Since early last year, working professionals in Singapore have seen very little of their offices, and far more of their homes. It seems that many don’t mind the change: A study commissioned by Lark Technologies and conducted by Milieu Insight, a Singapore-based consumer research firm, found that 94 per cent of professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) across a range of industries wanted flexible work to stay.
According to Ms Joey Lim, Lark’s vice president of commercial (Asia), an increasing number of employees are seeking out companies that offer flexible working arrangements.
“Flexi-work provides a plethora of benefits that we’re all familiar with – being able to set your own schedule, working from the comfort of your home, saving time and money on commuting, and more. Companies have also realised that employees don’t need to be in the office to get work done. Providing staff with the autonomy to work anywhere helps to build trust between employer and employee and even increase enjoyment,” she shared.
As working outside the office becomes the new norm, having the right tool to facilitate collaboration and productivity has proven to be essential. In the same study, 64 per cent of PMEs surveyed felt that having the right tool could make work a lot easier, while 60 per cent agreed that the right tool could help them to be more productive.
A good collaboration platform can serve as the foundation for high productivity and job satisfaction by offering a seamless experience. In the study, PMEs revealed that their top three tasks – regardless of seniority level – were chat or messaging, video meetings and email. While most collaboration tools possess those functions, Lark seamlessly combines them. On Lark, the various suite components – Mail, Messenger, Docs, Calendar, Video Conferencing and Workplace – are integrated to work together.
For example, users can check team members’ schedules while chatting with them or launch a video call from a calendar event. Users no longer have to toggle between separate programmes or interrupt their workflow to search for a specific file. In addition, Lark supports third-party application integration in its Workplace, where users can add their frequently used apps.
Lark’s seamless design stems from its people-centric priorities. “Lark is a human-facing product that aims to inspire teamwork and unlock people’s potential,” explained Ms Lim. “Lark magnifies joyful experiences through thoughtful product details. We hope that with Lark, employees can feel proud of their daily achievements.”
CUSTOMISABLE AND ACCESSIBLE
Lark boasts powerful open capabilities and possibilities for customisation to suit the needs of every business.
For example, it served as an effective online learning platform for Singapore Raffles Music College (SRMC) students who could not return to Singapore for physical lessons due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The school used the platform to start official communication channels for its students, allowing them to communicate in a safe online environment with their instructors’ supervision.
Lark’s cloud storage solution, Lark Drive, offers easy management and sharing of large files like videos and music recordings. All these functions have not only allowed SRMC students to continue learning – even asynchronously – but also helped them connect with their peers and instructors in different parts of the world.
SRMC’s academic manager Jeremy Koh said: “Lark has enabled us to enhance student experience and foster a sense of belonging among the students.”
For small to medium enterprises (SMEs) like SRMC, Lark has also resulted in significant cost savings. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Lark offered its business version for free, knowing that many SMEs are deterred from purchasing digital collaboration platforms because of the high costs involved.
Said Ms Lim: “Lark saw the need to democratise technology and create a truly all-in-one platform at a fair price to ensure that all organisations, regardless of size, have access to the tools they need to work remotely.”
Its free business version comes with unlimited minutes for video calls, 200GB of cloud storage, 500GB of email storage as well as other useful features like customisable attendance and approval workflows. According to Ms Lim, one of Lark’s most popular features is Lark Approval, which frees users from tedious offline approval processes.
WORK WITH EASE WHEREVER, WHENEVER
Whether you’re working from home or while on the move, any work that is stored and created on Lark is synced in real time across all devices. Additionally, in response to the evolving needs of remote workers, Lark created Magic Share, which allows anyone to share a file during a video meeting. All participants are able to co-edit the file within the video call window, limiting the need to switch between different tabs or applications or share one’s entire screen.
Features like Magic Share lend themselves well to cross-cultural communication. Other features like a multi-time-zone view in the calendar function and an integrated translation function called Lark Translator also help to facilitate effortless cross-cultural and cross-country collaboration – a growing need in the new post-COVID normal.
“We have many Lark users with offices in Vietnam, India, Indonesia and Japan who frequently collaborate and communicate with one another,” said Ms Lim. “Having seamless collaboration empowers employees to focus on what truly matters – their work – rather than spend time and effort figuring out how to use a certain digital tool or how to collaborate virtually with their teammates. This ultimately allows them to be more productive.” She added that seamless collaboration experiences could reduce the friction and frustration of working in teams.
At the end of the day, having the right digital collaboration platform goes far beyond just making work enjoyable for employees. Said Ms Lim: “Employee happiness can lead to other benefits such as customer satisfaction, job satisfaction and employee retention. Ultimately, choosing a collaboration tool that employees enjoy using can improve a company’s bottom line.”
Visit larksuite.com to start using Lark for free.