Hate Working at Home? This Company Brings You Chairs, Gadgets, Internet and Even Babysitters to Make Your Life Easier
With the pandemic, the Homework faced the challenge of renewing itself or dying. He developed physical and digital tools to empower people to work from anywhere.
Manuel Del Valle, Mariana de Alba and Antonio Ruiz opened Homework with a theme of community and comfort. Its purpose was to be a company that went beyond just forming coworking spaces, if not creating accessible wellness environments to promote free communities with a personal approach that was less concerned with the needs of each person in terms of development and belonging.
“We always have the concern that, if you are not comfortable, it is not possible to work in a productive way,” says Manuel del Valle, co-founder and Connection Maker of Homework in an interview with Entrepreneur en Español .
The general concept of this company is to bring the offices closer to people, making them accessible to them. They currently have four locations in Plaza de la República (in front of the Monument to the Revolution), Avenida Chapultepec, Mariano Escobedo and the Skala corporate in Tlalnepantla. The locations are designed to be within 15 minutes of each other by bicycle, as the general concept is to bring offices closer to people so that they are accessible.
But one day an infectious pandemic arrived that made everyone stay at home.
Homework , like many other coworking spaces, was faced with the difficulty of evolving its business model to continue working for its users or homeworkers, who have been limited in their working days and have had to find means of survival by taking certain measures .
"This pandemic made us see our purpose and strive to enforce it for all our homeworkers, even to their homes," says the executive.
Antonio Ruiz Moran and Manuel Del Valle / Image: Courtesy Homework
A coworking space in the midst of a pandemic
Faced with the current situation, Manuel asked his team: “What would happen if today a meteorite fell on our Homework locations and they were destroyed by x and y situation? Would Homework really still exist? "The answer is" Yes. "This was achieved through a projection exercise of 'future' scenarios.
The restrictions derived from the coronavirus pandemic in Mexico led the team of entrepreneurs to wonder about how they could bring people their environments of well-being to their homes. This is how a product emerged that precisely tries to provide wellness centers to the homes of its customers.
“We started to think about how we could do it. We detect the difficulties that exist today in the home office, but we also highlight the virtues of working remotely and we find that there are many. For example, we realized that the travel times that were previously very necessary for meetings, today are minutes that you can use to be with the people you love the most, ”says Manuel.
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For this reason, through various alliances with leaders in technology, furniture, financial solutions and connectivity, Homework created the world's first membership to make the future of work accessible: Homework Flex . It is an initiative in which through a single subscription you will be able to select the necessary tools to design your work day wherever you are with everything you need. This means everything from booking meeting rooms, yoga class, ergonomic furniture and even technological accessories.
“We are offering those two schemes: traditional coworking and helping you prepare your life to work remotely. For example, in the offices that we are opening at the Skala corporate in Tlalnepantla, we have the mixed scheme. The real goal of Homework Flex is that you can have the tools wherever you want, whether at home or in the office. Then we generate the One Stop Shop modality in which you can choose what you need to measure: furniture, accompaniment, gadgets and even the internet ".
Image: Courtesy Homework
Bring the good things out of the office without sacrificing your home
Despite the advantage of reducing travel times, there is a set of problems specific to the home office. "For example, before you would leave the office and log off automatically; you had a physical barrier from which you could separate and free your mind from the hustle and bustle, ”adds Manuel. But with the pademic, from one day to the next, houses were turned into offices, classrooms, exercise studios, etc. , and many times home internet connections do not have enough bandwidth to serve all members of the family.
The Homework guys analyzed the different problems that could exist in working from home and currently have alliances with Telmex, PM Steele, American Express, Herme Systems, Telcel, MiNuNú, CompuDabo, Psiqui, Homely , among others to help their clients (individuals or large corporations) to condition their spaces to facilitate teleworking.
“For example we have MiNuNú, a face-to-face or virtual home babysitting service. Many people require it because they not only have to deal with the home office, but also with their children's online school. So they need to see professional babysitters so they can help them with their chores, while they are in meetings or working. The babysitters have these two options, go to their homes in person - with all possible measures - or connect remotely, helping the children to carry out their homework and answer questions, they are trained both pedagogically and in first aid ”, says Manuel.
Homework also teamed up with furniture manufacturers such as PM Steele and Gaia to be able to bring people the products right into their home so they can adapt their spaces at home to work better. With Telmex they have worked with the Sponsored Infinitum plan, which is the internet from your home paid for by your company.
In addition, with Fundación Educa they offer the possibility of helping teachers who do not have sufficient resources to carry out their work in a more efficient and dignified manner. They are currently in the Beta Phase of testing this service with their first 27 teachers in Mexico City and the State of Mexico who are having to go to extraordinary lengths to teach online classes. You can support this cause through donations to the official Fundación Educa page .
On the other hand, they have agreements with specialists in wellness and exercise so that in the same subscription you have the possibility of having access to different physical care schemes.
“We have an alliance with a virtual gym called One2Fit. The moment you get in, you can have semi-personalized attention for your training from home ”, adds Manuel. They are currently approaching other fitness and wellness companies to bring meditation services, yoga, among other disciplines so that people can design their work day as they want.
One of the main objectives of Homework is to be able to give these benefits to large companies in order to carry out good management, helping their collaborators to be much more productive.
“We want human resources staff to be able to support their people. Not only is it sending them the chair and the desk (which many could do), but also giving them many more tools so that they can do their work in a balanced way ”, explains Manuel.
Homework believes that this will be the future: a hybrid between houses and offices much more distributed throughout the city and close to where people live to facilitate mobility and access. Homework Flex emerged as an initiative to keep a business afloat, but it found a very real need for people to be able to do their jobs in a satisfying and productive way.
“I believe that a positive attitude helps a lot to see the possible scenarios that you can make and, above all, how to move forward seeing that goal. Attitude is extremely important, ”says Manuel.
Despite being optimistic above all else, Manuel follows the philosophy of considering all negative and catastrophic scenarios, because that can help give you an idea of what you can do in this situation. For him it is necessary to see alternative futures and above all to innovate in order to get ahead.
"People who do not have a clear purpose in life or in their company, deviate a little and no longer know where they are going," Manuel concludes.
Image: Courtesy Homework