**The Rise of Roam: Revolutionizing Remote and Hybrid Work**
In this week’s episode of Fortune’s Leadership Next podcast, co-host Michal Lev-Ram interviews Roam co-founder and CEO, Howard Lerman. They delve into the pain points that led to the creation of Roam’s “cloud headquarters” software, the key to productive employees, and the importance of short meetings. Co-host Alan Murray joins Lev-Ram for the pre-interview chat session.
**The Changing Landscape of Remote Work**
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the way we work, leading many companies to adopt remote or hybrid work models. With the proliferation of communication apps like Zoom and Slack, employees have become well-acquainted with digital tools. However, Howard Lerman, the founder and CEO of Roam, believes that these apps have their shortcomings and that there is room for improvement in the remote and hybrid work landscape.
**Introducing Roam: Revolutionizing Remote Work**
Roam, founded by Howard Lerman in November 2022 with $30 million in Series A funding and 40 corporate customers, is a cloud-based headquarters for distributed teams. Its mission is to enhance productivity and connectivity among remote employees, enabling them to collaborate seamlessly as if they were all in one physical location.
**The Birth of Roam: A Flash of Insight**
The inspiration for Roam came to Lerman during the pandemic while he was setting up a Zoom meeting for his previous company, Yext. Accidentally forgetting to invite someone to the meeting made Lerman realize the need for a comprehensive view of all employees within a company. This led to the development of a digital “Marauders Map” that illustrates who is speaking or meeting at any given moment and where individuals are located, whether in the office or working remotely.
**Creating a Product Tailored to the New Reality**
While existing tools like Slack and Zoom played a vital role in navigating the pandemic, Lerman recognized the need for a specialized solution designed specifically for the new work reality. Roam was created from scratch, allowing the team to incorporate features that catered to the unique challenges of remote and hybrid work environments.
**The Era of Video Conferencing and Overscheduling**
Lerman highlights the impact of video conferencing technology and its evolution over the years. With Zoom revolutionizing video conferencing, companies and individuals have become dependent on video meetings, resulting in overscheduling. This oversaturation of video meetings prompted Lerman to address the issue and reimagine how remote and hybrid teams collaborate.
Roam is a prime example of how innovation can address the unique challenges posed by remote and hybrid work models. By providing a cloud-based headquarters and streamlining meeting times, Roam aims to enhance productivity and connectivity among distributed teams. As the future of work continues to evolve, solutions like Roam will play a crucial role in fostering effective collaboration and transforming the way we work.