Bookstream was founded to fulfill a double role. First of all, it functions as a modern library, and, secondly, it helps organizations improve the upskilling and well-being of their employees. Vaia Mitsiou, Co-Founder at Bookstream, talks in an interview with CEOWORLD magazine about the advantages an organization gains from using Bookstream, the importance of training, and the well-being of employees in a company while revealing the future plans for Bookstream.
Q: How did the idea for the creation of Bookstream come about?
Vaia Mitsiou: A source of inspiration that led us to the creation of Bookstream was the change in everyday life that we had to face when the pandemic broke out in 2020, with the closure or the limited operation of libraries and the growth in the courier industry. This new normal has made us realize that there is very limited access to reading quality books without readers having to invest a lot of time and money, which of course was the case in the past and is evidenced by several studies that demonstrate the reduced use of libraries in modern society.
The idea was to conduct a research to find out whether this was a widespread notion and the results shown that there is a gap in the market that led us to start thinking of ways to increase people’s access to quality books by introducing the most modern upskilling platform.
The professional experience of Bookstream’s founders in the field of HR and Technology, allowed us to be familiar with businesses’ and professionals’ needs in matters of upskilling, training and wellness.
Therefore, our decision was to create a platform that will function as a modern library model and at the same time serve the organizations in the effort to improve the upskilling and well-being of their employees.
Q: Can you name three basic advantages that an organization gains from using Bookstream?
Vaia Mitsiou: Bookstream works in a very simple way to resemble a traditional library brought to the digital world, while at the same time it stands out from the rest of the libraries with the innovative layout of both the platform and the operating process that it gives to its users.
By including Bookstream in their package of benefits, partner organizations strengthen their participation in their employees’ personal upskilling, giving each individual access to a modern platform where the employee will be able to read books and articles valuable for self-improvement and his professional development, becoming a better professional and acquiring important skills that will benefit him and the organization where he works.
On the other hand, everyone acknowledges books’ role in readers’ well-being as valuable, since reading, in addition to knowledge, also enhances imagination, state of mind and mental peace of frequent readers. An organization that provides Bookstream to its employees powerfully enhances their mental and spiritual well-being and supports them to cope with everyday problems such as stress, lack of concentration and lack of communication skills.
Bookstream supports this by hosting a library containing the most popular books of novels, classic literature, poetry as well as books/articles on health, personal care, leisure and cooking.
The above two main pillars we focus on as a platform are education and wellness, but Bookstream stands out even more with the overall service it delivers.
First, partner organizations work with an experienced team of professionals who understand daily personnel issues and communicate with them with ease thanks to our experience in HR and technologies.
Also, Bookstream service is designed so that each user has personalized access and support, minimizing any involvement of the organization in anything that arises.
Finally, Bookstream platform would not be what it is without the modern service of delivery and collection of books exclusively by us and without any involvement of the organization.
Bookstream delivers convenience, innovation and flexibility while eliminating any practical and financial constraints.
Q: In your experience as an HR Specialist, how important are the training and the well-being of employees in a company?
Vaia Mitsiou: Regarding training and well-being within a company, I always try to speak as an HR Specialist but also as a person who has been an employee within organizations for several years. Most HR people are always seen as personnel managers and most forget the fact that we ourselves are essentially part of a company’s staff, often facing the same problems as everyone else.
In every environment I have worked in, I have realized employees’ need to feel that the company invests in their professional development and that the company sees them as assets who need to be supported on learning and development. I completely agree that most professionals, beyond the financial factor, work to improve, to develop and to create their own professional path that will give them the pleasure of recognition and success.
On the other hand, modern professionals focus and invest in their personal life and demand from their employers to respect their needs. Therefore, modern companies must look for the most efficient ways to give their employees the opportunity for education and training, while at the same time not neglecting the needs of each employee on a personal level.
Q: What are your future plans for Bookstream?
Vaia Mitsiou: Our goal is twofold. Initially, to become a widespread organizational benefit provider that will work with the most modern companies that present a continuous interest in the training and well-being of their staff, and at the same time the platform to evolve into a readers’ community through which users can access the best books and articles.
Bookstream’s strength is that it is carefully designed and has a lot of potential for development.
Within the next 12-18 months we plan to have developed the platform by including e-books and audiobooks, adding books in 1-2 more languages as well as expand the service to all major cities of Greece. The latter I believe will happen quite soon, we have just noticed that at this stage most businesses interested in Bookstream’s service appear to be reluctant to implement Bookstream in all the cities where they have a presence.
Finally, we know that some improvements of Bookstream will come from feedback we receive from our customers and users, and we are happy to think that the final version of the platform will be a collaborative effort.
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