Prior to COVID-19, Ninja Software – a Perth based entrepreneurial software development company – have been developing technologies to protect its workers and increase productivity. Now, with an increased global move towards remote work, these technologies have the potential to support a new, changing workplace culture.
Alex Dunmow, CEO of Ninja Software, commented that as a tech company, they support remote working, so with COVID-19 they were able to move their whole workforce to work from home quickly while being fully supported with innovations that focus on the mental and physical health and productivity of their teams.
“Ninja Software participates in high risk, high reward, disruptive technology ventures which can only be achieved with a team of talented people. So one of our most important values has always been about flexibility for our workforce and looking after their wellbeing to foster great results and innovation,” commented Alex.
“So before COVID-19 we had already been developing two workplace technologies – Flubar and Feels Bot – to live out our values and when the pandemic resulted in the need for isolation and remote working, we came up with the idea for Isolation Gamification,”
Flubar – Stop The Flu At The Door
Flubar is a thermal camera technology to detect body temperature with automated facial recognition which sends alerts if someone has a fever – the first signs of the flu.
“The idea behind Flubar came about from the terrible flu season we experienced in 2019, taking out more than 50% of our team, which of course disrupted our projects and created pressure for all our staff” explained Alex.
“Flubar can be placed at the front reception or as a camera prior to entering an office to detect whether someone has high temperatures. If they do, they can be advised to head home and rest.”
“We also think that Flubar can help change the common workplace guilt of not coming to work while being sick, as it provides real data to let those who are ill and their employers know that they should really stay at home.”
Feels Bot – Non-intrusive Wellbeing Checks For Workers
Feels Bot is a purpose built, non-intrusive chatbot that pops up on computer screens to ask simple questions on what team members are working on or what challenges they are facing, whilst also providing a sliding scale to indicate how someone is feeling daily.
Ninja Software CTO, John Nguyen, came up with a version of Feels Bot one Sunday afternoon. A fan of chatbots, he saw an opportunity to use the technology to support team members rather than its well known use for marketing.
“Feels Bot is about using the smart assistant technology that people at work can communicate with anonymously,” explained John.
“We know that mental health or acknowledging that you are facing challenges in the workplace are hard conversations to be had. Something like Feels Bot gives everyone the option to share their worries anonymously or, if they would like, only for their employers’ knowledge.”
At Ninja Software, the Feels Bot technology has also been used to support daily stand ups, with questions on what team members are working on, what they did yesterday, what obstacles they are facing, which are then piped into a common channel.
“This arrangement supports our workforce in two important ways. Firstly, it allows people to work from home if they need to without missing out on daily standups, and it automatically reminds them to quickly provide work updates.”
The non-intrusive, easy and quick to fill out question style implemented into Feels Bot has garnered much support from the Ninja Software team members, who not only find the “style of answering questions as a chat form less of a chore” but also extremely useful as a reminder to provide personal updates on projects, facilitating good team communications.
Isolation Gamification – Social Connection While Isolating
Isolation Gamification is an app that encourages people to isolate through incentives. By following isolation rules, you can get points which can be traded for rewards.
Alex indicated that the psychology behind isolation gamification is that we need positive reinforcement or an incentive to do something. The gamification principle is big within education technology and has the potential to encourage people to stay at home more during COVID-19.
“We hope to build this app with the Australian Government or in partnership with corporations to help support the message to stay home, flatten the curve and protect our frontline workers,” said Alex.
“We also see the potential of the app to be used by other companies and organisations to encourage better or healthier habits through incentivisation – such as quitting smoking.”
This app is currently in the ideation stage as Ninja Software seeks Government or other commercial partnerships.
Flubar, Feels Bot and Isolation Gamification have the potential to currently support a remote workforce or community achieve productivity and engagement.
Into the future, Ninja Software sees these technologies as vehicles to enhance the new way we work.
“COVID-19 has certainly forced companies around the world to re-evaluate their long standing work practices,” commented Alex.
“We’re proud to be creating and innovating technology that can support these re-evaluations and inevitable future changes to the way we work with Flubar, Feels Bot and Isolation Gamification to begin with.”
More information on Ninja Software, please visit: https://www.ninjasoftware.com.au/