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Since the COVID-19 outbreak last year, working from home became the standard for most companies. This, combined with nationwide lockdowns which allow only for quick trips to the store, raise concerns regarding the mental state of employees.

Problem Statement: While the “home office” idea was supposed to last for only a limited time, soon it became obvious that COVID-19 will remain a challenge for a longer time. Working from home brings many advantages, which is the reason why companies are including remote work in their policies. However, it certainly also has some disadvantages. One major concern is the mental health of employees. Since any physical contact with colleagues is not possible in pandemic circumstances, employees are limited to interacting with each other digitally. Social interaction is critical for mental and physical health (New York Times, 2017) — and working together in an interactive way contributes, not only to a better work environment, but also to a better mental state of employees. The current challenge we face is to make working from home more interactive, so that it positively contributes to the mental state of employees.

Scope of Innovation: The solution to this problem can be found within SaaS (Sofware as a Service) programs that enable a social digital working environment. The applicabilities of SaaS software can range from digital whiteboards to shared actionlists.

Our Solution of the Week is a SaaS startup that combines multiple digital working environment solutions. Bluescape is a startup from Silicon Valley that has created a digital working environment using a visual collaboration platform. Via this platform employees can easily create, interact and share content with each other. It gives employees the feeling that they are working together in the same room, helps towards a better mental state of employees when working from home, and increases productivity.