Lamin is CEO and one of three co-founders of Bantaba, a digital match-making platform that allows African tech start-ups access knowledge and capital from its diaspora community.
Our company was founded in July 2021, so we are almost a year old. We are headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden but have a global workspace with employees also based in Kenya, Germany, France, and Taiwan. Being a growing team spread across several locations, our main communication channels have been Teemyco and Slack. Using Teemyco has given us the feeling of working in the same place even though we are miles apart.
We started during the new era of remote working spurred by the pandemic, so it had a little effect on the team’s interactions. We were distributed from the start so using a communication tool like Teemyco from the very beginning has helped us to develop a communication culture similar to physical offices.
I personally enjoy working from an office space but there are some members of the team, especially developers who feel more comfortable working from home. We highly value flexibility and we encourage the team to adopt schedules that help their efficiency. However, I believe having a working space in a tech hub is important to create a community around us and encourage sharing learnings with teammates and other founders and entrepreneurs. A balance of both is really powerful and the new ideal way for work.
Teemyco has been a real game changer for us in the way we interact with each other at Bantaba. It gives us the ability to quickly jump into a discussion without extra links or invites. We try to work as we would in a physical office with meeting rooms, coffee rooms and a lounge all available digitally.
Bantaba Virtual Office
We take team building very seriously! Every Monday before jumping into the week we try to catch up on events that happened on the weekend. We discuss all kinds of stuff from music to soccer and fashion. We also encourage team members to have fun through games which help to build teamwork. Escape rooms are our favourites!
Of course working online can be tough on the eyes sometimes. At our company, we purposefully try to avoid long meetings and take coffee breaks/short walks to get away from the screen. This helps reduce fatigue and improve concentration and efficiency.
We have bi-weekly remote team meetings and quarterly review sessions. Other than that we do ad hoc meetings on Teemyco. As a tradition, we have a unique end of the year lunch where everyone on the team eats together and then plays games remotely. For the general calls, we use Teemyco but for the games, we use the platform provided by the organizers.
The way we work as a global society has already evolved so much. I think we will see more digital-first culture as well as a lot more hybrid workplaces moving forward. The influence can already be seen with the increase in the global recruitment and hybrid events. As a global community, having remote working tools has helped keep close communications with the diaspora no matter where they are in the world.
However, having a virtual space to connect in is extremely important for a business. The ease of having conversations, and being able to get feedback at a moment’s notice is the biggest. It has created a unique feeling of being connected and part of a team no matter where you are.
Thank you Lamin!