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Companies Strategize Post-Coronavirus Return to Work - Many Without Data

Jan Rezab
June 4, 2020
Companies are redesigning the workplace without data, AGAIN. Although COVID-19 did accelerate the acceptance and implementation of working from home (WFH), the real transformation has yet to come - and it must come backed by data. For the first time in history, we can finally do it right.

Two weeks ago we asked CEOs to share their top productivity tips. Today let's look at the reality of digital transformations happening out there and arguing that, well, although COVID-19 did accelerate the acceptance and implementation of working from home (WFH), the real transformation has yet to come - and it must come backed by data!

This week’s news from companies that want to work from home:

  • Salesforce imagines workplace with plexiglass - Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff discusses how their offices won’t be the same! The tech giant is already rethinking the new normal. Safety measures include plexiglass dividers (probably from ocean plastic garbage that Marc Benioff personally collects from his remote office in Hawaii), daily temperature checks, and contact-tracing technology.
  • Will Googleplex deliver food? Google has extended its WFH policy until the end of 2020. Employees whose work requires being physically in the office can return in June or July, but Google CEO Sundar Pichai says they will have a “different” in-office experience with increased safety precautions. Google is far from becoming a fully remote business. Come on, they’re known for their swanky office campuses. Googlers are going to have to start making or buying their own food... or will the Google Campus deliver?
  • Twitter employees can WFH forever - Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told employees that they could WFH “forever”. Well, that they have the option to anyway - and he’s extending the same opportunity. Even Spotify is following suit.
  • Not (only) more office space, but more data! - Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicts that companies will require more office space following the pandemic to accommodate social distancing measures. We predict they will require more data….There are so many opinions (many in stark contrast), and companies are firing off return to work ideas like 4th of July fireworks. Although, no one seems to be using real team collaboration data to design their workplaces. Companies should leverage WFH data to help structure their teams and optimize environments based on efficient collaboration patterns. This is the 21st century, we have access to so much data, it's ridiculous that we aren't using it.
Designing Future Offices Require Data, Not the Collective Opinion

How can companies really claim they will go back to a completely different set-up, without the use of data?

Here is the list of the most ridiculous things we heard companies say:

Musical Chairs with Officespace?

  • “Let's split each team into two groups. The first team can come Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the second half can come Tuesday and Thursday… No, I’m not kidding. The second week they will alternate. We will save on office space and office operations. Also, teams must not mix”. Anyone sensing the creation of silos? You could do this, but it could create undue stress and reduce productivity? How will you measure its impact? You're literally playing musical chairs, is it that necessary?' Next, nap time!

Let’s WFH Forevaaaa?

  • Going completely remote might likely be better than option #1. Many companies (and people!) are not designed to work remotely. Companies haven’t considered the scenarios of individual situations where working remotely is a problem, and the impact it will have on their mental health. Again, even for this, you need data.

Mondays and Fridays at Home?

  • Possibly this is one the most reasonable options we have heard, and that’s having home office for only certain days such as Mondays and Fridays. While I am really not a personal fan of this, it's just my opinion - not based on data [yet]

Do you really think using Slack and video conferencing tools = digital transformation?

Perhaps the most entertaining thought I’ve had recently is that companies think that just because they’ve given their employees Zoom, Webex, and MS Teams, that they’ve suddenly gone through a digital transformation. That they’ve FINISHED. Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is only the beginning.

What’s next? Well, we have been analyzing the data and have found that people have more meetings WFH, increased cross-team interactions, and that they email more outside of working hours than they ever did. No matter how you’re speculating the way your office buildings should be redesigned or how returning to work should look like - JUST USE DATA.

What data? Well, it’s time to take your Zoom, Webex, MS Teams, Office 365 calendars, email header insights, G Suite, Slack, and all the signals from existing tools, and aggregate it into a single dashboard. Of course, you can do it manually and download logs, create aggregation scripts and use your own data science, but it’s a real waste of time. In case you want it right away, you can use our Time is Ltd. Platform to it for you.

What about you? Will you stay working from home?

New at Time is Ltd.:

  • Team Network metrics based on data from Calendars, Emails, Slack. This way, you can understand how well connected your team is internally and externally, benchmark, and see the patterns.
  • Actively managed topics (dashboard) is an alert section to highlight changes in communication behavior.
  • Agenda detection metric - because productive meetings have an agenda. This metric detects the agenda in meetings (calendars). Improve company culture and measure how many meetings happen with the agenda and which teams are the best.
  • 1:1 meetings inside teams metric - help see the way your teams get managed.
  • Work from Home Analytics We have deployed dozens of Work from Home dashboards for companies. Reply to this email to get your Work from Home analytics today!


Time is Ltd.(read: time is limited) is an advanced analytical SaaS platform that provides a holistic view of organizational time management. Measure your team’s online collaboration to improve communication and your bottom line and save precious time. By connecting to your existing tools via API, our platform digests the data and identifies signals that reveal how companies communicate and use collaboration tools. Our privacy-minded approach only aggregates (team-level) meta-data from a variety of data sources. See how well your teams work with your collaboration tools to get them up and running as fast as possible. Contact me here on LinkedIn if you want to find out more!

Jan Rezab

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