companies can adjust the knob depending on specific needs.
This post first appeared here: https://techcrunch.com/2020/09/04/teemyco-creates-virtual-offices-so-that-you-can-grab-a-room-and-talk-with-colleagues/