A new work surfing app, SWURF, has been launched to help connect remote workers with welcoming spaces to work and collaborate in.
Founded by Edinburgh businesswoman and hospitality veteran Nikki Gibson, SWURF will initially launch in Edinburgh from the 4th of May before being rolled out to other cities.
SWURF will promote welcoming workspaces via a downloadable app, allowing workers to select from a range of social venues, connect with others or just to help better separate work from home life.
The free app promotes vetted host spaces with the aim of encouraging people back into the community to re-connect. The SWURF network is aimed at supporting positive working environments in the new post-pandemic world and promoting wellbeing through interaction and collaboration.
Confirmed host venues available for work surfing in Edinburgh include McLarens on the Corner, Boda Bars, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, Moxy Hotel, Chaophraya and The Dunstane Houses, amongst others.
Gibson commented: “Working from home this past year has shown employers and employees across the world that you don’t need an office to do your best work. Forbes reported that an estimated 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month, by 2025.
“With my experience and knowledge of venue sourcing, I wanted to create an app that would help remote workers to find welcoming spaces to work in whilst supporting venues such as hotels, restaurants and cafes looking to promote their facilities to this rapidly rising community.
“According to recent reports, one in five remote workers have admitted to struggling with loneliness. There is no doubt that a positive company culture is strongly linked to mental health and wellbeing.
“For many workers, they will benefit from finding new places to meet with colleagues, for others they will be missing the connection of office working, they need to escape working from home or looking to avoid the distractions of kids at home.”
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The launch comes as the UK begins to move out of lockdown and organisations re-evaluate their use of remote and flexible working conditions. While originally a response to Covid-19, remote working could outlast the pandemic.
Since the lockdown, there are 23.9 million remote workers in the UK. This equates to around 60% of the adult population. Even as restrictions ease, hybrid working, or remote working is set to become the standard for millions of workers.
Major companies such as BP, PwC, Deutsche Bank and Ford Motor Company have recently announced new flexible working conditions for team members post-pandemic. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also said that half of the company’s employees could eventually be remote working on a permanent basis.
In addition, research has shown that remote working has proven popular with workers as well – 75% of UK office workers would reduce their paycheques to continue home working, one report said.
Gibson added: “SWURF is designed to create a community of remote workers and bring them together in welcoming spaces where collaboration is encouraged and people can continue to do their best work whilst, supporting local hospitality businesses that have experienced one of their toughest times.”