This year, the International Week of Happiness at Work is sponsored by Nooks. But… what is Nooks?! We asked Daniel Lee, the founder of Nooks, to answer our questions. Spoiler Alert; WAY better than Zoom for team meetings. Try it! We love it.
Daniel, what is Nooks and why did you start Nooks ?
“At Nooks, we believe distributed work is the future. People should have the freedom to decide where, when and how they work best. Companies can recruit top talent without geographical constraints and create happier, more productive work environments. But distributed work is far from perfect. Have you ever smiled because an hour-long meeting got booked on your calendar? Or when you received your 429th Slack notification of the day? The default mode of communication for most distributed teams is scheduling a Zoom meeting or sending a Slack message. But meetings are too rigid, Slack back-and-forth is too slow, and both feel unnatural & high overhead. We’re building Nooks to help teams move faster together in the era of distributed work.”
So, if we understand you correctly Nooks is the virtual office, where everyone has their own desk. The whole team is virtually in Nooks at the same time, but they cannot see and hear each other, but drop in to each other’s desks? Sounds great…
“Yes! Have a question? Drop-in, get an answer, then return to deep work. Information should fire from one team member to another instantly & effortlessly. One of our users said, “Nooks is the closest thing to being in a real office without actually having one.” They say “Nooks completely changed my calendar – now most of my meetings are obsolete and have been replaced by more frequent 5-minute conversations.”
That makes working together easier!
“It’s important that people are happy doing their work so that they’re most productive, collaborative & creative. It’s great for the company because it helps with hiring, onboarding, retention, and productivity. But in the shift to distributed work, adapting communication patterns have posed challenges to happiness at work – people are buried in Slack messages and fatigued by meetings that feel impersonal and transactional. Nooks helps create happy work environments by removing the stress and friction from communication – it helps teams bring back quick conversations that enable them to move faster together, build trust, and maintain a happy workplace.”
What’s your take on Happiness at Work? why did you decide to sponsor the International Week of Happiness at Work?
“We’re coming at it from the perspective of students. We’re used to highly-engaged learning environments where you work/learn with your friends and it’s fun. In that type of environment you’re more productive, you learn/work more effectively, and you actually enjoy it. We’ve all worked at a number of startups with similar cultures – where we’re friends with our co-workers outside of work – which creates a better experience for the company and for employees. In this era of distributed work, maintaining happy teams is crucial and it will start with communication. This is why we’re sponsoring the International Week of Happiness at Work – to help everyone around the world recognize the importance of happiness at work and introduce them to Nooks as part of the solution.”
Can you tell us a bit about what you do to build a happy culture at Nooks? what tips do you have for our readers to improve their happiness at Work?
- “One big thing: we use Nooks for all our communication. This helps us feel super connected and makes communication much more natural. We have very few scheduled meetings and mostly rely on quick conversations to get work done.
- We do regular in-person offsites to help bring everyone together to have fun and bond in person. We’ve done activities like a boat tour around New York City, rock climbing, and various other adventures.
- Team lunch is great for building a happy culture
- Icebreakers help new people feel part of the team and build stronger connections.”