Supporting remote workers is at the heart of SafetyWing’s business.
SafetyWing provides health and travel medical insurance for globally distributed remote workers and teams, and the team behind the product is distributed across the globe too.
Sondre Rasch, co-founder and CEO, has led remote teams for many years, and he knows that for a distributed workforce to be successful, you can’t rely on asynchronous communication alone. With Teamflow’s virtual office, SafetyWing created a space that enables seamless, synchronous communication and helps the team build and nurture human connections.
When you want to move fast, asynchronous communication will hold you back. There’s a lot of praise for the flexibility asynchronous work provides to remote teams. But even advocates of asynchronous acknowledge its biggest downside: it slows you down.
Whether it’s email or Slack, written communication lacks crucial social clues, including body language and subtle voice inflections, making it prone to misunderstandings. Plus, because writing thoughtful messages and then waiting for a response takes time, it frequently causes delays in problem resolution and project progression. “We all have seen simple questions turn into a flurry of Slack essays because each person comes at a problem from different angles. This can be incredibly frustrating. If you’d just talk, you’d solve the problem in 5 minutes,” says Sondre.
It’s also a lot harder to build personal connections when working asynchronously. Written communication just can’t build and nurture relationships the same way face-to-face interactions can. As Sondre said, “Yes, asynchronous work provides flexibility and space to focus, and that’s important. But if you rely on asynchronous communication only, work can feel cold and distant. It’s missing humanity.”
So the team at SafetyWing set out to find a solution that allowed them to strike the right balance between flexible, focused work and time to collaborate and socialize in a way that feels natural and connected — and Teamflow helped them do just that.
SafetyWing aimed for the best of both worlds: a fully remote team, with a virtual office for dedicated coworking time. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are coworking days at SafetyWing. Between 8 and 11 am Pacific Time, the entire team comes together at their beautiful virtual office in Teamflow to collaborate and socialize.
Sondre acknowledges “working remotely can be lonely. Teamflow makes you feel less alone.” That’s because in Teamflow, you see who’s around your virtual office, and you can start chatting with your teammates by simply moving your avatar over to theirs.
So when SafetyWing’s team members want to pick a colleague’s brain about an idea, they no longer have to schedule a meeting or start a long back-and-forth on Slack. They just move their avatars closer to a colleague who’s hanging out in the common area and start chatting, just like they would in a physical office. Chats on Teamflow start naturally, frequently, and without friction, and that’s the foundation of a truly connected team. In Sondre's words, “Teamflow re-creates chance meetings and casual chats, reducing long threads and misunderstandings.”
Teamflow has also made it easy for SafetyWing to run effective, collaborative team meetings. Creative meetings and planning sessions at SafetyWing often start with a larger team and then break into smaller brainstorming groups. This is enabled by Teamflow’s spatial audio, which means you can only hear those that are closest to you. This simple but powerful idea makes the virtual office more natural. Splitting a large group into multiple smaller ones is as easy as dragging your avatar to the group you’d like to gather with — just like you’d move to different areas in a physical office.
“Teamflow’s spatial audio greatly improves the way remote meetings work. A large group can easily break into small teams for brainstorming and then come together again to share their thoughts with zero friction. It’s really elegant and fun. It’s improved the quality of our meetings to the degree that it is hard to imagine running creative meetings without it.”
Teamflow enables better information flow and helps SafetyWing get more done — and faster. With Teamflow, SafetyWing has empowered its team with a frictionless line of communication, making it easy for team members to connect — whether through spontaneous encounters or more focused, collaborative, and effective meetings. And because the team feels more connected and information flows throughout the organization more fluidly, everyone at SafetyWings is more productive. “Teamflow has an incredible impact on improving the information flow within and across teams — and that helps us move faster. — Sondre”
See how Teamflow can help your team feel more connected
If you’re curious about how Teamflow can help your team feel more collaborative and connected, try our virtual office free for 30 days.
Reviewed by James O'Sullivan, Director of New Client Experience
Jamess O'Sullivan has over 20 years of experience building and scaling companies. With diverse experience under his belt spanning everything from CareerBuilder.com to Uber, James is a well-respected thought leader, eccentric, and boundary-pusher who regularly contributes to industry-leading publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine.