3 unexpected tools redefining remote work for teams
Remote work is great, but it’s hard to get it right. A host of new tools have emerged and grown in popularity during the pandemic, and an interesting trend has emerged: chatbots and anonymous engagement might actually help workers collaborate better.
Here are three tech innovators who are empowering workplaces to have honest communications with employees and peers through technology, engage and ensure everyone feels included and has a place at the table. .
Also: Working remotely or in the office? Why the tide might still turn
Juji is an AI company that builds empathetic cognitive chatbots with no-code, reusable AI solutions. Juji was co-founded by Michelle Zhou, a recognized human-centric AI expert and inventor of IBM Watson Personality Insights.
A recent study from Cornell University on “Human-Machine Creativity” validates his approach. He found that human participants consistently produced more and better ideas when they perceived their teammate to be a chatbot. The use of chatbots was particularly helpful for high-anxiety group participants. Chatbots are now finding their way into work environments where employees can share ideas and feedback anonymously with the company on everything from mental health, culture and more, thanks to HR assistants at Cognitive AI.
The Juji company is taking off in a positive reassessment of the potential of chatbots, which in the past had a mixed reputation. Chatbot Market was valued at USD 17.17 Billion in 2020, and it is projected to reach USD 102.29 Billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 34.75% over the forecast period, 2021-2026. Virtual assistants are increasing due to deep neural networks, machine learning, and other advances in AI technologies.
Anonymous employee engagement
Mentimeter believes that anonymity is a powerful (albeit unexpected) tool for unlocking employee engagement. The company’s platform is designed to enhance presentations and meetings by allowing online and in-person attendees (via QR code scan) to engage anonymously via likes, comments, polls and quizzes.
In two years, Mentimeter achieved 178% sales growth with an increase of more than 400% in the number of enterprise customers, including Apple, AstraZeneca and Accenture. This makes sense given the booming online collaboration market. In terms of revenue, the global Online Presentation Software Market was valued at USD 873.54 Million and is projected to reach USD 1796.42 Million by 2028.
Mentimeter recently partnered with a third-party research firm that found that over 70% of participants in the 2000 US survey said they wanted anonymous ways to engage during meetings, largely because most of workers (and in particular various groups and women) fear being interrupted or overheard when presenting and attending meetings.
A new type of social network
Social media is about seeing what others are up to and sharing the latest updates and thoughts. Can the concept work with an overlay of anonymity?
Just as Mentimeter believes anonymous participation is a secret weapon for engaging left-behind employees, Blind is an anonymous social network for the workplace that allows employees of the same company to connect and talk to each other in secret. Co-founder Sunguk Moon picked up the idea of an Internet company in Korea that ran an anonymous message forum.
Blind is now used by around 2,000 tech companies in the US, including heavyweights like Microsoft, Amazon and Google, giving the concept and the company incredible validation. Incredibly, users spend an average of 41 minutes on the app, a sizable part of the workday and a strong measure of engagement.