How We Used Talla to Manage an Office Move

Posted by Becca Norton on Jul 21, 2017 1:09:48 PM

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When I was first brought on to work for Talla back in March of 2017, I was tasked with coordinating our office move from a collaborative startup space to our own, private office in downtown Boston. It was exciting, both because I could help the team create our own work environment, and because I only had five weeks to make it all happen.

As you can imagine there were many to-do’s quickly going through my mind. Everything from what was needed for the office to be move-in ready (internet, furniture, building access, security, parking, office supplies, etc.) to making sure the transition was as smooth as possible for my team. Even for a relatively small team like ours, there was a lot of internal communication, updates, and tasks for employees to be aware of, or that I needed to respond to quickly. This is where Talla really helped out and became my very own AI assistant.

During an office move you are bound to have many questions asked (and often times the same ones, repeatedly). People don’t know where things are, or how to navigate a new area. It’s like starting all your employees as new-hires all at once. To help avoid having these questions and requests flood your inbox or drain your time, I put together a few tips and tricks I learned with Talla.

Create a specific chat channel for your office move

Whether you use Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, or another chat platform at your company, taking advantage of this form of communication will prove to be extremely beneficial during your office move.

It’s a great way to update everyone on specific office news, or grab their attention to particular to-do items that are time-sensitive. So my first piece of advice is funneling communication through a chat platform, which in turn lets you really utilize Talla.

At Talla, we set up a Slack channel called Boston-Office to post requests, information, and issues for our new workspace. This allowed me to send out weekly broadcasts on the office move, polls related to office life (who will bike into work, who needs parking, snacks, etc.) as well as other time-sensitive to-dos that needed to be completed prior to the move.

When I first started at Talla, I used emails as my way to communicate. But, I found that employees responded much better to chat than to my email. Let’s face it, an email that has a poll to fill out will often be opened and forgotten about. With Talla, you can schedule poll reminders to automatically notify employees via chat. Scheduled reminders let you send once and not worry about continually following up with employees to fill out a poll/survey or other required office tasks.

Build a knowledge base for your office move

If your company is new to Talla, I would suggest inputting some specific move-related content into the Talla Knowledge Base, and then make a point of answering some of your most common questions in the chat channel designated for the office move. This is a quick and easy way to train the Talla AI as to which questions correspond to which answers, and it keeps you from having to answer the same move-related questions over and over.

For example, I would add to our Talla Knowledge Base (KB) under New Answer, “When are we moving?” then fill in the answer for that.

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Next I would post, “@talla, when are we moving?” in the Boston-Office Slack channel. This would create a suggested response from the KB I created -- and I would mark that answer as helpful. The Talla assistant will then learn to respond with the proper knowledge base answer in the future when that same question is asked. This not only allows for the answers to be seen in a common place regarding the office move, but also teaches Talla the proper response as well as demonstrates to your team how the Talla task assistant works.

Some sample move-related topics to seed into the Talla Knowledge Base include:

  • When are we moving? (Have this question expire)
  • What is the new office address? Where is the new office?
  • How do I get to the new office?
  • Where can I park?
  • Where will I be sitting in the new office?
  • What are some good places to eat around here or get lunch?
  • What do I need to do before we move?
    • Talla's Broadcast functionality can help here; see below
  • What is the Wi-Fi password?
  • How do I set up my printer? How do I print something?
  • Where is the shower?
    • This is really important for the employees who bike/run to work
  • How do I get a laptop charger?

Schedule regular broadcast updates about the move

You shouldn't wait for an employee to ask a key question about your office move; you should just go ahead and tell them. (They won't always remember what you told them, which is where the questions come in, but it's always better to tell them upfront.) Talla allows you to schedule broadcast messages for your chat system, so you can publish regular announcements and updates to Slack or Microsoft Teams, rather than just relying on email.

Some suggested office-move broadcast topics include (these will look familiar):

  • Date/time of the office move
  • The new office address
  • Directions to the new office
  • Parking facilities at the new office
  • Seating arrangements at the new office
  • Food options near the new office
  • Wi-Fi logon procedures at the new office
  • Printer setup procedures at the new office
  • A to-do list of tasks to complete before the office move, which should include reading the details of each broadcast listed above

Solicit feedback before and after the move

Talla offers the ability to poll your users within your chat platform, which is a great way to solicit feedback of critical data prior to a move, and determine the morale and satisfaction of your team after the move.

Some suggested polls include:

  • Ask about office snacks and beverages before placing your first order to avoid ordering snacks that no one wants
  • New Office Feedback (recommend sending 2-3 weeks post-move)
    • Name three snacks in the office that you have loved having so far and would be heartbroken if they were gone
    • What has created the most headache for you being in this new office space?
    • What have you loved most about the new office space?
    • As we get more funding, what would be the #1 thing you would ask for the office? (stand up desk, more monitors, more white board space, better seating, etc)
    • Have any other feedback on the office? Let me know! Thank you!
  • TIP: I also created a separate Google Sheet after polls ended (which could also be done in a similar Excel spreadsheet) by easily downloading the CSV from the Talla poll results. This way I was able to share the poll results with my manager as to what employees were saying and provide further insight into employees' thoughts. This would also allow you to share the results with employees who do not have access to the Talla admin portal.

Turn one-off requests into actionable to-dos

Talla is a service desk, which means it generates task-tickets based on specific chat actions. If employees are doing drive-bys (where they stop by your desk and ask for something) or communicate in any way other than a post in public chat channel, that data may not reach the Talla AI assistant, so it won't automatically create a service desk ticket for you. No worries: You can use Talla slash-commands to easily create tickets on behalf of an employee.

The slash-command is: /talla add ticket for @user (input their request or question)

See below for an example:

Here I put in /talla on behalf of @brooke to remind myself to order a new office chair after she direct-messaged me on Slack about a broken chair.

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Once the ticket has been assigned (which you can do directly in Slack), Brooke will receive a message about the ticket that was opened and an update with the message below.

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After the ticket is open, The Talla Service Assistant Page (which you navigate to in Slack with a single click) will show options for me to respond using either a Knowledge Base answer, or with a "quick reply" that I compose on the spot. I can then inform Brooke that the chair was ordered, ask her questions about why she needs a new chair (is the one she has broken?), update the ticket in my queue, and/or mark the ticket complete.

Service Assistant Ticket Details:

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All of this without leaving Slack.

As the move coordinator, I received dozens of one-off requests like this, and Talla helped me keep it all organized through its ticketing system. No one showed up at the new office without a chair, a desk, power supplies -- or snacks to get them through moving day.

Talla is the assistant's assistant

At Talla, we "eat our own dog food," which is to say we use our own AI service desk to improve our own internal communications and task management. As the do-everything office manager, it made my task of coordinating a super-fast office move easier, and kept me sane during the whole hectic process. If you need your own virtual assistant to get you through a big project or just your everyday workload, give the Talla service desk a try.

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Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Future of Work, Human Resources, office management