Utah company tackles remote working problems by creating virtual workspace

A new Utah-based tech company has launched a new platform called MyHive that allows remote and hybrid businesses to create virtual office space for their employees. (My hive)

PROVO – As the business world grapples with the persistent prevalence of remote working, a new Utah-based tech company has launched a potential solution: a new platform that enables remote and hybrid businesses to create a virtual office space for their employees.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the business world became largely virtual, which opened up flexibility for some employees, but also posed the challenges of how to maintain a corporate culture and environment. , as well as fostering collaboration without an intern. interaction, explained MyHive co-founder, serial entrepreneur, author and Apple and Adobe veteran Dano Ybarra.

MyHive’s mission is to empower businesses with the digital means to provide remote employees with a way to work virtually “in the office” through a customizable platform that allows employees to meet, collaborate and work as they would in the office. a traditional office space.

MyHive allows employers to create a digital layout of an office with spaces such as desks, cubicles and conference rooms. Desks are available in predefined configurations like a typical corporate office, classroom, small legal clinic and many more. Businesses can also create their own custom layout. For example, iMpact Utah, a nonprofit training organization, has virtually recreated its physical office on the MyHive platform.

In MyHive’s own virtual office space, employees from Brazil, Egypt, the Philippines and many other countries mingle in virtual conference rooms to discuss work projects. Visitors wait in a virtual hall until they are admitted.

Employees present themselves as avatars who can move around the office in different rooms to talk to different people via audio or video conferences, much like Zoom. The digital representation can show employers and other employees whether someone is online or away, on a call, talking to others in a meeting, or working in the office or at the office. outside. There is also an internal Slack-style chat option allowing employees to send messages to each other quickly and directly.

“Why pay for multiple licenses if you don’t need them?” Ybarra explained, noting that integrating all of these features into a single platform can also make it easier to manage instead of switching between platforms. “Thank goodness Zoom and Slack were there during the pandemic, but now we have to sit down and think long term.”

Users can walk into a room to quickly ask a question as they would in a real office. Workers who wish to have a private meeting can lock one of the virtual conference rooms so that only invited people can join or hear the conversation. And audio, video, and text are encrypted, so employers and employees can protect their personal and work data.

“Our vision and the goal of what we’re trying to do here is to humanize the digital workplace,” Ybarra said. “Our company is made up of a group of business leaders, technology visionaries, human resources practitioners and some of the world’s most experienced and accomplished entrepreneurs and industry veterans who are dedicated and enthusiastic to pave the way for companies supporting virtual teams. “

Bench search data from December 2020 showed that a majority of the U.S. workforce works remotely. Of those employees, 62% said they rarely or never worked remotely before the pandemic. Even after the vaccine was released and offices began to have the option to return to work in person, some chose not to pay for office space or created a hybrid digital / in-person workforce for allow employees more flexibility.

Pew data shows 54% of employees plan to continue working remotely indefinitely, and the resurgence of COVID-19 with new contagious variants and potential vaccine and masking requirements adds even more complexity to in-person work , and that’s what motivated the idea of ​​creating a platform like MyHive.

“More than ever before, people are working from home and hybridizing,” Ybarra said. “We don’t want to go back. We love this hybrid.”

He has worked remotely for most of his career and has seen firsthand how this has enabled companies to employ people who might not be able to come into an office and attract talent from the world. whole.

But he also saw first-hand the issues many global companies now face with remote working, such as the isolation that comes with the pandemic and working from home, exhaustion from constant video calls, the hardships. planning, the lack of strong relationships among colleagues which can lead to collaboration, the need for technology and training on how to use this technology and the difficulties managers face in knowing what is going on with their employees.

“What excites me the most is also one of the biggest challenges. Studies have confirmed that we have a lot of creativity because we have lost a lot of spontaneity,” said Ybarra. Ideas that may come from discussions around a water cooler or just sitting together in a room to reflect were notably more difficult to recreate, he explained.

Among their clients, they have noticed that even when people are in the physical office, they turn to MyHive instead of congregating in rooms.

“Even within the office, communications have improved. We bring people together and do it virtually, ”Ybarra said.

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