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Employees of SoundCommerce in Sneek, a video chat app. Screenshot provided by SoundCommerce
Startups

The New Normal of Working From Home: Instant Responses, All-Day Video Chats

By
Priya Anand
 |  March 19, 2020 7:02 AM PDT
Photo: Employees of SoundCommerce in Sneek, a video chat app. Screenshot provided by SoundCommerce

In a work-from-home world, how can companies best recapture the immediacy of working in an office together? 

For Eric Best, it means relying on common tools like Slack to help the 21-person startup he founded, SoundCommerce, communicate after the coronavirus outbreak caused the company to shutter its Seattle headquarters. But SoundCommerce has gone even further by using an always-on group video chat service called Sneek that automatically snaps photos of employees through their computer webcams every one to five minutes. The feature is something like the virtual equivalent of peeking over at a colleague’s desk in the office to see if they’re available to chat since it lets you know if they’re in front of their computers at home.

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