What does a lean company culture have to do with keeping sane, healthy and connected as a team? Quite a lot we think!

Here at DeepStream, we were already partly remote before the lockdown, with several teammates working from their homes in Romania, France, and elsewhere in the UK. The closing of the London office during the lockdown has meant that, like most companies worldwide, we’ve had to shift to being 100% remote. Even for those of us used to working from home, the change has come with its own challenges. No more coffee shops, coworking spaces, gyms, and non-necessary outings. The way we work, take breaks, and exchange has had to adapt in small yet significant ways. 

In this blog, we want to share one of the ways we’ve been keeping connected and motivated whilst in our separate homes. Followed by sharing how this can apply to a wider lean philosophy.

A team workout solution

Our CTO Cyril Silverman adapted a Slack bot created by Brandon Shin to encourage us all to exercise as a team wherever we are. Slack is currently our internal communication system, so it made sense to integrate something that’s already part of our workflow.

The robot shouts out (polite) instructions to randomly selected members of the team every half an hour or so during the working day. We’ve been doing this for a week, so I thought it’d be time to check in on progress….

working out slack startup

How are you feeling after a week of obeying the bot?

Bogdan: it’s a love-hate relationship 🙂 a super helpful and fun way to disconnect for a bit and get some extra energy pumping

Damian: Like a beefcake

Damian lean startup technology coronaDoes the bot saying “PLEASE” help at all?

Bogdan: I don’t know why, but I get the feeling that “PLEASE” is ironic and we don’t really have a choice anyway

Cyril: The robot saying PLEASE definitely helps

What other exercise have you been doing and would recommend?

Damian: I do some form of bodyweight interval training everyday and run 5-10k

  • Map my run is good for tracking runs
  • I use a stopwatch app for intervals

Bogdan: I do burpees and push-ups each morning and some yoga from time to time. I started this morning’s routine after seeing this podcast with Joe Rogan and David Goggins – dude is insane and insanely motivating.

Claire: I use the app FitOn which has various exercise routines between 5-45 minutes in length. It sends me reminders to do things which I often ignore. Twice a week I do a ballet class on Zoom taught by my sister – it’s nice to see all the other students, even if we can’t be in the studio at the same time. I find it more motivating than pre-recorded classes. 

Best moment involving the bot so far?

Bogdan: The look on my wife’s face when she first saw me do a wall sit for no apparent reason – I just got up and did it (I’ve never done it before, so it was a bit shocking)

Damian: Just images of people sitting at their desk with beads of sweat running down their face after doing a 60-sec plank

ballet class zoom cat corona

Zoom ballet class, featuring cat

What does staying lean as a team have in common with staying lean as a company?

A lean culture is all about maximising value to customers and minimising waste – a philosophy that is integral to everything we do here at DeepStream.

1. Doing a lot with a little

Space is something most of us could do with more of right now – but it’s still possible to exercise in a small flat. You just might need to get a little creative to maximise the impact. Fortunately, the bot’s challenges can be achieved in tiny spaces and in a short amount of time! 

At DeepStream, we’re used to delivering software with big impact whilst being a small team. We’ve brought in talented people from industries as varied as music tech and education tech. They bring a fresh perspective to Enterprise software. 

At DeepStream, we’re used to delivering software with big impact whilst being a small team. We’ve brought in talented people from industries as varied as #musictech and #edtech. They bring a fresh perspective. Click To Tweet

Small team = big impact.

2. Everyone’s involved

The workout bot spares no one. When the bot decides to tag someone and demand that they perform 40 squats, it does not care for that person’s job title, and neither do we.

Here at DeepStream, there is no hierarchy. The company operates with a flat open structure. This means that everyone can get involved in problem-solving, and be on the same page when it comes to the business. We all make good use of intra communication methods, on chat and on video, to keep ourselves up to date and collaborate on objectives. 

3. Removing obstacles

When it comes to exercise, it’s easy to come up with excuses to put it off:

  • I’m too busy right now
  • My elbow hurts a bit
  • I don’t want to wake up the cat
  • Someone’s calling me
  • I’m wearing the wrong clothes

I’ve used all of these and more, but I know, we all know, that moving is good for the body and soul. It’s just hard to find the motivation and energy sometimes (or even, simply, to remember).

The advantage of the bot is that it sits inside a communication channel that will be open anyway during working hours (Slack), and it automatically selects and assigns challenges (which you can, of course, adapt to your fitness level and disabilities. There is no fitness police involved here). Having a reminder, and knowing that others on your team are also having to fulfill the same challenge, is highly motivating.

If you want to develop new habits, then having them integrate in your life seamlessly is key.

This is an approach we apply to the DeepStream platform. We know that users deviate from our competitors because they find the technology too rigid, with too much training required to be able to operate it in a basic way. 

To counteract that, we’ve developed a platform where being “easy to use” was our number one priority (very closely followed by being: flexible, secure, compliant, and ridiculously good looking).

ridiculously good looking app zoolanderBecause unless something is easy to use wherever you are, it’s just going to gather dust. Especially at times like this. 

We know that users deviate from our competitors because they find the technology too rigid and difficult to use. We’ve developed a platform where being “easy to use” was our number one priority Click To Tweet

Gamified demo

Booking a live demo is the best way to discover how powerful our platform is. 

We like to do things a little differently here at DeepStream, and lead with the product rather than the sales pitch so you can really get to know it:

  • Gamified. We give you access to a live pilot account and run an end-to-end tender so you can properly test everything out first-hand. 
  • No strings attached. Your feedback is super valuable to us as user experience is our top priority. We won’t give you the hard sell, we promise! 

Want to find out what the fuss is all about? Book a demo now!