The COVID-19 pandemic has forced every business to find better tools for collaboration and to keep business running while working from home. Remote working has become an indispensable part of the new normal. Presently, there are several companies providing virtual collaboration tools to cater to the needs of remote working. Incepted in 2016 by Stein Revelsby, Hoylu is one such company that is on a mission to make remote working and information sharing easy.
Stein’s Entrepreneurial Journey
Born and raised on a small farm in the Norwegian countryside, Stein pursued MBE from BI Norwegian Business School. While studying at the university, he started his first business along with 3 partners. He spent many years in venture capital and investment banking and learned from working with management in different industries.
Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.
Stein always had a fascination for disruptive technologies and new trends, and how value creation depends upon strategy, timing, and execution as much as idea and technology. He never liked to be managed and always enjoyed the freedom to take his own decisions. Moreover, he realized the importance of teamwork and enjoyed working in smaller partnerships. He had a liking for setting an ambitious goal, building a strong team, building a culture around continuous improvement, persistence, and hardwork, leading with passion and energy towards a vision that people believe in and treat people with respect. All these qualities led Stein to be a successful entrepreneur.
Reimagining Remote Work
Hoylu helps companies and their teams to work efficiently, sharing ideas in real-time, allowing easy and secure access to information for all, from any device at any time. The company offers an online whiteboard platform for visual collaboration. Moreover, the Hoylu Enterprise helps enterprise clients manage activities, visualize work, and motivate people to perform their best by avoiding miscommunication and secure success.
The company also provides HoyluWall – A fully-integrated interactive wall collaboration and computing solution that is designed for group working environments. It also provides solutions such as Pull Planning for construction. Being the Founder and CEO of Hoylu, Stein’s role is to communicate Hoylu’s vision, mission, and goals to all stakeholders. He also works with his team to develop the best organization, culture, and strategies to be a passionate, transparent, trustworthy, and an emphatic leader.
Making Most of the Opportunities
Presently due to the pandemic, there is a lot of uncertainty and instability in the world that makes it difficult to navigate, and Hoylu is cautious and respectful about the changes in market sentiments. However, there is also a time for major disruption and transformation to a digital world and new ways to work. Stein and Hoylu look at this as a once in a lifetime opportunity and strive to take part in the transformation.
Capitalizing on these opportunities, Hoylu recently launched its new product – Hoylu Connected Workplaces™ sooner than planned. The company worked closely with large enterprise clients to position Hoylu to meet specific needs to close analogue gaps in their workflow and eliminate outdated ways to manage processes and share information. Moreover, at Hoylu, all employees are working from home or in small teams around the world in co-working facilities. “We arrange weekly management meetings and “Hoylu 30 minutes” for the remote working staff,” asserts Stein
Culture of Communication and Transparency
The company culture plays a key role for any company to thrive in these unprecedented times. Stein ensures communication and transparency in Hoylu’s culture. The aforementioned all hands meeting “Hoylu 30 minutes” has a weekly theme where team members present, engage, and discuss a specific topic that they consider important. All the previous meetings are available in the same workspace and functions as a visual e-book.
The weekly themes of the meeting can be vision and mission, product roadmap, incentives, customer experience, core values, strategy, value proposition, product market positioning, social activities, etc. The company has a diverse team with respect to geography, ethnicity, and cultural background. “We encourage mutual respect and teamwork across time zones. Our business culture is informal with a large degree of individual freedom,” adds Stein.
Strengthening the Footprint
For Stein and Hoylu, the key milestones this year were to release their new product and get a strong foothold with a critical mass of active users within large market verticals such as engineering and construction. Moreover, the company strives to establish a secure and stable infrastructure to grow and scale its user base. In the next phase, Stein aims to increase the awareness of Hoylu and produce customer stories and content for inbound marketing.
Heading towards the Digital Transformation
The pandemic has disrupted the way businesses are operated. The first phase was to enable teamwork outside the traditional meeting room environment with whiteboards and sticky notes. Video conferencing became the norm but also revealed the limitations and needs for better tools beyond audio, video, and screen sharing. The second phase was dealing with social distancing and how to keep teams engaged and productive outside the traditional office.
Stein believes the long term effects of the pandemic are that companies will have to adjust to offer more flexibility and freedom. The office will be a place to socialize and arrange team events and for those who prefer to work full or part time in the office, while the workspace will be a mixed reality/virtual environment to connect everybody wherever they are.
“In a fully digitalized workflow, productivity is transparent, and management can focus on setting goals, reducing friction and distractions, alignment, culture, motivation, and incentives. Therefore the need for better communication/collaboration tools will continue to drive our industry,” concludes Stein.