Amy Yin doesn't see startups resume their work schedule five days a week, even after COVID-19 hits back. It's probably a safe bet. Many companies learned this year that employees can work just as productively from home. In addition, as much as they miss their own desks, employees no longer want to sit in a traditional office all the time. According to a survey of 2,300 technicians last summer, only 7% of respondents said they wanted to go to work every day.
Yin saw the move to remote working firsthand as a senior engineer at Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange that sent its employees home early when the pandemic hit the US.
Working from home for the first time in her career – she was previously a software engineer at recruiting platform Hired and previously a growth engineer at Facebook – she worked on her own schedule and loved flexibility.
By August, she says, she had decided to help Coinbase – and the growing number of other companies – implement a remote-first organizational strategy by founding OfficeTogether, their now five-month-old software-as based in San Francisco -a service company.
His suggestion is simple. With software integrated with Slack, Google Calendar, and Okta (and soon to be Business Day), OfficeTogether helps employees plan time in the office, view their teammates' schedules, and create an automated health and symptom questionnaire that makes sure no one is present has a fever or has traveled in the past 14 days.
The idea is mainly to prevent employees from showing up to an already busy office or stumbling into a sales team meeting when what is really needed is quiet.
What's impressive is that the company has already paid annual contracts in the U.S., Europe, and Canada, says Yin, who hated to discuss pricing in a call earlier but says OfficeTogether doesn't compete with other competitors like the workplace for the Prize competes with management software companies SpaceIQ and OfficeSpace.
While competitors focus more on the use of the work space and the use of occupancy data to predict capacity limits, OfficeTogether focuses on the employees and is therefore not so much tied to a specific room, but on the fact that teams can come together when they want, whether that helps them organize a week in a common room or several days in a hotel.
"At some point," she notes, "some companies may decide that it is cheaper to rent hotel rooms than to rent office space, which is expensive to manage." She predicts that “flexible spaces for people to meet will be an important part of any company's strategy. If you only meet once a month for a week, you can get by with less, she suggests.
Investors certainly seem to agree. A growing number of startups have received funding transforming all types of locations into work spaces. Among them is Codi, a San Francisco-based startup that connects people with daytime jobs in private homes and just today announced $ 7 million in funding.
Meanwhile, OfficeTogether, headed by Yin, a designer in San Francisco and a handful of engineers in Romania, has just launched its first institutional round: a $ 2.2 million seed-capital loan. Defy led the way, along with Neo, MGV and January Ventures. along with numerous angel investors who met Yin through Coinbase; through her alma mater, Harvard; or via other connections.
Among those angels is former Sequoia partner Amy Sun, who is currently starting her own startup in Austin, Texas. Yin of Sun and some of the other people who wrote her a check say, "A lot of my friends are starting businesses and it's really fun to have people starting things" related to their own startup. "We all invest in one another."
Where the new capital is spent will almost entirely help increase the number of engineers, according to Yin. In terms of potential marketing spend to promote OfficeTogether, Yin focuses instead on "B2B Sales for Business – Conducting a Sales Process and Making Sure the Right People Find Out".
Does she already have a seller? We ask ourselves? She laughs. At the moment she says: "You are talking to her."