Our emphasis on human connection has always pushed us to explore new ways to create bonds with people, but the pandemic was a huge challenge for everyone at a global scale. Companies all around the world were forced to —unpreparedly— go fully remote and quickly everybody started to perceive serious deficiencies.
At Wayports, we had been working remotely for some time, so we knew the market flaws for our segment. Our challenge as a software company was not only helping other businesses, but also dealing with the fact that our own employees' whole lives were now in isolation. As many other companies, though a smaller number than you would expect, we started trying different ways of catering for our innate human need for staying connected beyond appointed voice calls and stressing video chats.
To bridge the gap between remote work and physical office spaces we created Wayports. Away from invasive cameras, Wayports is a 3D virtual business park in which people have a virtual presence by means of an avatar. In the park, we have different venues and spaces such as classrooms, offices, meeting rooms, all packed with valuable collaborative tools.
By using Wayports, we increased the opportunities to be approached by colleagues, hence improving work communication and directly maximising performance and optimising results. But here, we were left facing another major concern: How do we make sure employees maintain, strengthen and forge bonds inside and outside the company, how do we network?
So first, we understood that the answer was: building a community. We had to create a space in which people from the organisations and institutions that made up Wayports could converge and feel comfortable to share and be heard. Out of one of our ProseFond Bookclub meetings, The MacLane Library was born. It is a free content website in which we publish ideas and news that are relevant to the virtual business community. It also has a Discord channel and a virtual building inside Wayports.
Once we organised our community efforts around The MacLane Library, we decided to create The Wayports Racing League (WRL), a casual Simracing competition, and a podcast that covers this delightful contest, The Undercut. In this way, members of the Wayports community are offered a safe space to converge and have fun. It has also proved to be an ideal activity to connect with other businesses in a corporate, though relaxed atmosphere.
The Wayports Racing League is not only a 10-race competition we play every Saturday but it has also become a great part of our lives in times of confinement. We meet every week for practice sessions and we enjoy voice-chat in our dedicated Discord server, in which we share strategies, anecdotes as we build our race-craft together. We have created rituals and adopted lucky charms through this, and have gotten to know new peers thanks to the competition.
So it was only natural for us to take this to a new level in the shape of our latest initiative, which encompasses and empowers all our previous efforts: we are launching our brand new Wayports Store. It is an online shop for all goods related to the Wayports community, whether virtual or physical.
Our store began by us creating our very own brand of coffee, Race Brew, which originated first as a term used by members of the WRL, who prepared coffee right before a race. Race Brew is made through partnerships that help us provide the freshest premium coffee, as our beans are roasted on the same they the orders are shipped, and features several single-origin types that are sourced ethically.
Like all the other goods sold in the Wayports Store, the Race Brew coffee is made and shipped from the United States, with the planet in mind. We partner only with vendors and providers that can employ production methods and materials that greatly reduce the use of water, as well as avoid harmful pollutants.
We currently feature other products like mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, yoga pants and made-to-order books from our very own publishing venture, The MacLane Library. This means you can order a book type, submit your creative writing and we will ship you a premium-printed, published book.
As we continue to do more activities together as a business community, you will see more products being created and made available at the Wayports Store. But our vision goes beyond profits and we are looking into partnering up with a meaningful non-profit organisation to make donations from proceeds. If you are part of a non-profit organisation that shares the vision of our community and think it could be an interesting partnership please message firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to join the Wayports Racing League, you can write to the email above or join our Discord channel.