Guest Post: Mattermark

Mattermark collects and organizes comprehensive information on the world’s fastest growing companies.

Our company has grown from 35 to over 50 employees in the past year. With the growth, we have started to have a few remote employees. The more time our employees spent working remote, the more everyone became frustrated communicating across distance. We tried to host meetings using simple tools like Google Hangouts or conference rooms with a speakerphone.  The audio quality was terrible. At first, the remote employees would tell us in headquarters they couldn’t hear, but eventually they just started to give up on interrupting the flow of the meeting. It was clear that if we didn’t do something, we were going to give up on having remote workers.

In early 2016, we took the plunge and bought a Double Robot for our San Francisco headquarters. Right away, we started to notice a difference.  The first “aha” moment for me came in our weekly engineering meeting. Someone had stepped to the whiteboard in our headquarters to start drawing an architecture diagram. Previously, we were connecting with the team using Google Hangouts, and no one in the conference room would think to reposition the laptop’s video camera to look away from the conference table and towards the whiteboard. With the Double, it was easy for our Seattle office employees to just turn the camera and see what was being drawn on the whiteboard.  Under our old Google Hangouts approach, they would have just given up on seeing what was on the whiteboard.

A few weeks later, I was out on a sick day. I had a quick question for one of our data analysts, but she wasn’t paying attention to Slack. I really needed an answer to make progress on a project, and previously i would have been relatively helpless to do anything about it. I realized, “Oh I can just drive the Double Robot over to her desk and see if she’s around.” Sure enough, after a few minutes rolling across the office I found her and got the answer I needed. This is a big deal for us, because we really dislike it when people still recovering from a cold or flu come into the office trying to show off their work ethic while making everyone else sick. The Double Robot gives them a bit more encouragement that they can work remote an extra day while they finish recovering.

These are just two of the many ways that our Double Robot helps has build a great remote work experience. We’re excited to keep finding more ways to use it.

Blog post & video courtesy of Kevin Morrill, co-founder & CTO, Mattermark