Vendor Profile

Gather – A Virtual HQ for Remote Teams

Gather is an example of a Digital Workspace that pioneers a new paradigm for distributed team collaboration, a gamified virtual office.

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Selecting Your Collaboration Applications

Gather is an example of a Digital Workspace that pioneers a new paradigm for distributed team collaboration, a virtual office.

It’s more of a ‘gamified’ type environment, with staff represented as avatars, participating in a virtual office where they can move around and interact with colleagues.

In short it literally virtualizes the physical office, replicating the effects of casual ‘water cooler networking’ that forms the social fabric that underpins successful collaborative organizations.

One of the key challenges is that human beings can find long use of video conferencing exhausting, and also they don’t address the social knowledge of enterprises, like who’s who and who does what, for which department. They aren’t the right tool for a persistent experience that mirrors office life.

Gather addresses these challenges through a new paradigm for virtual collaboration, utilizing game-like features to achieve the persistent environment and critically, make it fun.

  • Reduce feelings of isolation – See who else is online and working. Gather gives you a sense of presence with your team, even when you’re not actively interacting with each other.
  • Build culture and context – Your virtual office is completely customizable. Design it to reflect your company values and to serve as a visual of who’s who on the team — just like you would in a physical office.

It embeds tools like video conferencing so that these can invoked spontaneously when needed, and also further mirrors physical human dynamics through social networking type features, such as ‘waving’ at colleagues to see if they’re available for a quick chat.

Case Study

The RITE case study effectively describes the practical application of the service, highlighting how initially there can be skeptical reaction to this game-like world but this quickly evaporates as staff members find it works very well and is a fun, engaging experience.

‍“Before we started using Gather, we sat for 8 hours a day in a Google Meet just looking at each other’s faces. It was intimidating though, and more of a production. Gather is more casual to go chat rather than spending all day in a Google Meet or sending a link in Slack.”

They’ve customized the environment to reflect and support how they work, such as different departments like tech support, where you can see if someone is on a customer call and thus not to be disturbed. They’ve set up a central company bulletin board which is ideal for posting key policies, in a way that tools like Slack are simply not very good at.

The RITE Gather Space is loosely based on their actual office in Minnesota, with some creative liberties of course: a bridge into the entryway, Yoda in a conference room, and velociraptors in the parking lot!

RITE face the same challenge that nearly every organization faces today – They operate staffed physical offices but also an extended network of remote employees, who need to be an integral component of the team as much as those in the office. Tools like Slack and Teams only address the communications aspect, whereas Gather entirely replicates the social structures of the office world.

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