# Getting started
# What is OfficeLife
If a company wants to have a complete 360 view of what’s happening inside its walls, it needs to buy and configure a lot of tools. There is a tool for every specific aspect of a company: HR, project management, time tracking, holidays and time offs, team management, One on Ones,... There isn't a software available today, that combine all of them together in a simple way.
Not only buying and configuring all those software is a time-consuming process, but it also costs a lot of money - especially for smaller companies with a limited budget. Moreover, most of the SAAS out there have a let's-call-us-and-talk-for-an-hour-before-you-can-see-what-the-pricing-will-look-like-for-you policy, which most people hate and that we refuse to follow.
OfficeLife is born to offer a solution to these problems. Most of the smaller companies need to have a tool to manage their companies from a human perpective - not 30 different tools. We think having a tool that does, say, 70% of the job is better than having 15 specific tools that do 100%.
At any given point, everyone in the company wants to know:
- How do the employees feel,
- What is the current structure of the teams, offices, who manages who,…
- What people are working on right now,
- What is the overall costs of all projects,
- How can we improve the communication between employees and teams,
- Who should take a holiday and how much holidays there are left for everyone,
- Who currently work from home.
All those answers come from knowing your employees well.
Good luck finding a tool that addresses all those points. Some tools do some part of these, but they are also hard to use, hard to configure and not user friendly.
OfficeLife has been created so everyone, from the employee to the CEO, know everything about the company.
# Domains covered by the product
OfficeLife wants to cover the entire employee life cycle. We believe it’s the only way to really understand what's going on in the company. Because of the size of the scope of what we are trying to achieve, we need to structure our product into different domains, so we can better communicate our marketing and message, iterate on the product itself and guide the vision.
OfficeLife is structured around 5 domains. Each domain represents a step in the employee life cycle. In each domain, we have categories, each one of them being typically a standalone product at another company.
# List of domains
- Applicant tracking system
- Onboarding / offboarding
- Employee management
- Team management
- Company management
- Time tracking
- PTOs (ie holidays and time offs)
- Expenses management
- Hardware and software licenses
- Project management
- Work logs
- Recent ships
- Team and company news
- Get to know your colleagues
- Employee and team morale
- One on Ones
- Rate your manager
- Objectives Key Results (OKR)
# How is OfficeLife different
# One tool
First and foremost, OfficeLife is different because it’s the first tool that tries to cover the entire employee life cycle, in a simple, elegant and modern way. There are other behemoths in that space, but they are extremely bloated, not elegant and don’t move fast - at all.
# OfficeLife is opinionated
OfficeLife doesn’t try to cover all the use cases or address every problem. It doesn't try to suit everyone. In fact it tries very hard to be simple to use and bring a set of features that most companies will find useful, and avoid features that are specific to a company. OfficeLife is strongly opinionated.
# Complete control
OfficeLife gives users and companies complete control over their data. There are no vendor lock-in here and never will be. All the data, both from a company and a user point of view, can be exported for free at any time (even if you don't have a paid account anymore), in a standard and documented format. You can also use the API without any restrictions.
Privacy is more than paramount to us – it’s essential. As a matter of fact, we don't track users, we don’t sell data and we don’t use ads. Analytics is provided by an open source tool that we host ourselves. We might be the only tool of this kind to have this policy, and we are proud of it.
# Boring technologies
Technically, the software is developed with boring, proven, predictable, easy to maintain technologies that make the tool fast and secure. We want to create a product useful for users and companies, not something that is technically exciting.
# Open source
Finally and this is what differentiates us the most, OfficeLife is completely open source (more on that below) and can be installed on your server if you so desire, for free and without any fees. OfficeLife is built with open source technologies, and we want to give back to the community by providing the software for free for those who need it.
OfficeLife comes in two flavors: open source and hosted.
- The open-source version is the one you will find on GitHub (opens new window). The code is released with the BSD-3 license, which means you can do whatever you want with it as long as you don't try to make money out of the software yourself. You can download the tool for free, whenever you want, and have complete control over everything. You don't need a product key for this. However, you are responsible for your hosting, maintenance, and upgrade of your instance.
- The hosted version, which can be found on https://officelife.io, is the exact same version as the open-source one. As a matter of fact, the code that we deploy in production comes from the repository hosted on Github. We take care of maintaining this instance, of upgrading it and making backups of your data multiple times a day.
While the open-source version is free, the hosted version is supported by subscriptions. You pay a fair amount of money each month, and in exchange, you have access to your own OfficeLife’s account.
Also, we don't have any hidden fees, or minimum monthly fees, or installation fees. You can upgrade or downgrade at any time.
We charge a fixed amount per active employee per month. An active employee is an employee who is in your account, and who is not locked.
# Isn’t this price too expensive for my tiny company?
Perhaps. And I’m sorry about this. However, if the price is too expensive for you, which we completely understand, you can still download the open-source version on Github and install it on your server (on Linode, Digital Ocean or Heroku). It’s cheaper, safer in terms of privacy, but you’ll deal with the maintenance yourself 😀
# Why is this not more expensive?
We are a small team. We don’t have a fancy office in San Francisco. In fact, we don’t have an office at all. We keep expenses to a minimum and all the money is reinvested in the company (and small salaries for team members). What we want is growing slowly and living the dream of being independent and free.