How hybrid work has changed the way we work.
Can you present and tell us more about Klaxoon and its positioning?
I am Matthieu Beucher, the founder of Klaxoon, a scale-up member of Next 40 and specialized in collaborative tools. Since 2015, we have been designing the environment and tools adapted to the development of teams in a hybrid mode. Our solutions make business exchanges, especially meetings, more efficient. From the outset, our reflection starts from the observation that the meetings are too long, they last 1h30 on average, whereas we would like them to last less than 30 minutes. They also have the fault of not being inclusive enough: 50% of people feel that they have not been able to express their point of view. Above all, meetings are often very inefficient, not very creative, and without decision making. This is an observation that is shared by all organizations and companies, wherever they are in the world, and regardless of the sector of activity. Klaxoon is there to help teams and organizations structure their meetings and make them more fluid. We offer various cloud tools for this: meeting gamification, votes, polls, questions, quizzes, etc.
But what makes the main use of Klaxoon is mainly Board, a whiteboard that makes it possible to totally change the way of dialoguing in business. In one place you can view all your content, your data, your ideas, your projects, your documents… You pilot and manage your exchanges and projects from this single interface. The tool also integrates Live, a videoconferencing solution that connects up to 50 people.
Klaxoon is therefore a cloud software solution, but also a hardware solution, with the Klaxoon Box to organize meetings, even without Internet. We entered a market where meeting engagement tools were seen as a gimmick. We have therefore deployed a professional, robust and secure solution that is aimed at intensive use, especially for large accounts.
You are an observer and an actor in the organization of work. What changes are you seeing with the health crisis, and teleworking?
We have spent many years trying to convince organizations that they can do better, and be more productive. But we were often faced with the difficulty for companies to take the time to change their organization and their tools. This crisis and the massive deployment of teleworking has obviously changed everything. In particular, companies realized that all employees were comfortable with technology. Video, for example, has been deployed in all companies without friction, although it could be considered a tool reserved for “young” employees who were comfortable with digital before the crisis.
This crisis has also completely changed the rhythms of decision-making and organization. We had to make decisions at the scale of the week, and no longer at 6 months, 1 year or 3 years. With COVID, businesses had to decide whether to open their offices, who could come, how to contact customers, etc.
Regardless of the sector, whether the company is public or private, or even its size, there has been a change and a revolution in working methods and exchanges. Organizations, even at the top management level, have implemented new working methods, new meeting rhythms and rituals, more team synchronization, more inclusiveness in meetings… All these subjects were nevertheless seen as not very important there are still a few months.
Why are classic meeting models no longer effective?
The model of the meeting, very top-down, very theatrical, which has existed for decades – with the coffee machine that allows you to recover the elements of a meeting that would have been missed, no longer works in times of crisis, and of teleworking .
Organizations are changing and need tools like Klaxoon to have much more factual discussions and exchanges that require less oral communication. Speaking orally in meetings puts many people in difficulty: 85% of people are not comfortable with this mode of exchange, which is however the norm.
Speeches and round tables also take a lot of time. This mode of exchange also leads to saturation: after 5 oral concepts, one can no longer visualize and reflection is no longer possible. The Klaxoon format allows thanks to the whiteboard to put things in a factual way. You no longer need to be a good speaker to share your ideas and add value to discussions. The visual management offered by the tool makes it possible to be more creative, to better understand and visualize the subjects addressed. The traditional report is no longer necessary, it is directly accessible on the tool.
What are the meeting formats to choose to be more efficient and not waste time?
Oral is not practical to synchronize and understand each other, it is absolutely necessary to multiply the channels: visual, text, data, files, links … All this allows everyone to have a better vision of the subject, and to take more informed decisions. The oral encourages to be subjective, and is not conducive to in-depth reflection.
What we recommend to be more efficient is first to set up shorter meetings, especially when you are at a distance. Videoconferencing is indeed very tiring and requires a lot of concentration. It is obviously useful to make visios, but it is not because we see each other that we understand each other! In Live, our videoconferencing tool, we allow meetings with up to 50 participants, but by reducing the display of faces to the maximum. Seeing each other is obviously good and fun, but in a meeting, the participants are there to solve problems, and seeing a mosaic of faces on the screen is a hindrance more than a help.
Another pitfall of the hybrid organization linked to teleworking: the difficulty in creating moments of informal exchanges. The coffee machine is missing for sharing. You have to find a balance between face-to-face and distance and succeed in adapting to the different rhythms. We recommend 3 short meetings of less than 30 minutes a week dedicated to moments of discussion.
There is also a change that has already started in business. Short, factual, and effective meetings are already replacing large weekly or monthly meetings. Before the crisis, there was always this image of the manager who was responsible for the meeting, and who had to animate it. We are seeing the emergence of new meeting formats, where everyone is responsible for the quality and efficiency of the exchanges. With a tool like Klaxoon and its whiteboard, it’s really a new dialogue, there is no longer a particular facilitator, which allows everyone to be comfortable and not to be a prisoner of a very theatrical exchange.
What gains for companies do you see after the deployment of Klaxoon?
The feedback from our customers after the deployment of Klaxoon first highlights the time savings. They manage to reduce by 3 the number of meetings organized, and increase the productivity of exchanges. We also have a Timer feature that allows you to frame the exchange and limit it, and we see that 80% of the meetings that are carried out on our Live tool respect the set timing. Without this tool, 75% of meetings exceed the time we set!
We have deployed Klaxoon with large banking players who are not known for their adaptation to new ways of working. After 1 year of use, we see that the teams no longer want to go back to the previous meeting formats. Thanks to Klaxoon productivity tools, they describe meetings that are more efficient, smoother, and shorter. And we also hear about pleasure. Where the meeting was seen as a chore, and approached with apprehension by some more timid employees, a tool like Klaxoon allows more creativity and ideas put forward by the teams. Too often talents are wasted because they “don’t dare”.
This month you are launching Board Hybrid, a new feature of Klaxoon. How will it allow teams to boost their productivity?
Our Board Hybrid tool is precisely a solution for these new working rhythms. This whiteboard centralizes all files and documents. We avoid hundreds of emails, and we find the freedom of visual collaboration. You can explore them directly in the tool and share them with other employees.
We also offer a library of ready-to-use templates. Hundreds of templates allow teams to structure their days and their projects. Templates exist for almost everything: routines, projects, weekly meetings… And so as not to waste time configuring the tool, Klaxoon is completely plug-and-play. Just register with a few clicks and start using it.
Klaxoon’s scope of use is really very wide, even in sectors that are not digitized. I am thinking in particular of the skipper François Gabart who uses it for the study and production of his last trimaran, or even of Airbus for production management. It is a solution that is really becoming a standard for many industries.