WITH major companies such as BP, PwC, Deutsche Bank and Ford Motor Company announcing new flexible working conditions for team members post-pandemic, local Edinburgh businesswoman and hospitality veteran Nikki Gibson has launched SWURF, a new work surfing App designed to connect remote workers with welcoming spaces to work and collaborate in.
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.
SWURF, which launches in Edinburgh today (Tuesday 4 May 2021) before being rolled out to other key cities, 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 App is simple to use, free and promotes only welcome, safe and 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. Swurf founder Nikki 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.”
“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.”
From atmospheric neighbourhood bars, stylish coffee houses to design-led boutique hotels and buzzing big hospitality names, each destination – known as a Host – will welcome work surfers, known as Swurfers. Confirmed host venues in Edinburgh include McLarens on the Corner, Boda Bars, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, Moxy Hotel, Chaophraya and The Dunstane Houses, amongst others. The app will be free to download, with Hosts paying an annual subscription fee.
Nikki concluded: “Our starting place is my home city of Edinburgh but we plan on expanding across the UK. Our mission and vision is to build a global community of Swurfers.”