We made a short survey asking people to talk about what they've enjoyed about working from home and what they've found difficult. The range of answers surprised us and we felt recognizing the positives and finding solutions to the negatives can be difficult when you feel alone and uninspired.
Problem we are solving
In the actual situation, home office is imposed to people, which leads them to be more focused on its downsides, like social isolation. Furthermore, confinement makes people isolated during evenings and weekends as well, which will not be the case in future scenarios.
WorkFromHome is an online challenge platform proposed to companies, institutions, and universities to encourage a home office transition for their employees during three weeks. Benefits of home office will be highlighted throughout the challenge by means of tips, actions, and rewards which you can follow on an app. The idea is that the employee will get familiar with home office in good conditions and want to continue after the challenge! By doing this challenge on a regular basis, a feedback from the employees on their specific needs would help the organization to tackle the most important issues of a home office-based working configuration.
What it does
WorkFromHome helps to empower individuals and organisations to take back control when it comes to working the way they want to work, whether they have been working at home for years or just getting started. WorkFromHome helps to navigate the challenges of working from home through engaging weekly themes and challenges.
- For individuals, the app and its content are free, except personalized mentoring.
- Companies can pay for a full package if they want to establish the challenge in the whole company. That grants them unlimited access to our experts and tutors, team building, and more.
The aim of the proposed challenge is not to force home office on people, but to create incentives for those willing to try it out by gamifying the process. We want to make them actors of their own change. Our app would gather 1) a forum on which people can exchange on their home office experiences, 2) mentors to help those in need for their transition, and 3) everyday small challenges. Each action would be rewarded with some points that you accumulate over the three weeks. Each week would be focused on a theme with specific challenges. Here are a few examples:
Example 1: Environmental benefits
- Calculate saved emissions with no transportation (platform provided on the app)
- Download the app “Forest: stay focused”. The more you stay concentrated without touching your phone, the more trees are planted by the app!
- Read an article about traffic reduction and gain of parking spaces (link provided on the app)
Example 2: Money-saving benefits
- Calculate money saved for transports over a week
- Calculate money saved for home-cooked meals over a week
Example 3: Work/life balance benefits
- Calculate time saved by no transportation over a week
- Sports challenges
- Healthy recipes to try
- Do an activity with family/friends
How we built it
The mockup images of the iOS app were built using Figma.
Challenges we ran into
- Technical challenges of building a working prototype.
- Locating, understanding, and implementing some of the judging criteria.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
Working together to validate there's a need for our solution.
What we learned
- There are fantastic tools out there for collaboration (Zoom, Google Drive, Powerpoint Online, ...)
- The tools for well-being and self-improvement are lacking no matter how familiar you are with working from home.
What's next for WorkFromHome
The plan for the future of WorkFromHome is to bring our idea to the market. After acting on the feedback provided by the judges, we aim to propose an application available from the web, iOS, and Android. This will require work that can be done in-house since some members of the group have experience in implementing this kind of software. Furthermore, we need to find more interesting challenges and professional mentors to collaborate with. To attract some attention and investors, we are thinking of participating in start-up competitions which will hopefully see the benefits coming from our solution. Furthermore, having no financial expert on-board, for now, we will need to recruit someone with these skills. Finally, we hope that by Q4 2021, we will be able to reach the market.
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