blog post

Why teams around the world use Daily Updates

What's the most common way people use Standups? Daily Updates!

We even do this ourselves at Standups, where we are a distributed team with team members across the globe, spanning the Bay Area to Europe.

Daily Updates with Standups empower teams to

  • Simplify Communication
  • Increase Accountability
  • Decrease Loneliness

All while uniting your distributed or remote team and making remote work feel more human.


🙌🏾 Simplify Communication

For distributed and remote teams, synchronous (real-time) scheduling is complicated. Standups brings these teams together with asynchronous (non-real time) video & voice messaging.

💪 Asychronous Communication

Synchronous (real-time) scheduling is hard. You have to coordinate across schedules and find a convenient time to meet for as many people as possible.

Scheduling and coordination are exponentially harder for distributed and remote teams who often work across different time zones, and at a minimum work across different locations.

We make asynchronous (non-real time) communication across time zones frictionless with short video & voice clips (just like an Instagram Story).

Standups brings teams together for whom synchronous scheduling is complicated. That could be a remote team member four timezones away or your coworker down the hall (true story, we have teams on different floors of the same building who use us 😄).

timezones

Designed for distributed and remote teams to work from any time zone in the world

🗣 Say it with video or voice

There are some scenarios where a text update makes perfect sense. But there are times when chat doesn't cut it, and video/voice would immensely help. It's also faster to say something vs. write it. The average person types at 40 words per minute, whereas the speed of a normal conversation can exceed 200+ words per minute. We can speak over 5x faster than we can type.

words per minute

Also, have you ever sent a text or a message to someone who misinterpreted your message? Or they thought your tone was "harsh" because you didn't include an emoji?

Same here. And there's a reason for this: we are biologically hard-wired for visual data.

Visualization works from a human perspective because we respond to and process visual data better than any other type of data. Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

💻 Minimize interruptions #deepwork

You're finally in the groove, and before you know it, a calendar meeting is coming up, or someone taps on your shoulder with a quick question. While there are times when these meetings have to happen, or it's just much simpler to give someone an immediate answer, these types of interruptions can severely impact your flow and your ability to do deep work.

We also don't want to add more complexity to your existing workflows, so we try to meet you where you are today. For example, we integrate with Slack!

slack

Get instant notifications for when it's time to send your update (via a Slack DM) or when a colleague sends an update to the current standup in your team #channel. You can also record directly from Slack, watch videos in Slack channels, and share links with your team!


💪 Increase Accountability

Standups gives your team the accountability that comes from having a physical office, with all the benefits of remote work.

🤔 The Problem

One of the major misconceptions about remote work and a common objection to it in the first place is that people don't work. This misconception comes from the fact that:

  • Managers are scared that if they can't physically see their employees, they won't know if they're working.
  • And employees know that there are many distractions at home which aren't there in a physical office.

The answer is not to spy on remote employees and track everything they do.

The answer is also not to stop working remotely and set up an office.

Instead, Standups helps teams solve this in two ways.

😎 Enhanced Visibility for the Team

A video update provides visibility into the daily nuances of work that is often missing from remote and distributed teams.

For example, by giving an update of what you worked on today or a potential problem you ran in to, anyone on the team can quickly jump in and help, whether you're a manager or a teammate who's working on the same project.

ig story

Posting and watching is just like an Instagram story.

Also, this is a fun, quick, update, just like recording a Snapchat or Instagram Story! No need to spend 15 minutes crafting the perfect chat response, or sending and clicking undo send on an email multiple times to make sure there are no typos. One-click to record, and one-click to send. Dead simple. You can even send your update in advance on web or mobile

To keep standups short, sweet and focused, we implemented a recording timebox of 2 minutes by default. You can always tweak it up to last from 1 to 5 minutes.

On the go? Post your update in advance as well!

This increase in visibility helps teams create...

🤝 A System of Accountability

You don't rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.

Let's face it, when you don't have an office to go in to, it can be hard to stay motivated or accountable. We are very much products of our environment and seeing people working around us + hearing about the progress they make can help motivate one to work. But as a distributed or remote team, oftentimes you're working alone.

However, when your team posts updates with Standups, this changes things:

Standups creates a system to see the daily or weekly progress the entire team is making. With flexible recurring reminders, we build expectations into the product so your team knows when to post.

custom recurrance

Standups can be run at any custom recurrence: for example, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday every week

Every day when people post, the team can now see and celebrate wins, big or small and step in to help each other whenever need be. The entire team can see the progress everyone is making and this is contagious!

You can add comments and react to any update and you can also know who has seen your update Laslty, videos are saved and organized by day + easily searchable by tag so you can go back and reference them at any time.

What was missing before is now easy to see: seeing progress is as easy as scrolling down the page to watch a previous video!

❤️ Decrease Loneliness

Nothing can replace the power of in-person interaction, in terms of it's ability to strengthen bonds and relationships, but we can certainly bridge the gap.

Standups helps your team foster a sense of belonging.

Something changes when you're able to get regular face-to-face contact with teammates, by sharing short video or voice updates.

We hear it from our users often: after sending and watching each other's stories, the next time they talk live, people often say to each other, "it feels like we just talked!"

And that's the magic of Standups. It truly unites your team and makes distributed and remote work feel more human ✨

🔮 What's Next

Standups has changed the way our team and teams around the world work remotely. A product that lets you see your coworker's faces every day, no matter where you're located on the globe, makes it feel like they're working right next to you.

If you take anything away from this, I hope it's that whether you're a remote team, a distributed team, or any type of team, updates, whether it's daily, or once a week can be very valuable for teams in terms of simplified communication, improved accountability, and less loneliness.

One thing we've heard that can be helpful for improving the overall Standups experience, especially in the context of daily updates is... screen sharing! That way you can show the team or company something in addition to having them see and hear you expressively communicate.

Screen sharing is a feature we currently have in beta, and we're shipping it soon to all of our users 🚀

Lastly, we're always looking to improve our product and if there's anything else we can do to improve your experience using Standups, please email us or let me know via Twitter @arjmahadevan!

If you or your team comes up with a new way to use Standups, we'd love to hear!