Continuing to Build a Company in a Pandemic

Amanda Kilmer
Date Published
October 20, 2020
Read Time

How Bond continues to build a remote-first company during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bonding during a worldwide pandemic

We are immensely conscious of the fact that finance is more than an industry; it's more than empowering startups to grow and change the way we do business — it's deeply personal. We are passionate about how our products can help serve people and positively impact their daily lives by creating access to tools and resources that were previously out of reach. That's a key part of our mission here. We're not just aiming at empowering new innovations for the fintech industry; we want to change people's relationship to banking for the better.

As the severity of COVID-19 rose around the globe, we acted immediately, deciding to close our offices that first week of March 2020. With no definitive answers on how long the shelter in place order would be in effect, we recommended that everyone work from home until the end of the year. It was a little bumpy for our 20-ish person team as we all adjusted to the new normal and figured out how to balance productivity while also remaining present in our personal lives. Undoubtedly, these last several months have turned our usual routines upside down. When we removed ourselves from the hustle and bustle of the office and started depending on virtual hangouts to replace in-person, human interaction, screen fatigue got very real very fast.

Keeping our culture thriving while we are remote was at the forefront of our minds. We started our All Hands with photos the team shared from hikes over the weekend to what was cooking on their stoves. We created a kudos channel on Slack to acknowledge teammates that go above and beyond. Zoom background challenges, trivia and movie nights with happy hours have all been hosted as team events. Some of us have really gotten into baking and cooking so we started a foodshare channel — which was actually the catalyst behind our most recent event: a Bond Chopped cooking session! The team is also looking to pull together their favorite recipes into a Bond cookbook for the holidays, so stay tuned!

Mental health wellness days have been added onto calendars so we could take a break and focus on activities that replenish. We offer a stipend to help outfit employee’s home offices and we distribute weekly gift cards from DoorDash when cooking is no longer fun or enticing. We celebrated the passing months in themes: Women’s History, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage as well as Pride month with Jeopardy sessions.

And as our country came face to face with systemic racism and the social injustices infused into our nation, we lifted our fist in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We took a step back, giving space and a platform for employees to share their thoughts and struggles while proposing solutions on what we could do to be better.

In the middle of quarantine, we also announced our Series A fundraise which gives us even more fuel to accomplish our mission of making fintech easy, equitable and impactful for both banks and brands, and, ultimately, the customers they serve.

While March feels like it's worlds away, we know that the challenges we first faced at the start of the pandemic are still here. But our team, now 40+ people strong, has developed a keen sense of how to operate from afar while keeping connected. We are also finding an appreciation for the little personal moments that make our home offices feel more like the Bond office; moments that would originally be solitary, personal milestones have become larger team celebrations with echoes of congratulations. The human aspect of remote work became the foundation and base for us to continue to build a great company with great people.

We’re always looking for great people! Come and join us!