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Tech Talks: how Miro is helping remote teams collaborate

NearU

06 Jan, 2022

We won't beat around the bush - working remotely can be hard. Regardless of the many benefits it brings forward (schedule flexibility, the ability to work from anywhere etc...), it's a huge change from the traditional office-based 9-to-5 we're used to. Unsurprisingly, 46% of workers have admitted to feeling isolated while working remotely.

This is partly coming from personal experience too - not everyone thrives when working away from colleagues, both personally and professionally. Going for days without speaking to your coworkers not only means you lose an important avenue for socialisation, but your work might also suffer from a lack of collaboration.

At NearU, while our main purpose is to inject choice back into your work-life schedule, we've always advocated for the importance of collaboration. It creates better work, more satisfied employees, and as such, a more successful business. We're not just saying this either. A 2021 survey by Forrester Consulting showed that companies with good levels of collaboration were 63% more profitable than those without.

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Meet Miro: the ultimate tool for digital collaboration


You probably know by now that we've created our own tool, 'Who's NearU', to make meeting up with colleagues in-person for brainstorms, breakouts and more easier than ever. But how you can keep this collaborative momentum going online, especially if your team are more widely distributed? Enter Miro.

For the latest instalment of Tech Talks, we caught up with Jaïr Halevi, Startup Program Manager at Miro, to tell us all about how their platform is being used to promote innovation, collaboration, and better business practices by remote teams across the world. We like to think of it kind of like a virtual whiteboard that your team can edit in real time. They're also kindly offering our users a $1000 in Miro credit - just read to the end for more information.

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NearU: Can you summarise what your platform is/does in a sentence?

Jair: Miro is a digital collaboration platform. I like to describe Miro as an extension of your brain. You can structurize what is inside your brain and share this directly with others.

What role do you see technology playing in the future of work? How will your platform fit into that?

We moved into the era of digital-first collaboration. The foundation of work has changed, and the workforce will expect a new standard of flexible working. Platforms like Miro make it possible to supercharge collaboration, even when you’re not in the same room with your team. The hyper-growth that Miro has experienced recently shows our product-market fit; from 2019 through 2021, we have grown from 4 million users to 25+ million users. 

How have companies been using your platform so far?

Most people start using Miro during an interactive workshop or brainstorming session. Our users, including startups, consultants, freelancers, agencies, and enterprises use Miro from the beginning to the end of their projects for: 


These are just a few examples. When you look in our template library, you will immediately find countless possibilities to assist you in your work. In addition to our product template library, we have Miroverse, which features user-generated templates created by companies like Zendesk, Salesforce, Zoom, and TEDx. All these templates are available for everyone to use!

Hybrid working - is it here to stay? Just give your personal opinion, no need to do masses of research on this one.

Yes, our customers have shown that it is possible to achieve great results working remotely. I am a real believer in focusing on the output and not on the input. Being in the office every day and pretending that you are working from 9 till 5 is over. In my opinion, we should focus on our holistic wellbeing, and only then can we achieve great results. This means sometimes prioritizing family, sports, spirituality, or whatever you need over work.
However, I believe creating deep connections with your co-workers is very important, which becomes more complicated when working remotely. 

Research shows that for adults, it takes about 50 hours of interaction to become casual friends. Ideally, you’d like to become friends with your colleagues. This improves workplace culture, creates more psychological safety, and improves productivity (because people who like each other work harder for each other). Building friendships while working remotely is just more complex and will take way more than 50 hours. Therefore, try to meet in-person when possible. When you live in the same city, try setting up walking meetings. If this isn’t possible, try organizing offsite meetings where team members can connect. 

Or of course, just use NearU to book a workspace for you and your colleagues as and when you need! Miro is all about collaboration. What advice would you give distributed teams when it comes to collaborating effectively using online tools?

My biggest piece of advice would be to identify what work should be done synchronously versus asynchronously. It wasn’t very long ago that most workplaces required that employees communicate and respond in real-time. But studies show that this approach is not very practical. Perhaps it sounds counterintuitive since digital communication means that you’re always available and could address issues immediately. However, in practice, we see that frequent interruptions affect our productivity. When I am constantly interrupted, I won’t focus on the work that really makes a difference. Asynchronous work gives me control over my day.

There are many more advantages of working asynchronously:

Real-time collaboration does still have value in the workplace. For example, we still need synchronous collaboration for:

Any tech platforms you'd like to give a shoutout to while you're here? Maybe one that has helped your company during the transition to more digital working.

Take a look at this list of remote tools and find out what works well for your organization. I, personally, use Slack, Notion, G-Suite, Zoom, and, of course, Miro.

Miro is an excellent tool for synchronous and asynchronous collaboration. And it helps your startup scale: You can discover and validate your ideas, design products, apply product frameworks, and way more. Quickly brainstorm live during a Zoom call, work asynchronously on your new product, and tag someone to request feedback on your work. In fact, we are giving  $1,000 Miro credits to early-stage startups,  plus we also have a special scale-up offer and a consultant offer.

We love Miro here at NearU. Whether it's for online brainstorm sessions or as a visual organisation tool, they have tons of templates to suit every need. And speaking of suiting every need, we like to think that we can help everyone find the perfect workspace to suit them, near them. Download NearU from the App Store or Google Play and just search, book, and work. Can't find one close by? Just get in contact with us at information@nearu.io and request a specific space/location.