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5 Tools Every Company Needs in the Era of Hybrid Work
Here are five start-up tools you should know about that will make the transition to hybrid work easier.

“Hybrid work” is the new buzz word. 

The idea: companies give employees flexibility to work at home some days, and in an office or “collaboration space” (another on-trend buzzword) on other days. 

The reality is, with the Delta variant pushing back hopes of returning to the office this fall, a lot of us will be clocking in two years of remote work before in-person is back in any meaningful way. 

And come 2022, will anyone want to go back full-time?

For a lot of people, the answer is no. According to a survey of 2,300 tech employees conducted this past summer, only 7% of respondents said they wanted to head into an office every day. Knowing this, nine out of 10 organizations plan to combine remote and on-site working moving forward, according to a recent survey by McKinsey. 

People simply aren’t willing to go back to the grind of a daily commute after so many months getting to wake up to get their daily meditation session or mid-day power nap. All signs point to a new era of hybrid work. 

If you’re a company, or even an employee, gearing up for this new set-up whenever some amount of office life returns, here are five start-up tools you should know about that will make the transition easier. 

1. Hopin — Virtual, or hybrid, events are here to stay

The timing was impeccable for Hopin CEO Johnny Boufarhat. When he launched his virtual events start-up in 2019, he didn't know he was about to enter a reality that made his platform more necessary than ever. Now, the platform is valued at $7.75 billion. 

So what makes Hopin different than, say, the almighty Zoom? Rather than just being a video conferencing system, Hopin is really all about curating an events experience — it allows you to plan, produce, and relive an event all in one cleanly designed virtual splace. That means there’s no need to use Eventbrite for invites and a landing page, then Zoom for presenting, and then something different for analytics. It’s all in one. 

Hopin is also sleek, modern, and frankly, more fun, allowing you to host a reception, stage, sessions, networking, and expo areas. Many major brands used Hopin for virtual events during the pandemic, whether that was a in-house retreat or a massive public event like the Atlantic Festival.The Atlantic Festival is yearly event in Washington DC that dives into important policy conversations. When it had to go virtual due to COVID-19, they chose Hopin because 1. they needed a platform that could easily host tens of thousands of people 2. they wanted the event to be well-branded rather than a boring Zoom room, and 3. they wanted it to be interactive. People were able to easily ask questions, mingle with other attendees in breakout networking rooms, and experience subscriber-only “stages” with exclusive conversations. The Atlantic Festival would typically host about 3,000 people in DC. Virtually via Hopin, it saw 37,000 registrants in 2020. Given the success, the Atlantic plans to always include a virtual experience alongside an in-person event. 


2. OfficeTogether - For when you want to come together IRL

One day (we can hope), COVID-19 will slow down again and, at that point, more companies will feel safe asking their employees to gather in person. When that day comes, businesses will get creative by renting out co-working spaces a few days a week, leasing a smaller office where people can rotate desks or use meeting space for brainstorms, or even rent out hotel rooms for employees to use conference spacing. Coordinating all of this will take work and energy, and that’s the idea behind one-year-old start-up, OfficeTogether. 

Amy Yin launched the start-up in 2020 after shifting to remote work while working at Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, during the pandemic. OfficeTogether works by integrating Slack, Google Calendar, Okta (soon to be Workday), and other tools to help workers plan time in an office, schedule in-person meetings, all while easily taking automated health screenings about Covid symptoms or exposure. As hybrid offices form, the tool will allow desk reservations and office scheduling is smooth and someone’s not showing up to an overcrowded space. 

Gergana Srebkova-Kiranova, the Head of People and Culture in Tide’s Sofia, Bulgaria office, has used OfficeTogether to come up with a systemized plan for getting people into a hybrid office set-up. The Sofia office is only a year and half old, but Tide wants to shift the HQ there from London, as well as make it a hybrid model. Srebkova-Kiranova is working on a plan to make the office more attractive to entice people to come in when it's time. OfficeTogether makes it easy to send employees Covid questionnaires, do desk and room reservations, and even have a Slack channel where you can see who all is in the office on what day. 

With companies heading remote-first, the hiring process is being turned on its head. Instead of only looking for candidates near you, the world is now your talent pool. Deel, a start-up based in San Francisco, is quickly growing to address these needs — in addition to providing payroll across countries, tax compliance tools, assistance on building contracts, invoicing and a range of insurance options.

The start-up was co-founded by MIT alumni Alex Bouaziz and Shuo Wan in an effort to allow businesses “to hire anyone, anywhere, in a compliant manner.” Overall, it makes hiring and onboarding international employees or contractors easier, and allows quick payment in 120+ currencies quickly.

Mixtiles is one company that’s used Deel. It’s a company out of Tel Aviv you may have seen Instagram ads for  — they allow anyone to turn their iPhone photos into affordable wall art through their app. The company has over 125 members across 11 countries, and Deel was able to make it easier for them to make sure they stay compliant on everything from payroll to taxes. 

3.  Deel  - Remote hiring and payroll

With companies heading remote-first, the hiring process is being turned on its head. Instead of only looking for candidates near you, the world is now your talent pool. Deel, a start-up based in San Francisco, is quickly growing to address these needs — in addition to providing payroll across countries, tax compliance tools, assistance on building contracts, invoicing and a range of insurance options.

The start-up was co-founded by MIT alumni Alex Bouaziz and Shuo Wan in an effort to allow businesses “to hire anyone, anywhere, in a compliant manner.” Overall, it makes hiring and onboarding international employees or contractors easier, and allows quick payment in 120+ currencies quickly.

Mixtiles is one company that’s used Deel. It’s a company out of Tel Aviv you may have seen Instagram ads for  — they allow anyone to turn their iPhone photos into affordable wall art through their app. The company has over 125 members across 11 countries, and Deel was able to make it easier for them to make sure they stay compliant on everything from payroll to taxes. 

4. Charthop - internal org charts and people analytics

Internal org charts don’t exactly scream glamour. But when a team is remote and spread out throughout the country, or across the world, understanding your company’s organization and its various departments is even more important. Charthop is a start-up shaking up that manually drawn traditional org chart. It allows you to easily visualize employees and departments in a dynamic way. You can drag and drop to shift people around, and then immediately get responsive feedback for how those changes impact the big picture and stats. You can also sort by categories like location. 

Charthop, importantly, is more of a “people analytics tool” allowing HR and people ops, as well as leadership, to see stats on retention, employee satisfaction, turnover, diversity, as well as create predictive visualizations showing what would happen if certain changes to the teams were made. This hopefully could lead to more inclusive decision making and identify any issues with gender, race, or pay equity. 

Justin Borgmon, CEO of Starburst, a data and analytics company, used ChartHop to scale his team from 50 to 200 in 12 months. Being able to nix time creating and re-creating manual org charts and hiring plans in spreadsheets saved him countless hours — he could also budget plan better, easily visualizing how certain salary changes or hires would impact the bottom line moving forward. 

5. Codi — for when you want a space to work away from home

People may not want to commute into an office every day, but they do want to get a change of scenery away from the dirty dishes and laundry occasionally. Codi is a San Francisco-based startup that connects people with workspaces in private homes that’s growing to more cities. It has locations from rural Georgia to Manhattan. Companies can rent a workhubs from Codi for their team to use, offering them a short commute but a change to focus away from home. 

Locations come with in-office perks like coffee, a place to take private calls, monitors, wifi, printers and whiteboards. 

In San Francisco you can work from a Victorian.

In Nashville you can work from a decked out modern building. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m down for a hybrid model if this is what it means.