How Are Companies Managing Remote Team Trends?

Jan Rezab

CEO

May 21, 2020

3

min read

In the last few weeks, working remotely has become the new norm and digital transformation has been accelerated. Two weeks ago we discussed how companies are coping with the massive change in our exclusive work from home study. This week we want to give you a glimpse into how we measure things - and the data-backed science that can visualize how teams communicate, it’s called Sociomapping.

But first, some major trends:

  • CEO of LinkedIn Jeff Weiner suggests the importance of  carving out “buffer time” when working from home. We agree, in fact, this as one of our key metrics - we measure if teams incorporate time blockers.
  • Cisco's Webex has seen a record of 240,000 online signups within a 24-hour period, and now handles 14 billion meeting minutes per month. That’s more than double where they were before the crisis. Cisco CEO has focused more on privacy than ever before, and said in a recent blog regarding Webex Security that, "At Cisco, we believe data privacy is a fundamental human right."
  • Verizon purchased Zoom’s rival videoconferencing company, BlueJeans. This acquisition shows they’re trying to compete in an industry that’s helping remote workers connect and thereby capitalizing on the working from home trend.
  • Many collaboration tools have been able to boost their growth during the pandemic. Notion has raised 50 million USD in March. We love and use Notion daily; have your roadmaps, Google Drive, notes, planning, and a knowledge base in one place.
  • Today’s Topic is Sociomapping - Visualize Communication in Your Teams Over Time

    At Time is Ltd., we tell our clients that in order to truly understand how well their teams are working from home, it's important to understand how well they utilize collaboration tools. Even at our size - a team of 30 people - we are trying to do the same thing, and also understand which channels we use.

    We have quickly grown from 8 to 30 people; so it was crucial to understand if the way we designed and structured the company and its communication - is properly reflected in the usage. So we pressed on to see how our company uses Slack, Emails, and meeting data - of course, we aggregate this data at the team level.

    As you can see below from our data from using Slack - our Product Leaders and Engineering teams communicate the most - a common theme in Slack usage - yet meetings are dominated by operations teams like management, clients, and marketing. Could it be that some of these emails or meetings are the real interface between these teams, and that the use of these tools by the non-technical part of the team is crucial? Based on the visual, this seems likely.

    Slack (on the left) vs. Email communication (on the right)

    The intensity is by color, but more important thing is the mutual distance between them.

    Let's look at these Slack and calendars a bit more! Since Slack is the dominant platform we use for internal communication, and also meetings are the way we discuss bigger topics, it's important to compare these and understand the bigger picture.

    Clearly we can also see that the communication overall has changed - where our clients and data teams were very isolated in prior months - now it has streamlined - which confirms my hypothesis that the teams are working much more efficiently together. To understand this is to understand our growth!

    Going a step further, we can also compare Slack and meeting data. Looking at our Clients’ teams and how they use Slack - based on their proximity, we found they work mostly with Management, Data team, and Product/Engineering teams, which is exactly where they should be! Great! By meeting volume, they are also close to the data and management teams, followed by marketing - as they help provide insights into some marketing topics, yet they meet the engineering team less (good, that saves time). This is where we want it to be (for now). Every leader probably has a hypothesis about  how their teams work and communicate. Now, we have data to help us see the reality.

    Slack (on the left) vs. Meetings (on the right)

    The intensity is by color, but more important thing is the mutual distance between them.

    We generally think that this is the new way companies should measure and understand their communication, and every company needs this.

    My Co-founder Cyril Höschl, Ph.D., and also Radvan Bahbouh Ph.D. and Associate Professor invented Sociomapping back in 1996, to visualize interrelationship data. This powerful science, also used by NASA and other corporations, reflects social and team dynamics in a way the human brain can understand, and within seconds. Whether you want to develop a remote, agile or leadership team, Sociomapping visualizes the current and optimal team set-up and reveals potential issues within communication behavior. Cyril has figured out how to use Sociomapping also from passive data like emails, calendars, and Slack to understand team communication, and it's a great way to get a look into your company.

    If you’re curious about how well your team is collaborating at home, or have some productivity tips you want to share, shoot me a message.

    Is your company trying to understand Work from home?


    wRITTEN BY

    Jan Rezab

    Founder & CEO of @timeisltd