The Use Case Podcast – How 4 friends are trying to change the future of work
The big picture
How do you make lemonade out of the lemons of the pandemic? When the pandemic forced people into remote work, it created a new equilibrium point between work and home that caught Gadi Royz’s attention. “It was like a call of duty to come up with new standards and even protocols to manage the intense period we were living through,” he explains to William Tincup, host of The Use Case Podcast. That call of duty drove him to found anywell with three friends that he had worked with in the past, and together they’re now trying to change the future of work, giving people the ability to work from anywhere.
Leveraging the “third place”
Contrary to popular perception, the choice of where to work isn’t limited to either home or from the office (if you have one), but also what’s known as the “third place”. Traditionally, the third place was a place where people spent time regularly that wasn’t work or home, like a cafe, barbershop, or church. “There’s no reason why a third place can’t also host you for work, with a local ambiance and a friendly environment,” Gadi explains. “It meets a need, and when paired with good coffee and decent Wi-Fi—it’s a perfect solution. And they’re already doing it. These places often have unused “inventory”, or available space, and are very welcoming to knowledge workers.”
Managing the friction point
Yet when third-place venues welcome remote workers, there’s often a friction point around prices. That’s because a remote worker can spend hours at an amazing, luxurious location—sometimes the most expensive real estate in the neighborhood—at the cost of an espresso. That’s a problem for hosts. anywell takes care of that friction point with a new business model that charges by the hour and gives hosts a more accurate way to predict their revenue and better utilize their facilities.
Host venues aren’t the only party to benefit from the new business model. It also gives workers more options if they don’t want to work from home or the office, or if they’re traveling. Even employers gain value. Instead of committing to a 10-year lease for space that may end up empty, they pay for only what their employees actually utilize.
Employers are investing in wellbeing
The benefits aren’t only financial. Gadi explains that companies, mainly in tech, saw workers’ well-being drop dramatically during the pandemic. “Everyone was working 24/7 from their homes and expecting this all to end any minute and for everything to go back to normal.” As the pandemic becomes endemic, employers need new options to attract workers, including subcontractors, flex workers, and other models of talent.
Currently, many organizations are looking for ways to get people out of the house, but not necessarily back to the office. Workers aren’t willing to return to nightmarish commutes, especially now that they have experienced an alternative. They’re looking for something different than the one-dimensional work-from-home, but prefer to stay in a local environment.
Creating a predictive environment
Local work options work best when they include a predictive environment. “A predictive environment means that you have a reserved seat, industrial-grade wi-fi so your Zoom meeting won’t get stuck, hot and cold drinks, and of course, food. We can maintain that level of predictability. It’s a new marketplace with inviting, professional hosts on the supply side, and on the demand side, people who want to avoid commutes but want to work outside of the home with high-level accommodations and services.”
“We’re in the optimization business,” Gadi sums it up. “We’re unlocking a business model for hosts who are paying high rent in central locations and enabling them to better utilize their inventory. We’re driving new business traffic into places without interfering with the delicate fabric of the venue, keeping these spots very warm and friendly.”
Listen to the full podcast here.