The Vaimo UK office was officially established in March 2012, but Country Manager Robin Carlsson got the office into kickstart mode when he joined in July 2013. The first employees who are still at the Vaimo UK office today are Tamás Szabó, Backend Developer, Amina Sellberg, Project Manager, Glyn Meyers, Frontend Developer, and Ergo Loorits, Infrastructure Developer. Today, the Vaimo UK is comprised of 25 vibrant individuals in an office in the very heart of London’s most influential area. Let’s take a look at the Vaimo UK office journey!
The Millbank Tower Vaimo office
One of the first team events at the UK office
The very first office was a small room that overlooked the London Victoria Station, and the neighbour across the hall was the Daily Telegraph. Since the office offered views directly on to the roof of one of the largest train and bus hubs in London, it created a cosmic, “Star Wars” vibe. According to Robin, the area was always alive and buzzing with action and movement. Robin recalls that a memorable website release happened in the first office - for Konga, the largest online mall in Nigeria. Namely, Robin worked for 3 days straight in the small office, stayed up all night on the final day, and flew down to Nigeria just as the site went live on a Sunday morning. Why specifically on a Sunday morning? This was a strategic move, as online traffic hits a low on this day, due to the cultural norm of attending Sunday morning church services in Nigeria. The launch was a huge deal, with individuals in Stockholm, Tallinn, Lagos, Kiev, Riga, and New York City all pitching in. The UK crowd also had their first Christmas dinner while at the first office, and Robin started the tradition of toasting every new employee with Champagne (or at least sparkling wine!). By the time Vaimo UK outgrew their first office space, they were 4 people in one room.
The UK office loves to celebrate
One team event took place at an Escape Room
Vaimo UK’s next two offices were in Millbank Tower; when the team outgrew the first room after half a year, they relocated to a larger space in the same building. The team moved in at the beginning of 2014 to a space that overlooks the River Thames. Fun fact - other notable organisations that have occupied Millbank Tower include the Labour Party, United Nations, the World Bank, and RT (UK channel). The office featured 1.5 conference rooms; the half-conference room was actually a cupboard that the team ended up using as a single-person room for client calls. A few clients got so accustomed to the echo that they could pick up whenever someone sat in the half-conference room. The office also boasted beanbag chairs, and “standing desks” that the team members constructed themselves (the UK crowd is a creative bunch!). The office also had an under-dimensioned basketball hoop that quickly fell into oblivion, and a playstation that was used religiously (at least, in the beginning). A chuckling Robin noted that in this office, the Friday tradition was born that at the end of the day, someone would turn on Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” which would signal the close of the work day and everyone would gather around for drinks. The team also fondly remembers the stranded green and yellow “pub boat” that they frequented, which was situated on the water on the bank opposite of the office building.
This is the caravan the team formed when they moved office spaces within Millbank Tower
The third UK office in Millbank Tower was decked out with fun ways to relax
The UK team moved into their current office in December 2015. The new space is located in the city of London close to Bank, the Monument (to the Great Fire of London) and Liverpool Street Station, on Threadneedle Street - a street famous for housing the Bank of England (or Old Lady of Threadneedle Street as she’s often referred to) and the Royal Exchange. Threadneedle Street is home to a diverse variety of historic old buildings and sleek, modern skyscrapers. The Vaimo office itself is situated in a building built in 1902 that originally accommodated The British Linen Bank. The office space features several meeting rooms, a kitchen area, and a large outdoor terrace that’s just perfect for summer barbecues. The terrace offers views to many infamous landmarks in London, such as the 30 St Mart Axe (known locally as “The Gherkin”), 20 Fenchurch (known locally as “The Walkie Talkie”), The Leadenhall Building (known locally as “The Cheese Grater”), and Heron Tower (the tallest building in the area). The area is rich with famous restaurants and bars, and the Leadenhall Market is close by - a 14th century open-air market.
Another UK team event was at a beer brewery - these Vaimoers look happy!
The UK Vaimoers are not afraid of a challenge - nor ice!
The UK team have solidified their team spirit over the years with team events, such as base jumping, a visit to a beer brewery, go-carting, ice-skating, and a visit to an escape room. The team’s new office space currently seats 25, but offers ample room to grow in the upcoming years. When planning the office, the Vaimoers made sure to make plenty of room for employees to work “away from their desks” - be it on a beanbag, or in another cozy spot. The large glass doors that open to the terrace furnish the office with a light, airy feel, and several indoor plants create a woodsy atmosphere in the centre of London. The UK team is very satisfied with their new space, and feel that they are finally home. Many thanks to Amie Hills, Vaimo UK office manager, for the input for this story!
The current UK office
The current office offers a lot of space to relax and to welcome clients