The hybrid workplace offers distinct benefits for employees. But the acceleration of our dependence on technology is causing tension. Workers these days have so many competing apps on their laptops that it’s hard to stay on track with their day-to-day deliverables. The programs are not interoperable. Simple tasks can become frustratingly complex, giving workers severe cases of digital overload. All this digital friction and work about work is interrupting the real work of the day. They spend too much time troubleshooting technology bugs to get everything done.
“Basically it turns a very predictable day into something that’s completely unpredictable and rife with frustration,” said Creative Business Founder and CEO Jeanne Hardy.
To help her employees overcome tech burnout she sought a software solution – something that could organize all the myriad business applications into one easy to use interface. But she couldn’t find an existing platform.
“So I talked with a few engineers and they said ‘you should try and build it yourself,’” she recently recalled.
After three years of research and development – including assembling a talented and supportive team that’s been there every step of the way – Hardy launched Levvy, a process management system designed for professional service firms that creates a seamless work experience. The software organizes client data, passwords, calendars and more in real-time.
“When they open up a task, everything they need is there,” Hardy said. “ Google Drive, DropBox, everything is organized by client, all in one place.”
Why businesses need to simplify their tech stack
Tech overload was already a thing before the pandemic, but work-from-home accelerated the problem. Communication moved from email to Slack or Teams; Meetings moved to Zoom. The constant connectivity led to stress and even depression.
Efforts to streamline remote work have brought even more applications. And the sudden and rapid introduction of AI is likely to further affect the future of work in new and unpredictable ways. “The common business tech stack is getting really complex,” said Hardy. “Companies are embracing a flexible work life, but in many cases that’s exactly what they’re missing out on when they have software that doesn’t feel good for employees. It can be really isolating and frustrating to work from home. ”
A recent survey found that more than 50% of employees are overwhelmed by too many communications via too many channels at work. And app proliferation costs businesses hundreds of millions of dollars a year in unused licenses, another survey found.
Levvy aims to alleviate the strain on employees by centralizing collaboration and eliminating workflow friction, helping teams feel more engaged and improving morale.
Tech novice, no problem
Hardy never imagined herself as a tech entrepreneur. “I’m not a 27-year-old Stanford or MIT graduate,” she said. ”I’ve been working with companies for 20 years and at this stage in my life and career to jump into the tech world and start to build a technology product and bring it to market has been an incredible learning experience.”
But she saw a need in the market that she was determined to satisfy, partly because she was struggling with overload too.
Levvy is in beta testing now with a full launch expected in the fall.
Experienced entrepreneurs wanted
Hardy paired her accounting and finance knowledge with engineers looking for startup ideas to bring Levvy to fruition.
“There’s a lot of incredibly talented engineers looking for subject matter experts to partner with to build the future of work tools,” she said.
Hardy thinks entrepreneurs in other industries like healthcare and education should consider creating new solutions in their fields. For example, students these days do most of their learning on screens, even in the classroom, keeping track of multiple platforms and applications. She recommends Y Combinator as a good place to start a search for partnerships and even funding.
“I wish that more people with 20 years in business were developing software because we really need that thinking in the software development space,” she said. “You know, there’s some real problems that could be solved with technology, and I think people that have a lot of experience in their fields could really lead to some incredible innovation.”