The importance of collaboration in the office
Immediately at the start of the pandemic, there was a worldwide concern about the impact of collaboration. Can employees collaborate effectively from home? How can we bring teams together again? What is needed to support collaboration? If you have a limited office capacity, you cannot take collaboration for granted. It’s in those special moments of physical interaction where the real magic happens.
Social moments at work
Our product Office Shifts, initially served as a tool to bring people back to the office safely and give individuals the autonomy to pick a shift that suits them best. Shortly after the launch in June, we found out a couple of factors that influence the day people book a shift.
Office-related activities and unsuitable home offices affect a person’s choice about which day they come to the office. But the most influencing part that we can contribute to, is whether other colleagues are planning to be in the office too. Employees do not want to go to the office just for work, they want to work together and enjoy social moments.
The idea behind connections
After pinpointing the issue, we continued our research. How can we help employees to meet and connect at the office?
Various concepts have been explored and iterated, resulting in a solution that works just as well for sharing those social moments as achieving business goals together. However, we learned to stay away from sharing permissions that make it unnecessarily complex for the user to be in control of what they are sharing with others.
It had to be easier and transparent. So, we choose a connection request. Very similar to a LinkedIn friend request, you can now either accept or decline a person’s invitation. As soon as the request is accepted, both parties get insights into each other’s shifts in the calendar overview. This way, employees can easily join each other on the same days and in the same areas.
Support a flexible way of working
Office Shifts connections makes it easy for employees to gather their own group of colleagues they would like to work with frequently. It’s up to them to join a shift for a productive kickoff meeting or to catch-up around the coffee corner.
With connections, the office becomes a place that stimulates social activities. It enables employees to make a conscious decision to go to the office in a flexible way.