E-merging, a Swiss startup, came to us looking for a new approach to telecommuting with a tool that would enhance individual productivity and wellbeing. Remote work has become a central aspect of the modern workplace, but there are certain conditions that must be addressed to improve the overall experience for both employees and employers. Thanks to our extensive experience in product and service design, we felt confident in our capacity to identify problem areas and solve them through unique, bespoke design.
The result of our collaborative product design process was WorkCocoon, a groundbreaking telework solution. After careful consideration of user needs, we understood that the lack of social interaction and the absence of a clearly defined workspace were two major barriers to overall employee satisfaction. By placing these two needs at the core of our design process, we created a tool that would contribute to an enhanced out-of-office experience, in collaboration with the design studio Postler Ferguson.
The rise of telecommuting
The Swiss startup E-merging has identified two central characteristics of the modern working world. First, the workplace has become more transient than ever, with workers often expected to commute long distances between cities and even countries. Second, growing commute times translate to lost time and a reduction in overall efficiency.
The solution to this dilemma has been to promote telework, but this option is not considered ideal in many working environments. Beyond laptops, VPNs and digital security tools, there is a lot to be done when it comes to making telework more productive, efficient and optimal for both employers and employees.
Unpacking the remote work experience
Our first step towards developing this product was to research how and where employees operate in order to construct a coherent understanding of the remote work environment. Based on this research, we then envisioned the optimal teleworker journey, identifying the core pain points that make out-of-office work problematic.
We identified four main barriers to the creation of a positive overall experience: the necessity to make business calls from a private space, the absence of managers that causes individuals to miss out on the big picture, the need for a clear distinction between individual and collective work, and the fact that working from home can feel like an invasion of privacy.
Ideation & Design
Addressing telework pain points
The four pain points identified during our conceptualisation process led us to understand the need for plug-and-play pop-up workspaces. Our design would incorporate enhanced video conferencing, an efficient way of sharing visual information, a well-defined physical workspace, and the clear separation of personal and collaborative work.
User-centred product design
While addressing and satisfying the pain points present in the teleworker journey, our product design team identified four essential usability factors: lightweight, compact, storable and mobile.
WorkCocoon: A mobile professional environment
We ideated a device that integrates hardware and software in a sleek, functional design that enhances the teleworker journey. By combining the best of low and high tech, our design establishes a new style of working environment for the telework industry.
The design consists of a clean, broad surface that helps users create a workspace in any location. With its ergonomic positioning and minimalistic look and feel, teleworkers can set up their office anywhere. An integrated haptic surface allows the user to take digital notes.
The dock is both a charging port for mobile devices and the support that enables the concept of “second screen”. We created WorkCocoon’s second screen as a collaborative digital workspace to encourage social interaction with peers. The dock features an articulated arm with an integrated HD webcam, microphone and LED halo light, when it pivots it can also be used to scan documents and share notes.
As part of our second screen design, an early digital interface concept was developed to improve collaborative work processes, in addition to the first screen which is intended for individual work.
Finally, we incorporated chroma keying technology to allow users to select in real-time different backgrounds for their video conferences, eliminating the invasion of privacy pain point.
Audiovisual & Graphic Pitch
We built a graphic and audiovisual package to support E-merging in its search for funding. We developed the corporate communication materials the company needed to make B2B presentations as it brought its product to market.
We produced an explainer video to pitch the product to potential investors and consumers. In this audiovisual presentation, we demonstrated how WorkCocoon can be applied to different telework environments, and showed how the management software is used in a professional setting.
The transformative power of innovative workplace design…
At Studio Banana, our team of architects and interior designers are experts in conceptualising workspaces. Our work for McCann, EY and FTI to name only a select few, has endowed us with the knowledge needed to apply our agile processes and design services to the transformation of workplaces, allowing those companies to adapt to the demands of today’s working world.
… from the perspective of product design
With WorkCocoon, we went beyond service design by applying our expert knowledge of product design and deep understanding of the challenges of the modern working environment to build an enhanced telework experience. Our dedication to the success of the project drove us to develop a complete package of B2B sales tools to prepare E-merging for the journey that lies ahead.
Want to know more?
To discover more about this project and how we can work together, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org