It felt like overnight that remote work became a widespread reality. It has advantages for both businesses and employees, namely, cost savings and increased productivity levels. But there are downsides to remote life, too. Even for people who prefer and are accustomed to virtual work, the isolation can be challenging. Team dynamics aren't the same; neither are schedule boundaries. There's a lack of spontaneous social interaction, including the kind we discounted as trivial until now, like so-and-so asking about your weekend plans as you waited for the elevator on a Friday afternoon. A few coworkers eating lunch in the same space are still together even if they're not talking; physical proximity between colleagues builds camaraderie even in the smallest of exchanges.
Physical proximity between colleagues builds camaraderie even in the smallest of exchanges.
With this new normal top of mind, we were inspired to bridge the socialization gap between the traditional and remote workspace. We wanted to conceptualize something unique that veered away from typical desktop and mobile apps. The many tools that foster work collaboration—Slack, Zoom, Teams, Miro—also encourage social interaction. But virtual happy hours and the like have issues, like lack of engagement and conversation dominators that make participation feel more obligatory than fun. It also seems near impossible to spin-off a tangential side conversation with a colleague without derailing the group. It's not natural to be in a room with every colleague all at once—and it's not nice to exclude people either.
So, how do you replicate that "nearness" of the physical environment, that subtle feeling of connectedness between colleagues in the office, that spontaneous water-cooler chatter?
Chatspot is an unobtrusive desk accessory designed to subtly evoke that sense of togetherness lost in the virtual space. A simple, modern design is unified by a smooth matte finish, neutral color, and a rounded silhouette that discreetly encapsulates light and speaker elements. With effortless functionality, two parts are integrated by a single spine, allowing users to simply pull up or push down the top component to turn the device on or off.