How Covid changed the office whip-round

Viing was established in 2015, long before Covid-19 struck. It was born from the frustrations of the archaic brown whip-round envelope. Ellie, our Co-Founder quickly set out on a mission to change office culture in the UK and bring the whip-round envelope into the 21st Century.

Posted
1 month ago

Early Challenges

Group gifting, online collection pot, online whip-rounds and online office collections, were not well known terms in 2015. The closest thing we had at the time was Justgiving, which enabled individuals to efficiently raise money for charity, online. What as clear was that fund-raisers were so much more successful when using Justgiving, compared to the old method of a clipboard and piece of paper. So why was the brown whip-round envelope still going strong?

Creating Viing

The concept of an online group gifting platform was completely novel. There was nothing out there in the market. We couldn't really understand why, so we created a skeleton service just to test it out!

The initial response from our service was one of excitement at the prospect of removing the inefficiencies and stresses. Some encouraging responses included "This is going to change my life". However, there was still reluctance from many to move away from the trusted brown envelope and even more reluctance to pay for a service when the envelope method was free.

However customers quickly realised that Viing solved all kinds of problems; it was quick, efficient and removed a lot of awkward interactions and ultimately the value was recognised instantly. We found early on that once customers used Viing, there was no turning back.

2015 - 2020: Pre-Covid

Growth before Covid was promising, but slow. We were actively changing office culture; taking down one brown envelope at a time. It took a time for customers to find out that a service like ours existed.

March 2020

…And then Covid-19 hit. Arranging a group gift was time-consuming and awkward, but with the envelope, at least it was still possible. In lockdown, group gifting suddenly became impossible and people started actively searching for an online collection pot solution. Viing became a necessity and as many of our customers described, ‘a Godsend during a difficult time'.

Viing enabled people to come together for an occasion where otherwise, it might not have been possible. It allowed us to continue to celebrate the small things, despite being physically part. It helped to reduce isolation and make people feel appreciated and valued.

Viing enabled the power of humanity to seep through during a very difficult period and this is something we are most proud of.

Since Covid?

Remote working has become the norm nowadays. Whilst employers are encouraging employees back into the office more recently, there has been a huge shift towards remote and hybrid work set ups. The need for an online office whip-round solution remains strong and has inevitable given rise to many new competitors in the space as a result. This supports the notion of the demise of the office whip-round envelope.

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