Covid-19 left us all in shock. Countless people lost loved ones, businesses were forced to close, and families were forced into isolation. New regulations, such as social-distancing, masks, and reduced capacities resulted in new, unexpected norms. It’s been a life-altering year... to say the least.
Due to the pandemic, a rise in mental health concerns such as stress, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts has also plagued the world. Data from the CDC shows that the number of Americans suffering from an anxiety disorder had tripled by mid-summer compared to the same time last year, and the number of those with depression had jumped fourfold.
On March 12th, Joe, our founder, was heading to the island of Majorca in Spain to prepare for the World Expo Dubai 2020. Joe was part of the creative team bidding for a creative position for the Spanish Pavillion. World Expo is a world showcase where countries come together to highlight human innovation, the modern-day World's Fair.
Two hours into his flight news broke that travel from Europe to the US was suspended. Already in route, there was no option to turn around.
Within three days of landing on the island, transportation on and off the island was suspended. The ferry leading back to mainland Spain was no longer in operation. Luckily, the colleagues Joe was working with were also close friends. They took him in as one of their own, providing a living space for as long as necessary.
This transition was incredible challenging. Empty grocery stores, no transportation and a big unknown about the future. Still having a full-time role leading innovation for a technology company adapting their business model back in the states, this additional pressure mounted. Joe found relief by taking work outside every chance he got. It soon became routine.
Over the course of four months, Joe had adjusted to life in Spain finding solutions to working outdoors. Through this, the benefits of eco-therapy amplified. He developed a deep connection to nature and reaped its benefits, surprisingly becoming even more productive.
After a long four months, Joe was able finally able to return to the United States.
After being back in the United States, with no option to return to the office or an alternative space to break the monotony of working from home, Joe tried to recreate the experience and reap the benefits backed by science of working in nature like he did in Spain. Not having an outdoor space connected to his home, he was inspired to search for one locally.To achieve this, he travelled to Valley Forge National Park, but quickly found out there were massive limitations that impeded his workflow. After "frankensteining" a prototype in his basement over a few weeks, he was able to test out his new creation, experiencing the benefits without the limitations. Like his experience in Spain, there was this same connection with nature that could not be achieved inside his typical work-from-home setup.After seeing a large-scale shift to remote and hybrid operations for the long-term and experiencing benefits from working outside firsthand, he saw the opportunity to change the way we collectively work and improve well-being in the process. He knew he had a solution that would make wide-range outdoor work possible and practical. As a serial inventor and entrepreneur, he got to work.
Joe knew the transition to remote work wasn't going to stop once the pandemic was over. It had already started on a small-scale prior to Covid-19. Recently, major corporations have announced they will be fully adopting remote work as a new standard.
This was the birth of Touria, a name meaning "gift". There couldn't be a better word that describes our mission and vision: To give humans the gift of freedom and mobility to explore the world around them, while still being able to be connected and productive.
Forget the cubicle or haphazard make-shift home office. Define your space and get ready to unlock yourself.
After much personal reflection, cognizance, and brainstorming, Joe began methodically assembling a team that would make his vision a reality. Our team is A-game. We're made of up members that have advised and worked for Disney, Starwars, IBM, Under Armour, BMW, SpaceX, JP Morgan... to name a few. All of us embody the five core elements Joe looked for in a team: Experienced. Passionate. Eco-conscious. Innovative. Human.
"We are all as much extraordinary phenomena of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars and the form of a galaxy." – Alan Watts