Fleep quarterly review and plans for Q2 of 2018

Fleep quarterly

Another quarter has come and gone! Not too long ago we gave an overview of Fleep features released in 2017 — now, it is time for the Fleep quarterly review of what got done in Q1 of 2018 and what we have planned next.

So, here is the review of Q1 of 2018:

  • Task completion notifications — these push a notification to the conversation whenever someone marks a task as done. Think of it as a subtle, but effective form of instant gratification, a virtual high-five. If these get too much though, you can always turn them off from the Conversation settings.
  • More Tasks improvements — as Tasks are a core part of Fleep, we keep investing into incremental improvements to make sure the functionality comes full circle for our users. These improvements included a “Move to section” action, a rewrite of Tasks on mobile apps and a great secret feature involving the ((todo)) and ((done)) emoticons.
  • Wide right pane — you can now expand Taskboards and Pinboards to an even wider state, giving you a really zen experience for working with tasks and pinned messages.
  • Fleep emoji reactions — we think you’ll love our recently released emoji reactions not just for all its fun effects, but also for how it can improve productivity. You can use reactions to respond to something, without sending an actual message that would alert everyone in the conversation.
  • Push notifications for every new message — there are people who love our intelligent logic for sending push notifications, optimized for less noise and more focus — and there are people who’d rather receive a push notification for every new incoming message. Now, if you belong to the later group, go ahead and try out this new account Preference!
  • Sleep mode — this is an account preference we almost didn’t want to let users decide about. Its default setting makes sure that if you leave a Fleep conversation open on your screen, then new incoming messages will not be marked as read automatically. Instead, they will be shown with the “New messages” indicator. We’re trying to make sure you won’t miss any messages that may be important to you. However, if this in any way hinders how you use Fleep, you can set the timer for longer than the default 1min or disable it altogether.
  • appear.in default room — if you’re a regular user of our audio and video calling with appear.in, then this one’s for you! Open any Fleep conversation’s settings and configure a default appear.in room — and all calls started in that conversation will launch the respective appear.in room.

And what do we have planned next? Here’s what we have planned to build in the next 3 months (March, April, June), the Q2 of 2018:

  • My tasks  as always, unfinished business is our first priority. We’re starting beta testing real soon!
  • Mobile support for emoji reactions  this is a no-brainer. We wanted to launch emoji reactions to you as soon as possible, but we weren’t going to leave these without mobile support. Soon enough, you’ll be able to see, add and remove reactions on the mobile apps as well!
  • Private tasks  in beefing up our Tasks functionality, Private tasks are up next after My tasks. These will be the kind of tasks that only you can see, in your My tasks view.
  • User status and do not disturb mode  this has been requested from us for a while, and we believe it will be a feature that, like reactions, adds a good mix of useful & fun to Fleep.
  • Global user search  as Fleep is a network, we’re planning to make it easier for users to find other Fleep users. Currently, you can ‘find’ people when adding them to conversations with their Fleep username or primary email address. Global user search will add the option of finding people by their name!
  • Improvements to email conversations  we will be working to improve the experience of email messages in Fleep. These will be a treat to everyone who uses Fleep to send and receive emails!

We hope you liked this Fleep quarterly update. If you have any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to contact us at support@fleep.io. Let’s also stay in touch through our social media channels. We’re on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Team Building In A Virtual World

You’ve been looking for the perfect person to join your team for a while, then suddenly you find “the one”. The problem is that they live out of town and the commute is too long.

Team building in a virtual world

Thanks to the increase in remote working, you no longer have to give up on them. In fact, globally, 79% of knowledge workers work outside the office on a regular basis, so you are not alone when building a team of remote workers. The increase in remote working means that companies are balancing presence and remote work to ensure that productivity is not impacted.

Another important factor is building inter-team relationships to maximize collaboration when your staff is no longer sat together in the same room.

Out of sight, out of mind

A survey of 1100 employees conducted by Harvard Business Review found that remote workers felt they weren’t treated equally. Specifically, they worry that they are left out of important project discussions or that their office based co-workers say bad things about them. If not addressed quickly, these negative emotions can lead to productivity issues and increased stress for the remote worker.

Team building is important for a number of reasons, all related to ensuring that the productivity of the team is maximized. A group of individuals who are comfortable with each other are likely to be more creative. If they know each other’s strengths, they can distribute the work effectively to leverage these.

Building Trust

The best way to help a team of remote workers to function well together is to put measures in place to help build trust. It’s easy to assume that when employees first meet, they look to find each other’s strengths.

In reality, they’ll want to find a way to connect, normally through a shared interest or experience.

Due to the increased usage of geographically dispersed teams, communication between teammates is shifting from face to face chats at the water cooler to using online collaboration tools. The time that the employees spend together in one location is minimal. This means that team building activities need to be more engineered.

This can be achieved through encouraging the team to network, sharing virtual coffee breaks or including an informal “get to know you” section into team meetings.

A technique often used by companies with a large number of employees is to hold a group team building event, which brings together the remote employees in one location to engage in a series of planned activities designed to help the team get to know each other better.

Why invest in team building?

Teams are often made up of individuals from different backgrounds with different levels of experience. These people don’t get to choose who they are grouped with but are expected to work collaboratively to achieve a shared result.

Team building is crucial to the success of any business with more than one employee. It has been proven time and time again that spending time focusing on improving team communication can have long term benefits to the company.
Why wait? Invest now to help maximize profits, improve staff retention and empower your teams to be more mission focused.

Contribution from freelance writer Jenny Holt. Jenny’s previous experience in business has allowed her to specialize in the sector, although she also enjoys writing about entrepreneurship, leadership and new technology.

Chat for teams

Wide right pane in Fleep

For a while now, we’ve been iterating on some nuances of the right pane in Fleep. This has meant lots of revisions of its width, how it relates to the rest of the conversation and also to all the tabs on the right pane inside conversations in Fleep.

Expand and collapse the right pane in Fleep

Let’s start with the basics — in case you didn’t know, you can use the little arrow icon on the right pane tabs to expand and collapse the right pane. This is not new in itself, but what has changed recently are the sizes of the right pane when it’s opened.

wide right pane in Fleep

The wide right pane just got even wider

The smaller, default size of the right pane is now half of the size of the message flow. Also, the right pane now opens on top of the message flow in most cases — we support using the message flow and right pane actively side by side only when the Fleep window is wider than 1746px. Opening it on top of the message flow prevents the message flow from jumping around and some other not-so-nice user experiences.

The change we’ve made to the size of the expanded, wide right pane, is much more significant though. Now, if you expand the right pane, it enlarges to the width of the message flow, covering it entirely.

wide Pinboard

Read and write messages on the wide Pinboard

The Pinboard is a good place for any kinds of important messages, from meeting notes to product specs. Reading or browsing through long pinned messages just got more pleasant with the wide right pane. The text has more space, and you are not distracted by what’s going on in the message dlow.

The wide right pane also makes writing longer pinned messages truly enjoyable. No more distractions from the message flow! More space for your own thoughts! See for yourself:

right pane in Fleep

Zen task management with the wide Taskboard

In our own team, we use Fleep Tasks daily. And the Tasks can sometimes get quite long… That is, if the product manages to do a thorough, good job writing up product specs, bug reports, and other to-do items in the form of Tasks.

The new wide Taskboard is excellent for managing your Fleep Tasks. Why? First of all, you do not get distracted by what’s going on in the message flow in the background, because the Taskboard covers it entirely. Secondly, you can read the longer Task messages much more comfortably, as they can take up more space, and thus fit much more space on the screen. And, if you’re the one writing up the tasks, doing that in the wide Taskboard is just really zen.

wide taskboard

We hope you enjoy using the wide right pane in Fleep! All feedback and requests are welcome via support@fleep.io. Follow us on social media to be the first to hear about our product updates! We’re on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

New account preferences to customize how you use Fleep

There are many ways for you to customize how you use Fleep. For example, you can make emojis your conversations’ avatars. Or you can completely disable conversation avatars and use a compact conversation list. You can choose to switch off Fleep emoticons and only see emoji everywhere. And. So. Much. More.

Recently, we added a few new account preferences that help you customize how you use Fleep even further: the push notifications on every message setting and Sleep mode.

Push notifications on every new message

In building Fleep, we always optimize for less noise and more productivity. As such, we have designed Fleep push notifications to ping you only when you’re not actively using Fleep and only for every first new message in any conversation.

However, there are people who expect to receive push notifications on every new message, or even need push notifications to work that way. So, (drum-roll please) we’re happy to announce a new account preference, “Send me push notifications on every new message”:

how you use fleep

You can find the Account preferences by clicking on your profile in the bottom left corner, where your avatar is, and choosing “Preferences” from the menu that appears.

If you’d like to receive push notifications for all new messages across your conversations, just choose that option in your Account preferences!

Sleep mode

Do you sometimes leave Fleep open on your screen when you go to make a cup of coffee or chat with a colleague? If so, it’s possible that some of the new incoming new messages on your screen were automatically marked as read, as the conversation was open on your screen.

To prevent such cases where new messages could get marked as read automatically, we have introduced Sleep mode. Effectively, it means that if you leave Fleep open, active, on your screen but you are inactive on your computer (that is, not doing anything actively in Fleep) then Fleep ‘freezes’ your current open conversation, so new incoming messages on the screen are not marked as read.

You can find the Sleep mode setting in your Account preferences:

sleep mode

The main idea of Sleep mode is to prevent new messages being marked as read, when you are away from your computer or otherwise not paying attention to your screen, but have a conversation open.

You can always change the default setting for a longer ‘timer’ or even disable Sleep mode altogether, if you’d like.

What else?

Note that the new push notification setting affects your account across devices – mobile apps and the desktop versions (web browser and native apps). But the Sleep mode setting is a desktop-only feature.

We hope you enjoy these new account preferences to tailor how you use Fleep! All feedback and requests are welcome via support@fleep.io . Let’s also stay in touch through social media. We’re on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.