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The History of the Office

A long time ago in a village far away, few humans were working together on a new tool for cutting trees. This is (perhaps) how the first office came to existence. It wasn’t a glass corner office but it had a beautiful view, garden, plenty of space, natural light, air conditioning and music in the background. Most importantly, it was very close to where they were living! The commute was less than a few minutes walking!
Humans were working in these perfectly conditioned spaces for the next few million years until the ancient Roman bureaucracy reimagined this space and named it officium – the Latin word for β€˜service’.

The office as a working environment did not become popular until after the rise of complex organizations in the 18th century. The office buildings were born.

Quickly and rapidly, they spread across the globe. People were dreaming of having a job and working in β€œan office”. This is when the first office problems started to build momentum. The more people were working in offices, the more privacy they wanted – from cubicle to corner offices – people strived for isolation. These new offices weren’t open, spacious and green anymore. Natural light was a rare treat and the air conditioning wasn’t good.

The new office was dividing instead of connecting people. What’s worse, people had to spend hours commuting to their offices!

The Rise of Coworking and Flex Spaces

In the early 21st century a new office trend emerged called coworking. It is a brilliant idea to share the same office with other like-minded humans. This was an important step towards bringing people together and removing the barriers created in the office. Furthermore, new coworking spaces started to pop up everywhere, and some of them, closer and closer to where people live!

Millions of people ended up working closer to their homes and spending less time commuting and more time with their families! On top of that, coworking gave businesses another killer feature that was unheard of in the office world before – flexibility! Most office buildings have always been demanding β€œsecurity and predictability” from their tenants. Not anymore. The Flex spaces gave their tenants monthly and yearly memberships instead of 10 year leases!

As a result, Coworking and Flex Spaces quickly gained momentum and were becoming the most important change in commercial real estate! Until the worst thing has happened! A global pandemic shut down the world!

Suddenly, we were all β€˜forced’ to work from home…

The Rise of Hybrid Work

…and we loved working from home! We didn’t have to commute and spend hours in traffic or crowded public transportation. Well, there are so many other benefits of working from home but also, one massive drawback – lack of human interaction and true collaboration!

So, we came up with something awesome – why not allow people to β€˜work from anywhere’?

We took the best from all worlds – home, office and coworking and created a new way of working. First we called it Corporate Coworking, then we settled on Hybrid Work! Isn’t it brilliant? People can now choose where they want to work from and truly benefit from commuting less, being hyper productive and being able to collaborate intensively when they need to!

At OfficeRnD, we’ve been building technologies to support the flexible future of work since 2015. Since day one, we’ve been on a mission to make Flexible Working the Way of Working! For six short years, we became a leader in the Coworking and Flex Space Management solutions with OfficeRnD Flex, servicing more than a 1000 customers and 2000 flex buildings around the world!

Stepping on flex platform and our experience and success in flex space management we released a new product to help every company and team out there benefit from the flexible and hybrid way of working. With OfficeRnD Hybrid, we made it easier than ever before to make working from anywhere simpler and easier and provide the best employee experience!

We’re more than excited to share the news that we raised $10m from Runa Capital with the participation of Flashpoint Venture Capital and LAUNCHub Ventures! We will use the funds to significantly advance our products, build new partnerships, expand our global footprint and make our customers happier and more successful.
We imagine a world where flexible and hybrid work is the norm for everyone and we will keep pushing until we make that a reality!

Thank you, OfficeRnD team, customers, partners, investors and advisors for supporting us throughout the years!

About Runa Capital

Founded in 2010, Runa Capital is an international venture capital firm headquartered in Palo Alto, California that invests in early-stage deep tech (i.e., AI, machine learning, middleware, open-source), B2B SaaS, fintech, ed-tech, and digital health start-ups. From 2010 to 2019, Runa Capital launched three funds totaling $427 million and invested in more than 70 companies in Europe and North America, including Nginx (acquired by F5 Networks for $670 million), MariaDB, Zopa, Brainly, DrChrono, Smava, and Mambu. The firm’s founding partners have built several global software companies, including Acronis (raised a $147M round by Goldman Sachs in 2019), Parallels (acquired by Corel), Odin (acquired by Ingram Micro), and Acumatica (acquired by private equity fund EQT Partners). For more information please visit https://runacap.com/

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