Three Cool Tech Startups That Are Powering The Remote And Hybrid-Work Trend – Forbes

Human resources departments need software that can inform workers who will be in the office, so … [+] you’ll know when it makes sense to go into work, and won’t be frustrated that you commuted for three hours just to get on a Zoom call that could have been done from your bedroom.
The pandemic has unleashed an entrepreneurial boom. With a large number of companies—ranging from Amazon to accounting firm PwC—encouraging remote and hybrid work styles, a cottage industry that serves this need has bloomed. The potential for growth is exponential, as millions of people around the world will work remotely full or part time. An array of forward-thinking businesses are offering technologies, platforms and services to facilitate this dramatic movement.
Three tech startups epitomize this trend. They range from companies that take care of all of the legal, regulatory and tax forms required for employees to work in various U.S. states, as well as in countries all across the globe. 
Human resources departments need software that can inform workers who will be in the office, so you’ll know when it makes sense to go into work, and won’t be frustrated that you commuted for three hours just to get on a Zoom call that could have been done from your bedroom. 
You also need connective platforms for a distributed network to collaborate and keep in touch with one another. Then, there’s the hardware. After working at the kitchen table for nearly two years with a stiff chair and old computer, you may need an upgrade now that we know this will be a long-term change.
I spoke with Sami Bouremoum, the CEO of Hofy, to learn about his unique startup that aims to make it easy for companies to set up their remote workers with everything they need to succeed. 
Bouremoum, a former Bain Management consultant with a PhD in Computer Science, comes across as calm and confident. His company offers the technology, logistics and supplier network as a subscription service to provide and manage home offices for corporations’ remote teams globally. Around  $15.2 million in funding gave the capital to help Bouremoum pursue his worldwide growth strategy. 
Bouremoum’s business plan sounds relatively easy—enabling companies to rent physical equipment for their distributed workforce around the world. However, there are headwinds he faces. 
The U.K., where he’s based, along with most of the world, is struggling with a supply-chain and logistics crisis. The costs of furniture, fixtures and other office-related merchandise have skyrocketed. Another layer of challenges is that the European Union and each of the countries have their own rigid idiosyncratic rules, regulations, taxes and compliance that needs to be followed. His company deftly navigates these Byzantine edicts, on behalf of his clients.
Hofy handles the heavy lifting: the delivery and installation of equipment, onsite repairs and replacements and the collection and redistribution of equipment. Its software enables companies to easily rent, install and manage hardware, including laptops, keyboards, printers and monitors. Hofy makes it simple to swiftly get a new hire their laptop and all of the other equipment they may need to ensure a productive and compliant work setup. He says it’s as easy as inviting a colleague to Slack. 
Hofy also offers furniture, IT, peripherals and accessories, ergonomic chairs, desks, headsets, mice, printers, desk lamps, standing mats, screen mounts, desk risers and more. The company runs a curated online store to suit any desk-based profession and budget.   
Kenzo Fong is an experienced Silicon Valley tech executive. He helped build Google Maps and was an early member of Uber Eats. In these capacities, he dealt with globally distributed teams. 
Fong found it increasingly frustrating that he had to juggle different incompatible platforms. These different tools aren’t linked to one another. This causes workers to waste a lot of time and energy, frustratingly toggling to various platforms and apps throughout the business day. He says that although many of the products are great, there is redundancy and not much of a major difference between Trello, Asana and other project management tools.  
To remedy this situation and make it easier for workers to connect and collaborate, Fong, who often works out of his van, set out on his own to found Rock. The platform is a distributed work company that enables anyone to work from anywhere. Rock was created to work both synchronously and asynchronously. Rather than productivity tools that don’t work together and actually fragment the workflow, he’s developed an all-in-one platform to reduce anxiety and put everyone on the same page. 
With Rock, employees from across the world can seamlessly interact via messaging, task creation and integrated video calls. Dissimilar to softwares that not-so-subtly pressure you to always be on call, there are no annoying “pings” late at night. They often create the expectation that we need to be available at all hours of the day. Fong is not a big fan of technology that makes you focus on presentism and face time, instead of doing the actual work that needs to get done.   
It’s an all-in-one affordable productivity platform for distributed work that combines messaging, tasks, notes, and files in one simple tool that anyone can use. You can start with a free option. There are tiered subscriptions too.  
Fong points out that most productivity tools are focused on teams that work in the same office or time zone, or are too complicated for the average user. Rock’s goal is to have one platform that  can do everything in one place by taking the functionality from all the other tools on the market and putting it in one intuitive platform. 
Working at Coinbase, the large cryptocurrency exchange, Amy Yin recognized that the world was fast moving toward a distributed, flexible remote workplace. As this quickly happens, there’s a dire need to make the lives of both employees and managers easier.
Yin left her good job at Coinbase to prove her thesis by focusing on building an office reservation and scheduling tool specifically designed with hybrid remote offices in mind. She started OfficeTogether, a company that offers a software platform to enhance the experience of remote workers. The product also makes the lives of human resources and management easier and more productive. 
OfficeTogether strives to make it easy for a business to become a hybrid-office company by creating a cool scheduling and capacity management software that can integrate your physical space with the Slack, Google Calendar, Okta and other platforms. 
An important feature for workers is that you can check the app to see who will be in the office on any given day.  If the people you need to collaborate with aren’t scheduled, then it may not make sense to spend three hours commuting back and forth to the office just to go on Zoom calls, which could just be done at home. It could also help employees from showing up to an office that is already at capacity, or when a big, noisy and rambunctious sales meeting is scheduled to take place. 
Yin is focused on productively helping teams plan their time in office together. The software service could also automatically cap the number of employees who can visit the office on any given day to ensure social distancing and health safety. Human resources can keep track of vaccinations and other health matters with the program to save both employees and managers time, and the avoidance of awkward conversations.
OfficeTogether helps employees plan out their time in the office and see their colleagues’ schedules. Employees can also take an automated health and symptom questionnaire to ensure that no one comes into the office with a fever or has traveled in the last 14 days.
The company also collects useful data, such as how many times a person comes into the office and how the space is utilized. These data points can help management determine the amount and type of commercial real estate that is needed in the future.
The company is focused around employee experience. Yin realizes that not everyone wants to be remote. Some people who work at home desire to get out of their house or apartment a couple of days a week to break up the monotony. She predicts, “Flexible spaces for people to meet will be a big part of every company’s strategy.” Her software enables this trend as well.

I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise, and have personally placed thousands of

I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise, and have personally placed thousands of professionals with top-tier companies over the last 20-plus years. I am passionate about advocating for job seekers. In doing so, I have founded a start-up company, WeCruitr, where our mission is to make the job search more humane and enjoyable. As a proponent of career growth, I am excited to share my insider interviewing tips and career advancement secrets with you in an honest, straightforward, no-nonsense and entertaining manner. My career advice will cover everything you need to know, including helping you decide if you really should seek out a new opportunity, whether you are leaving for the wrong reasons, proven successful interviewing techniques, negotiating a salary and accepting an offer and a real-world understanding of how the hiring process actually works. My articles come from an experienced recruiter’s insider perspective.

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