Hey is the result of a course whose main objective was to envision and create new concepts and products which could direct our cooperation partner Logitech towards a future vision and design direction for agile workspace users. During our initial research it became very clear to us that the world we live in is very much optimised to make people a most efficient as possible part of economy. This often happens at the cost of the individuals mental health. Therefore we chose to help Logitech to move from making tools that support workers in a technical way to making tools to support them emotionally.
The number of remote workers rises and therefore also the negative effects of isolation. Loneliness affects your motivation and happiness which can ultimately decrease work quality and can even lead to health issues.
We want to give remote workers an ambient feeling of presence of their coworkers, and the opportunity to have lighthearted and easy social interactions that increase a tribe feeling.
By creating abstract visualisations of colleagues and the ability to visually and verbally communicate with them as if they were in the same room. Combined with a friendly, inviting design this facilitates exchange and bonding between coworkers.
Hej gives you all the benefits of being in the social environment of an office no matter where you are. While it takes away the negative effects of isolation and loneliness, it also inspires you to adopt healthier work habits and make better use of your day. Healthier and more motivated employees can deliver better quality results which means a great value for a company.
Hej - You're not alone!
The nature of work people are doing is changing. The places people work at are changing. And the tools available to do this work are will change as well. We no longer go to one office, sit at one desk and work on one device to undertake the multitude of different things we do. We will work wherever, whenever, however and with whomever we need to achieve our goals. We live in a world where technology has changed how we work as well as the physical workspace. Technology has been a huge driver of agile working which is more than working remotely or part time, but also involves work which focuses on performance and outcomes.
During our initial research it became very clear to us that the world we live in is very much optimised to make people a most efficient as possible part of economy. This often happens at the cost of the individuals mental health. Therefore we chose to help Logitech to move from making tools that support workers in a technical way to making tools to support them emotionally.
People and companies more and more tend towards the concept of remote working. Co-working spaces are more and more common and some big tech companies have already completely abandoned the idea of one central office for their employees. With the amount of remote workers rising, the negative effects of isolation and the lack of a steady social environment become more and more apparent. While working remotely it can be challenging to stick to conventional work hours and the lines between work and free time start to blur. Adopting work habits like this can make the workday very inefficient and workers end up wasting their precious free time. The social environment of an office normally gives you a point of orientation and prevents this from happening. Apart from that people need the support of their peers to deal with daily challenges and this doesn't happen in the form of occasional big actions but in the shape of frequent small gestures. A smile in the morning a couple of encouraging words in a stressful moment can significantly change your day. Another important aspect of working in a team is the feeling of being part of something bigger, people take a lot of pride in being part of a tribe and they want to show it. Giving people the possibility to fly the flags of their team can benefit work ethic and self-content. Not having these small interactions over an extended period of time can lead to loneliness which affects your motivation and happiness. This can ultimately decrease work quality and can even lead to health issues.
How it works
Since it's in the best interest of the employer to keep his employees healthy and happy to ensure efficient, functioning teamwork, the device is given to the employees by the company. Instead of getting a desk in an office next to your new team mates, you get the possibility to work from everywhere in the world but still be tightly connected to your colleagues. When you set up your workplace you can position Hej on your desk and it's already connected to the rest of your team. The built-in motion sensor captures everyones movement and translates it into abstract visualisations of your colleagues. These visualisations are unobtrusive but the flowing movement lets you know that there's someone around. This also enables you to interact with your colleagues through those visualisations. You can wave at your mates in the morning, or gain their attention with a virtual tap on the shoulder. But not only can you interact visually, the built-in speaker and microphone also enable you to quickly strike up short conversations which don't seem important enough for a phone call but are actually very important for bonding and team spirit. Of course, sometimes people also need some time to focus and don't want to hear their colleagues talk or be available for questions. In these situations Hej can be put into „focus mode" by just tipping it over. In this position the speaker and the microphone are muted. To end focus mode Hej simply needs to be tilted back up. Since Hej can and should not replace face to face conversations it is possible to start a conventional video call with one of your colleagues by using the interactive surface of the device to select a certain team mate. By flicking them towards your computer screen a private video call will be started. When all work is done you can say good-bye, wave at your colleagues and call it a day.
Hej gives you all the benefits of being in the social environment of an office no matter where you are, and helps you build better and stronger relationships with your colleagues. While it takes away the negative effects of isolation and loneliness, it also inspires you to adopt healthier work habits and make better use of your day by motivating you to work during the same hours as you team mates. Healthier and more motivated employees can deliver better quality results which means a great value for a company.