A lot Can Happen Over Coffee

Walk into a cafe in any Australian city (or anywhere in the world) and you will notice that a large proportion of the clientele are workers, and amongst the sound of coffee grinders and steam you will hear the low rumble of mingled conversation. People are becoming increasingly mobile with their work and you wouldn’t be surprised to find a couple of guys in T-shirts & shorts slapping away at a laptop or pouring over their tablets/smart phones as they sip their coffee.

Cafes are quickly becoming ground zero for Australian businesses, there is  no better place to get an early start on your working day. A lot can happen over coffee, and there is a culture developing in the business world where meeting in Cafes is the norm. While  these casual business rituals let us enjoy good food and coffee while we work, they also do much to ‘level the playing field’ so to speak… The very structure of business is changing; where there used to be a prevalence of hierarchical structures that were plagued by inefficiency when it came to communication, there is now a culture wherein business owners & managers no longer play as strict a role as they did. The idea of adopting a flattened structure is receiving a better reception than ever before and this casual attitude to work is surprisingly fuelling productivity and innovation.

The cafe culture has helped us realise that we are clinging to systems that have floated into obsolescence as the technology we use has changed. Employees are becoming as much creative partners as they are workers and as a result, innovation is thriving. New ideas are being thrown around and in this open environment the most successful ideas can come from the most surprising places.

The role of the cafe in this cultural evolution goes much deeper than just food & coffee, they play an underlying part that influences the way we work. Cafes provide the neutral ground that is often necessary when trying to work with other people, a social space that gets us out of the office and in amongst the people of our work communities. This neutral ground  has the ability to disintegrate the kind of distance that can develop in an office environment, and sometimes it’s enough that simply being around other people can bring you back to earth and realise what you set out to do in the first place. And the act of sharing coffee acts as a catalyst to share ideas and build trust.

The way we work is changing. We are more mobile, more creative, and more productive than we have ever been. The very definition of the workplace is changing, it is becoming a term that describes the group of people you work with rather than a physical address you go to.. The lines that define our role within a business are being blurred as our workplaces evolve, and the kind of equality that breeds success is finally being achieved. And Cafes are extending workplaces for better collaboration.

Work Evolved

Once upon a time it was almost impossible to work from home, an unimaginable dream-world where only the most optimistic lived, but the way we work is evolving. We are more mobile than ever, and while there are buzz words like ‘telecommuting’ & ‘distributed workforce’ they don’t do justice to an emerging trend that is truly great. To say that this is an emerging trend may be a bit of an untruth however, because in some places it is a firmly established practice to have people who work remotely, yet this flexible lifestyle still eludes the vast majority of people who need it.

While it isn’t common practice to provide workers with these freedoms, the opportunity to be flexible in our work schedules has grown significantly in the past decade, and the rise of technology has instigated this shift. These people can work from anywhere there is an internet connection, and are better off for it. Workers and job seekers alike are placing more emphasis on flexibility, and young people entering the workforce are among the most insistent in their desire to have a healthy work-life balance.

Those who have taken the plunge rarely look back and if they do it right (it isn’t hard to do) their employees are happier, more productive and they are more loyal. Allowing employees to work remotely not only benefits them, it is benefits their employers, who save time and money by giving their workers the freedom to work when and where they want. An employee who doesn’t feel like they are just part of the daily grind will be more willing to put in the work that needs to be done and less likely to burn out, as the lifeblood of any business, the workers’ welfare should be top priority.


We are living in a world that is more connected than it has ever been before. We are able to talk to our parents on the other side of the world, send a video to our friend in the middle of the night, or meet with business partners in another country. All this was once only available to the most affluent, or the most obsessed, but over the past decade technology has grabbed our attention and today you would be hard-pressed to find somebody without a smartphone in their pocket.

The world is at our fingertips, but all of this would be impossible without the internet, which is arguably one of the most influential advances in technology since the printing press.

The internet has expanded our horizons, both in and out of the business world, on one hand we can stay in touch with relatives overseas  and on the other we can not only work in collaboration with other businesses, we are able to operate entire ventures over the internet.

Business as a whole is becoming as much a social enterprise as it is a professional one and thanks to technologies like Wi-Fi and ‘the cloud’, we are able to share our work from anywhere there is an internet connection. Workers have been living healthier, happier lives working from home or in a cafe rather than at an office, and in no way has productivity been affected.

It can be argued that Ecommerce has become as important as ‘traditional’ business operations, and to support this claim we would like to point out that for the first time, online book sales have surpassed brick-and-mortar sales.

Technology has shaped the way we do everything and we are witnessing its affect everywhere, from the way we find information to the language we use;  Google has become a name synonymous with search engines, and the phrase “Google it” has become so engrained in our collective consciousness that if Google were to collapse tomorrow, we would probably still be using it. It’s funny I should mention Google (not really) because they are famous for being one of the best places to work due to the attitude that they have adopted towards the way we work, and many of the businesses operating in the silicon valley have adopted similar attitudes. Interesting how the IT industry itself is changing the way we view work.

Over the last few decades, the role of technology has evolved as much as the technology itself – a correlation that is by no means incidental. Suddenly all of those old computers went from number-crunchers and word-processors to one of the most important tools that every single one of us use. Technology -especially the internet, as this is where the foundations lie-  has shaped the way we conduct business and to many new businesses (like CTC from the Outsourcing blog), utilising the internet as part of your business model is an essential part of being successful in today’s world.

Outsourcing blog

For the purpose of this blog a business called Clever T-shirt Co. (CTC) has been invented, and this hypothetical business will be used to outline the ideas expressed within. Now, it might be appropriate to give you some kind of a back-story to this made up business, so let’s just say that Clever T-Shirt Co. is an Australian start-up company based in Sydney that makes T-shirts with clever prints on them.

They are still in the midst of establishing their business, and they have been watching the market and collecting data on what their consumers want and what their competitors are doing. They can see that they would benefit from having some presence online, but the team that they have in Sydney at this point is just a small collective of artists who want to sell T-shirts, they don’t really know how to go about it all. They could hire a graphic designer from Melbourne, programmers from Buenos Ares, and content writers from Delhi, London, Seoul, or anywhere else in the world. Outsourcing work has never been easier than now, and freelance workers are fast becoming one of the most viable resources available, these freelancers could build their online profile for them in a fraction of the time and cost it would take if they had hired locally. CTC could essentially become a twenty four hour operation in this period, but who’s to say it has to end there?

There are companies like Brisbane based clothing company Black Milk who have managed to successfully run an online-only business, to the point where the cast of Game of Thrones are posting selfies of themselves wearing the company’s leggings on Instagram. Black Milk has built up a strong brand online, and they use social media way to market their product – at times it’s almost like self-willing celebrity endorsement. While it may seem counter-intuitive to run a clothing business solely online, this company has flourished within those parameters and might even act as an example of things to come in a world that is increasingly digital.

If CTC were to take this online-only approach, they would eliminate the need for a shop front, and if they outsourced their manufacturing & distribution, all they would need to do is provide designs and hire a couple of people to market their product and manage their social media networks. If they  chose to go online, they would open themselves to a much larger portion of the market as they would not be restricted to the borders of their city in terms of consumer base.

Smaller companies now have the chance to compete with the big brands and corporate-powerhouses that dominated the market in the past, and this is because the internet has done so much to level the playing field. It has given ‘the little guy’ access to resources that would have been impossible to attain in the past, from the skilled workers needed to build a website to the manufacturers who make the product.

If you set your mind to it you can achieve great things in our new world of work, we have more opportunities than ever before to create things and collaborate with brilliant people and it’s time we took advantage of the age we live in.

What does Teeme mean?

Teeme (/tiːm/)

The name Teeme is derived from two words that we feel encapsulate what we are about;

Team, which is perhaps the most obvious aspect of the name, and one that we can surely agree could be defined as a group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project. The other word which may not be as obvious is Meme, a term coined by Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene that has been popularised by social media through the spread of images (usually cat pictures) with a witty tag line. Meme was initially a term used solely by academics to describe a social element that, like a gene, could replicate itself and evolve. This social media version of a meme is not that far of a stretch from its original meaning; these cat pictures spread like wildfire and they change as each person puts their own spin on the popular image. Internet memes could very easily be used as a study in social sciences, but they also provide a readily accessible example of what a meme would traditionally be defined as – an idea that evolves.

This term is not only essential to our name (Team + Meme = Teeme), it also reflects what we want from our product. We want people to be able to work within a team, regardless of who they are, or where, or even when. We want Teeme to enable this natural evolution of ideas to flow smoothly within teams, and to allow collaboration to happen in one place, where ideas can be shared and collected, revisited and re-imagined, where ideas can evolve and come together to create something tangible.

We believe that the way we work is changing, and in the fashion of memes it has evolved into something entirely different from the way we worked a little as a few years ago. The way we conduct  business has moved away from tall office buildings and nine-to-five hours, we are witnessing a trend in which people are more frequently working from home or in a café rather than at a central office down town, and to us this is a step in the right direction. This is a time of change and we are all a part of it, so why not just leap into the fold and embrace it?