Create a familiar office space through video

In Hamburg, Germany, the MissionMe team has until recently enjoyed a work environment with nothing short of the ideal conditions for creative collaboration.

MissionMe resides in the Greenhouse, home to a number of startups and technologists who are working on apps and various tech projects. The location fosters idea generation and serves as a proving ground for testing and iteration. Its mission: to create ideas and products that excite.

MissionMe has been creating enjoyment in Germany over the past few years with two very successful apps: “Balloon,” a meditation app with audio guided sessions, and “Die Hirschhausen Diät,” a coaching app for intermittent fasting, by a German physicist Dr. Eckhart von Hirschhausen, to enable people on their way to a better self.

Since 2018, MissionMe’s CEO Steffen Horstmannshoff has been working on these two projects from their inception along with Anna Wicher, head of product, and Jochen Kramer, head of technology. Over time, it became clear that app development--and more specifically, understanding peoples’ needs in the areas of self improvement and wellbeing--were their strong suit. MissionMe focuses only on projects that empower people to help themselves.

That said, creating well-designed apps is no simple task. Innovative design thinkers need room to collaborate and create; Greenhouse has offered physical space for the MissionMe team for years now. While the company had already moved meeting rooms from Microsoft 365 over to Whereby pre-pandemic, the way they use the virtual meeting spaces in Whereby has evolved as well.

An open door policy to foster internal communication

A quick chat by the coffee maker or when passing by a colleague’s office can be incredibly beneficial to team creativity. These interactions can boost creativity and innovation. In an effort to recreate the conditions for spontaneous encounters, the MissionMe Team decided to recreate the Greenhouse workspaces everyone was accustomed to.

Among the team’s Whereby rooms, there are rooms named after physical office spaces. One of these spaces includes a kitchen which is open for members of the MissionMe team who want to have a chat by the virtual fridge.

Beyond enabling spontaneous  connections at work

“We didn’t fully adapt at first to the lack of real-life interactions,” Anna explained. “In the beginning, some of our communication was getting lost. A feature release would happen, for example, and someone wouldn’t know about it, whereas previously because of proximity they’d be aware of it. As a remote team, we now have to be a lot more transparent via Slack and our support tickets. This allows for us to share an accurate report of an exchange between two people personally so that everyone is aware. We’ve significantly changed our habits regarding how we communicate in the past few weeks and now ensure that no one is left out of important information.”

These days, the MissionMe team meets several times a day. They hold regular internal team meetings via Whereby in the morning and evening, helping to recreate the communication that had happened naturally in their regular office set-up. Making sure everyone is on the same page is an integral part of the team.

Some of their most loved Whereby features

  1. Miro integration, which enables them to review their projects and discuss various tasks within the video room;

  2. Google Drive integration for creative meetings, which (once installed) works seamlessly;

  3. Recording sessions for teammates to catch up quickly if they’re unable to join a meeting--for easy access, the recording link gets dropped directly into a Slack channel;

  4. The ability to check out YouTube videos together within the video room;

  5. And last but not least: Getting together for a virtual social hour with the team (BYOB).

“It’s getting more normal to have a remote day. We’ve actually found ourselves spending a lot more time in Whereby rooms than we intended, and have enjoyed having that connection.”

Accessible outreach for all audiences

With a user-centric approach to app design and development, MissionMe’s communication with their target audience is critical. Their team really appreciates how Whereby has helped make this process incredibly simple and intuitive. The single-click link, no download required, makes joining a remote meeting a lot less intimidating for target groups who are a little older and consider themselves to be less tech-savvy.

Whereby’s ease of use is also what led MissionMe to shift some of their meetings from Slack and screenshare to the platform.

A new way forward

Having found a new normal that works, the team is committed to embracing some of the positive changes that have been brought into their work processes during the pandemic.

Whereby has helped recreate the familiar office surroundings the MissionMe team needed in order to stay connected and remain productive during the months of full-time remote work. For the foreseeable future, Whereby will remain the remote communication tool of choice for MissionMe’s daily morning stand-ups to their more intensive creative meetings.

The MissionMe apps

Balloon - A meditation app

Reducing stress, sleeping better, being more relaxed – these are among the many benefits of meditation. Meditation researcher and neuroscientist Boris Bornemann is more than just the voice of this mindfulness app Balloon. He ensures that the courses and exercises are scientifically sound and deliver on their promised benefits. During the lockdown, the app offered free crisis management content to users and will soon be offering free weekly meditation practices. Developed for the German market.

Die Hirschhausen Diät - Coaching app for intermittent fasting

In this audio course, Dr. Hirschhausen walks you through his weight loss journey. Of course, not without taking himself and the dieting industry for a ride. More than 500 minutes of audio content support you while you adopt a new daily eating rhythm – packed with scientific findings, helpful advice, and personal anecdotes. The app offers free access to its interval timer and three days of coaching with a weekly task and bonus audio material. Premium content includes full access to the 7-week intermittent fasting program and weekly task with a one-time purchase. Developed for the German market.

Updates on MissionMe & vacancies can be found here.

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