WorkfromHub is a start-up business providing productive, neighbourhood-based workspaces. Offering secure, private, and distraction-free hubs near where people live, WorkfromHub provides an exclusive space for people to work remotely, whilst being able to get out of their homes. We provided a range of technical solutions from building WorkfromHub’s website and then app to creating a fully-fledged booking service using a smart lock.
- Who they are
- A private workspace provider, based in Sheffield, set up to help busy people do their best work anywhere.
- What they do
- Helping remote workers separate work from home and find their flow, WorkfromHub provides secure, private, and connected workspaces in local-based communities.
- Design and develop a bespoke application allowing users to search and book hubs using a smart lock.
Throughout the pandemic, the need to work remotely grew. Replacing the noisy buzz of the cafe or the chaos of the home, WorkfromHub provides an alternative space, free from distraction - where ideas can flow and productivity can be found. The founder of WorkfromHub, Neal, had a vision, but he needed the technological expertise to transform this into a reality.
We helped Neal and his team bring the concept of WorkfromHub into existence. From the branding to the technology behind WorkfromHub, we worked with their team to understand their needs, explore their options, and then ultimately deliver upon their requirements. We integrated the locking system, built the website in the prototype phase, and then finally we developed the mobile app that enables users to book hubs on the go.
Neal Byers, founder of WorkfromHub, approached us with a vision. As corny as it sounds, our goal was to turn his vision into a reality. To achieve this goal, we started by getting clear on Neal’s vision and in turn, helped Neal’s vision become clearer.
We conducted a Journey Mapping workshop to create a better picture of the type of person who would use the hubs, their requirements, and the ideal journey they would go through - from hearing about the hubs to ending their session in a hub.
Stakeholders and representatives from all areas of the organisation were involved in the discovery process, ensuring decisions were made collaboratively and with a full understanding of everyone’s needs.
Using a range of exercises and activities, our Sketching Workshop helped us gain a clearer understanding of the identity and feel that Neal and his team wanted for WorkfromHub.
Bringing our head of creative, our team, and WorkfromHub's team together for these workshops helped us collaboratively create a solid vision for the future of WorkfromHub.
Building the technology around WorkfromHub involved many steps and has provided several insights along the way. We started with something totally new to us - integrating a third-party locking system with an API to ensure that once a user booked a hub, they could securely access and lock it within their selected time slot.
We carried out extensive research into locks and settled upon using Smartlock - a third-party lock integration product. We controlled and integrated the Smartlock using an API that we built in Nest JS.
During the prototype phase of the project, users could view further information and book hubs via a web application that we built using React Native.
With the hubs successfully trialled and the locking system working effectively, we progressed to building a mobile application. We built the app using Expo and integrated it with Stripe so that it could receive payments. You can find the app on the App Store for iOS and the Google Play for Android.
In addition to creating a smoother user experience for customers, the app also enables the WorkfromHub team to: add new hubs, make bookings in-house for trialling purposes, change their prices, and provide various offers.
There were numerous considerations, iterations, and phases throughout developing the technology powering WorkfromHub and you can read our Senior Software Engineer, Jamie’s, account in her post: 'A call to...WorkfromHub'.
We used the following tools and technology to redevelop the website:
- Expo application services - Mobile Application
- UI Kitten - App User Interface
- Azure - hosting
- Stripe - Payments
- Nest JS - API
- Auth0 - Authentication solution
- Smartlock - Lock integration product
- Sequelize - SQL framework
- Website - React Native
- Bootstrap for React - UI Framework
- Jest - Test Framework
You can learn more about how we worked with Neal to turn his vision into a reality here:
In August 2022, we were pleased to officially launch the WorkfromHub mobile app. With the locking system and app up and running smoothly - users can now book the hub or download the app from the WorkfromHub website.
From working with the WorkfromHub team to developing many new skills along the way - we’ve loved working on this project throughout and are grateful to Neal and his team for the opportunity to work together.