At SoWork, we’re all about building a product that enables your team to work from anywhere, without sacrificing the culture that makes you unique or the fast-paced, results-driving work you need to ‘crush it’. So you can always feel like a team that’s working together, and winning together.
Our story has a lot of interesting twists and turns, but a key moment happened for us in March of 2020.
Things were going swimmingly. Our team was on campus at Harvard, building a totally different software - it was machine learning platform that was set to transform all of education. And then the COVID pandemic was declared. And then you know what happened next.
Harvard kicked everyone off campus, and our team spread out all over Boston. And overnight, we transformed into yet another one of those dreaded ‘Zoom and Slack’ teams, like thousands of others. And it was okay, for a little while. But over time, the team with a culture that we had worked so hard to build in a particular way - it felt like we were drifting apart. Our startup incubator at Harvard gone. Our physical office left desolate and barren as if the apocalypse had happened. Our team pulse and culture that we had worked so hard on seemed to now be replaced by rows of black video tiles and endless chat notifications.
It wasn’t long until we realized that we just didn’t want to continue like this. Fortunately, given our backgrounds as gamers, we intuitively knew how we wanted to solve this problem. The insight all started 18 years ago…
In 2004, some of the core early team of SoWork met. And not in our physical world - but in Blizzard’s World of Warcraft! In the land of Azeroth. With no video, and no audio until much later, we still managed to strategize, beat hard bosses, run one of the top guilds on our server, keep stringent team accounting records, manage guild relationships, and even conduct business together. All from the comfort of our own homes on multiple continents in our real world: Canada, Australia, the United States, and Japan, to name a few.
How could this team of individuals come together so cohesively - remotely - without ever meeting or knowing what one another looked like in the physical world? What was it about Warcraft that gave us these abilities?
World of Warcraft circa 2005. Arguably our first digital office.
We didn’t know it at the time, but the answer was that we had a ‘place’ to be ‘physically’ together. And it turns out that having a ‘place’ is critical for building a healthy team. World of Warcraft gave us a place to be ourselves, to work, to cheer, to cry, to play, to build, and to bond. And through this ‘place’, and what it enabled us to do with each other, we created our healthy culture. The culture that we needed to win, together.
We realized that the feelings of isolation and low motivation that we felt mid-2020 was a direct result of not having a ‘place’ to be together as a team. We got inspired by this realization, and we decided to go out on a limb, and to build a ‘WoW lite’ - like World of Warcraft - but for our team to work from. We put our heads down, and we got to work building what we thought was just going to be a ‘virtual office’ for our team. But since launching SoWork to the world, it’s turned out to be much more than that.
We were no longer just little video tiles anymore. We were real, game versions of ourselves. We could see each other in the world, we could come together for spontaneous meetings in the meeting rooms or at the water cooler, we could eat together in the kitchen, and we could even dance with each other! All we had to do was just…walk up to each other…and we’d automatically connect. It felt like we were together even when we weren’t together. This was a lightbulb moment - a transformative insight for us.
Within a couple of weeks of working out of our ‘World of Workcraft’, we started feeling more connected. More productive, creative, and empowered. We weren’t just a group of disengaged people anymore. We were a real team again. So we decided to take SoWork mainstream, for everyone to benefit from.
We now are proud to call SoWork’s Offices the home of thousands of teams all over the world. They work, they bond, they play, they hang out - they get big things done much more efficiently than before and have a great time while doing it.
Team SoWork's avatars during a company-wide OKR meeting.
We’re proud to invite you to try SoWork.
You’ll get back your ‘place’, so you can have presence with your team again. You’ll get back your ‘middle moments’ - those spontaneous interactions that came so naturally in the physical office that drive innovation and connection. And through these benefits, you’ll build an unstoppable culture that will help you crush your team goals like never before.
And by the way, this ‘place’, your new Office - it doesn’t go away when the next pandemic hits. It can also do things for you that your physical office never could: it’ll crunch your numbers, run your automations, talk to your customers, connect you with your teammates, summarize your meetings, and even more stuff so cool that we can’t even mention it just yet.
How’s that for an Office upgrade?
Welcome to SoWork!