Work is frustrating. We’ve all felt a productivity lag, seen disorganized processes and lost files, been inconvenienced over information overload or inefficiency, experienced an imbalance in communication styles — the list goes on.
Our disconnect with work didn’t appear because of the pandemic, but rather results from a culmination of the tools, processes, and habits we adopted for in-person office work that could not be scaled without a major culture shift.
It’s frustrating. And unsustainable. Which is why we need to do something better.
The challenges of work today
Let's talk about information overload. There will be more data created in the next four years than ever before. To make sense of all this information, we adopted a series of tools for organization, collaboration, and everything else we do day-to-day.
The problem is that in creating and adopting an array of tools to manage our information, we've left it up to the knowledge worker to continually work between them. This leads to feeling scattered, lost, disjointed, even chaotic.
We’re doing more work than we bargained for because our tools aren’t working the way we need them to. Maybe at one point, they did, but today’s working environment is completely different and disconnect is at an all-time high.
Qatalog recently released a report with Cornell University that found people are spending 59 minutes a day looking for information lost within the very applications designed to make work easy. For 44% of workers, siloed digital tools are making it hard to know whether work is being duplicated, and 48% say they’re making mistakes simply because they can’t keep track of everything going on across their digital workplace.
Asana — a Qatalog integration partner — found similar results in their 2021 Anatomy of Work Index. They discovered that, on average, employees switch between 10 applications 25 times a day. This leads to fragmented communication, reduced efficiency, and duplicated work.
Our digital environment is noisy and distracting. That’s not the way we want to describe the way we work. We want to bring transparency, automate this flow of knowledge, and enable teams to scale effectively.
Additionally, relationships between employers and employees are shifting, and without that transparency and trust, employees are more likely to find a workplace that aligns with their needs. It’s the employee’s market, and surveys suggest about 40% of U.S. workers are open to switching jobs in the coming months.
What exactly is a work hub?
We’ve defined work hub to mean a place where the highest performing teams bring their people, work, and tools together to see the big picture and make quality decisions.
A work hub is a digital space where you can organize, collaborate, communicate, and get work done. It consolidates your existing company tools, processes, and goals to break silos and keep your team aligned, without extra meetings or constant pings — allowing your organization to move toward an async-friendly model.
A work hub isn’t another tool, it’s a framework that makes sense of scattered information in one place.
How a work hub works
A work hub eliminates fragmentation and creates a shared perspective. It offers a cohesive digital workspace that connects teams, centralizes projects, promotes discoverability and accessibility, and so much more. How is this achieved? After talking to hundreds of companies faced with the challenges of adapting to modern work, we identified six key ingredients of a work hub.
Build belonging with a directory
Hybrid, remote, and distributed working models are here to stay. As a remote employee myself, I’ve only met one of my co-workers in-person, and the others I’ve introduced myself to through video conferencing and messages.
However, this doesn’t mean a remote or hybrid environment should be any less connected than one where employees work in an office. And it certainly shouldn’t diminish the opportunity to see what everyone is working toward.
With a cohesive directory, you get more than employee profiles — you get to see who is on what team, team members’ projects, and the goals they’re accomplishing. You can build belonging within your team by showing what you do and who you are, stay updated on individual or team workflows, and see real-time activity. Much like you would in an office, but on your own schedule and in a much shorter timeframe.
Align on goals
The best way to unify your distributed teams is by making goals clear, discoverable, and accessible to everyone.
Let’s say it again for the people in the back: if you want to eliminate silos completely, you have to adopt processes that are visible to everyone. And a critical step that most teams and organizations miss is setting visible goals.
Within Qatalog’s goals, you can set OKRs for your team, your project, and yourself. You can set reminders to update your goals, and attach them to projects within Qatalog or other apps you’re using to manage projects. It’s all visible and eliminates the need to context-switch between where your work gets done, your project management tool, and that goals spreadsheet that’s bound to get lost next quarter.
Search across your tools
Most of our productivity tools today have search functionality. Without it, an organization would remain consistently chaotic with no end in sight. Think 2000s style intranet folders, where information is bound to become a jungle.
Imagine if you could connect your tools under one search function. In Qatalog, you can search for anything — a Google doc, Slack message, or line of code in GitHub — right from your dashboard.
Project documentation is one of the most important aspects of your day-to-day working environment. If your projects aren’t organized with relevant resources or don’t include all the necessary context it can be easy to get lost.
A work hub provides a global view of all your projects, regardless of what tools they live in. That information can be brought into other workflows, goals, shared between teams, and posted about. No need to switch between tabs. It’s a fresh chance to connect the dots.
See what’s important in posts
If remote work is the future, asynchronous communication is what will help us get there.
And here’s the catch: even if your organization isn’t remote, relying on asynchronous communication is what’s going to keep your company competitive in the marketplace. Because async isn’t only good for producing results, it allows your employees to remain free and lead more fulfilled lives.
With work hub posts, you get the right information to the right people, so everyone can discover what’s going on. It’s easier than scrolling through endless Slack messages or emails to get the information you need — and much easier than sitting in Zoom status meetings all day — and acts as a collective, collaborative work newsfeed.
Distributing information is no longer a spray-and-pray effort of blasting updates with the hope that the right people will pay attention. Qatalog makes sure your posts won’t get lost in the ether by providing read receipts so you have a view of who read what.
Automate processes with workflows
Your processes are your company’s longest-living legacies. And most of the time, they aren’t easy to duplicate or share with the entire organization. That onboarding structure that lives within a million Google Drive files? What if you could automate a new hire’s onboarding through a connected workflow?
Creating a workflow in Qatalog is an easy, streamlined process that allows you to add all the steps you need completed and integrate the tools necessary to do so. So easy, your grandpa could navigate it (and Matteo’s already did!).
The future of work
What we do know is that our current methods aren’t working. Our reliance on old productivity habits isn’t making room for the future of work. Plus, our tools don’t work in concert with each other, and we don’t really know how to work in concert with them either.
A work hub addresses those foundational issues head-on, harnessing the latest research behind modern work to design an entirely new class of software. It breaks down the elements of modern work and reassembles them from the ground up so you don’t have to.
Read more to discover how a work hub beats out or works together with:
- A company wiki
- Project management software
- Performance management software
- Instant messaging apps
- Static employee directories
- Process management software
- Company-wide intranet
- Workplace search tools
- ...and more