The Pingdemic: Consequences of an Unoptimised Digital HQ

Pingdemic_v1

The future of work is here… again. It never left and it’s never going to leave. The future will always be in the present (it’s a strange concept to acknowledge).

In the last 18 months, the speed and size of change was uniquely dramatic, but we all know that. For us at Temporall, and for millions around the world, Slack became the main platform for work. Our work was virtual, without any physical presence, and with that came Slack became where:

  • Values are lived
  • Remote and office doesn’t matter
  • Culture is formed
  • Communication lives
  • You connect with colleagues new and old
  • You experience your first day
  • You have your last day
  • Deals are close
  • Wins are celebrated 
  • Your company connects

It became the central hub for pretty much everything. Salesforce thought so much they acquired Slack for over $27 billion, marking the cloud software vendor’s largest deal ever.

It’s here to stay and will increasingly become the gateway to work. It’s reinvented itself so much over the past year alone with video and voice making us increasingly type less. Slack drops a feature and the way we work changes, that’s incredibly powerful and impressive. The way we email or construct a physical meeting hasn’t changed in decades, but now Slack is truly forever evolving. 

Untamed Slack can quickly become a firehose. You will find yourself in hundreds of channels (internal and externally) with many of them set up for the same thing, but with different communication norms. Just finding information and getting context will constitute a great day at “the office”, and getting nothing else done as a result.

Where did that ping come from? Who just tagged me in 3 separate threads and where can I best use this sweet GIF I have been holding for days?

Tamed Slack is bliss. It makes work so much easier to navigate and find information. You can easily pick up on tasks that you have been brought into without having to trawl through email threads. It becomes a grouping of high-quality information, growing out of other related posts categorised in threads (always in threads… ALWAYS), and you will have so many moments to drop GIFs that are just perfect.

Moving forwards…

Most executives (66%) report they are designing post-pandemic workforce policies with little to no direct input from employees (Future Forum). Then how are they doing it? I guess ‘the customer is always right’ doesn’t translate to employees.

Businesses that have Slack at the centre of their working day need to think Slack-first. So many businesses are not using Slack to its full potential. How much time and investment was spent on the physical layout of your office? Where is that investment in your digital HQ?

More than 1 billion messages per week are sent on the platform and rising (Slack S1).

That’s 180,000,000,000 (billion) messages since the pandemic began. That’s a lot of data to comprehend.

We’re also increasing the amount of information and notifications in our working day. The average workday increased by 8.2% —or 48.5 minutes— during the past 18 months (HBR). More activity means more data being created.

Data is a gold mine that can help intelligent enterprises drive growth. Yet, while organisations continue to collect, store and analyse data, its real potential remains largely untapped.

🔗  How connected are my teams?

🏠  Where are the siloed teams and individuals across my organisation – and how does this correlate with location, demographic, tenure etc.?

💬  Are managers communicating with and supporting employees?

💻  Which teams need to work with each other to drive success?

😀  What form of hybrid is ideal for maintaining the desired culture?

In fact, research from Forrester found that between 60 and 73% of all enterprise data is never analysed.

The data opportunity in every business is massive. Yet only 37% of employees trust their decisions more when those decisions are based on data, and almost half (48%) frequently defer to making decisions based on gut feeling over data-driven insight.

This is where Temporall comes in. 

We make your Slack data work harder for you, using our platform, Workbench. The data already exists in Slack and is being created all day every day as you work, you just are currently unable to interpret it. We have a ready-made solution that can provide you with data to ensure your Slack is improving your employee experience. This means you can focus energy and resources on external clients and stakeholders.

5-minute case study 

A 550 person Fintech company with offices in London and New York spotted an issue with their pulse engagement scores from a survey. They were continuously decreasing over the course of a number of months, particularly on questions relating to working hours.

The leadership team had been using surveys for a number of years to capture the voice of the employees and ensure their policies were improving the culture. They had been running pulses for 9 months and various attempts to improve the questions were led by HR. A number of problems were identified and  Friday summer hours, company holidays, socials, subscription to mental health app Calm, and regular check-ins were implemented.

It wasn’t seeming to register or help the problem. The surveys were important, but the 90 days between feedback and new policy was too long and not dynamic enough to help.

They were aware that they were heavy Slack users and relied upon the platform for almost all of their communication and collaboration efforts (both internally and externally). The company had no real insights as to how the platform was being used. They found the standard analytics subpar and weren’t getting the insights they needed, which only gave them information on volume. With such a reliance on Slack, they understood there must be a correlation to its use and working patterns of employees, they just had no real data to show.

They had 2 options, either build their own analytics solution or find an external provider. From a resource standpoint, building their own was going to be far too expensive and take a long time to get up and running. This is why they came to us.

The Fintech wanted to utilise our Slack insights product (Slack Intelligence) to pinpoint with the real-time data the correlation between their employees constantly giving decreasing feedback to questions relating to working hours and Slack activity.

After hearing feedback including, “I feel like I’m working longer hours now remote than I was in the office.” They were especially interested in our ability to surface Slack Activity Hours. Meaning for the first time ever, the client could understand when Slack is most and least active – all surfaced in real-time.

They installed Slack Intelligence in just a couple of minutes, selected the channels they wanted to be part of the pilot, which was primarily project-based and they were up and running.

Firstly, they had to get an understanding of the current normal usage so they needed to get a baseline. This meant they just did nothing for 10 working days to allow the data to propagate. The experience didn’t change at all for the employees, they use Slack as normal.

Once they had the baseline, they could now use our platform to dig deeper. The client also connected Azure AD to our platform which brought company demographics to the data. This meant they were able to filter by a variety of demographics to try and pinpoint the root cause of employees feeling they’re working longer.

When they landed on employee level they uncovered something incredible interesting:

🕕  Senior Leadership were highly active between 6 and 7 pm

🕖  Mid Management highly active between 7 – 8 pm

🕗  Junior teams highly active between 7:30 – 8:30 pm

This was suggesting Senior Leadership’s working patterns were potentially at the route of a work-life balance problem. This took 2 weeks in total to understand where previously they had spent 9 months of surveys without getting data on this trend.

The company was continuing to work in a synchronous culture, with no clear guidelines on how they should use Slack. Junior and Mid-level employees felt as though they had to reply and get tasks completed almost instantly, despite working considerably past their typical working hours.

📆  They then proposed a 3-week trial for the organisation to be inactive on Slack past 6 pm unless business-critical.

The impact of this intervention, which utilised both survey and systems-based data, surpassed their expectations:

📉  84% decrease in overall activity after 6 pm.

✔️  No noticeable drop in productivity.

❓ The same question scored 7.6 rather than the previous 4.9

⌛ All done in space of 6 weeks.

The above is just a small window into what’s possible by utilising the data that already exists in your Slack. Most companies spend lots of resources on using every piece of data available to make the experience better and quicker for the customer, yet don’t do the same for their employees.

Surveys are important and we would always encourage our clients to speak with your employees, but the insight is time-bound and requires work to collect and interpret. Like any forward-thinking business, using data to drive decision-making should be paramount to success.

Allow your Slack to do what it does best and improve the employee experience.

Go beyond your surveys – work with us to gather real-time insights into how your organisation is working. 

Contact us to hear more about how to harness your data, or catch us at Slack Frontiers on 16 – 17 November 2021 in our Tier 1 Sponsor Session. 

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